There are some lives you live and some lives you leave behind. Some hold warm memories, shy smiles, welcoming arms, tender kisses and good friends. Others may hold unfathomable pain. A few months ago I went through an exceptionally painful break up and it’s a life I’ve chosen to close the door on now… to close my eyes to a life we built together and the family we shared, if only fleetingly.
Leaving this life also means letting go of the perpetual ache I have held within me for so many months, the recollections of being told I was never quite good enough, and learning to be okay with being alone. I’ve spent a significant portion of my young adulthood focusing a great deal of energy on dating, mostly because I’m not that great at it. I give too easily and both fear and crave intimacy. Blame it on the fact that I had a significant family member walk away from me when I was sixteen, the media, or simply my battle with personal identity that resulted in me believing I’d feel complete with a significant other.
I realize I’m only twenty-two, yet the wealth of both great and numbing experiences I’ve accumulated these past few months sometimes make me feel as though I should be thirty. I’ve seen the beginnings of life in a partner’s baby daughter, and I’ve witnessed the end of a life where I’ve stood crying to an officer at the end of watch, my hands stained with a stranger’s blood. In acknowledging my young age, I am also recognizing that it is time to take on the world by myself. While my faith in love has not changed – I am still the woman who hopes to love and be loved and to have an unbreakable bond – my urgency to search for it has. Living the live I intend to means redirecting my energy to my own personal growth, to investing in the friendships that have guided that growth, focusing on my passions, graduating next semester, my family who have been unwavering in their support and warmth, training for my upcoming physical agility tests, and my (hopefully) blooming career.
While I’m working on being comfortable with my single status, I find that it is an issue so frequently brought up in conversation or in the media, an issue that so many find fault with. We place value on mastering relationship woes, on moving forward after breakups and trying our very hardest to remove ourselves from the state of suffering because it, like being single, can sometimes be associated with weakness. I’m sure many of you reading this can relate to the experience of either strategizing with your girlfriends to escape the dreaded “single sickness,” or rolling your eyes at couples who dare to behave romantically in your bitter presence. Because really, how rude. I know I’ve found myself engaged in both scenarios, and when I think about it now, I’m kind of like “really, Liv? You’ve done X-Y-Z and you’re unhappy because you don’t have someone you don’t really even have time for?” Nevertheless, it’s natural and I’m learning.
So why am I putting love on pause? When it comes down to it, I’m beginning the journey to find the love that must first exist within myself before it can be truly shared with another. And it’s not something that happens overnight, in a week, or in a month. It’s an adventure. It’s cultivating self-esteem and confidence. If someone won’t lift a finger to call you, see you, and spend time with you, it’s the strength to lift five fingers and wave goodbye.
I’m no expert in relationships and I won’t pretend to be but I will leave you all with what I’ve learned from my mistakes in love and in life: trust the process. You’ll find that when something or someone doesn’t work out, it’s because something better is farther up the path. Yes, you may only see it in retrospect but what a great feeling it is to smile and know how far you’ve come.
There are some lives you live and some lives you leave behind. I encourage you all to think about the doors you wish to close and the doors you wish to open wider and explore. One day, when it is time, the love you’ve been building within yourself will find its reflection, whether that is in someone else or a passion or a career. I’ll be sharing my journey with you all on my updated blog and I hope if you’re in the same boat as I am that you will find at least some helpful advice along the way.
Watch your six & stay purring,