Learning to Let Go

The thing about writing is, when I write, I’m able to focus my mind on that task, for at least a bit. For someone who’s mind is sometimes, constantly racing, that’s a relief. The scenarios I play out in my head stop as I focus on putting words down.

It’s been a full week now since I haven’t spoken to someone I once wanted to talk to every day. It’s true what they say, the first week feels like a month. It’s strange, but it feels like forever ago since we actually did talk. I almost can’t remember what it felt like to be able to send them a message. I try to think about, if things hadn’t gone the way they had, what would we be talking about today? Would they really be interested in anything I had to say?

I keep thinking about what my younger sister told me. How if they had liked me better they wouldn’t have reacted the way they had. They wouldn’t have blocked me. It hurt to think that, but it’s probably true. Not that they didn’t like me at all, just not enough.

If you haven’t listened to the song “Death By a Thousand Cuts” you should. Lyrics that say “if the story’s over, why am I still writing pages?” “Flashbacks waking me up.” “I can’t pretend it’s okay when it’s not.” “Gave up on me like I was a bad drug.” “Trying to find a part of me you didn’t take up, gave you so much but it wasn’t enough.”

I feel like, especially that last line is so true of many of my relationships. When you give so much and it doesn’t work out. I was talking to a friend recently who’s life looks pretty fabulous on social media. Always on a trip, or fun outing with friends, but she told me how lonely she has been. How friends that have boyfriends don’t include her in some things and how another group of friends always comes along when she invites them, but they never reach out to invite her.

Friendships should always be two sided, but it feels like there’s always going to be that person who puts in a little more effort. You have to decide if it’s worth it to you, to keep putting in the effort.

I had a friend I once considered my best friend. We haven’t spoken in years and nothing dramatic happened. We were friends for half our lives, we even lived together for a time. As we got a little bit older and started getting married and having kids and she wasn’t able to be there for some pretty big events, I stopped reaching out. I found, she didn’t bother to reach out either. There was no real sadness or ill will, just a faded friendship. I hope she’s doing well. She was an important part of my life.

Part of growing is recognizing and letting go of relationships that don’t add anything to your life and instead take things away. You can lose so much of yourself when you can’t walk away. Your happiness, your time, your energy. Don’t let people who don’t appreciate you, take that from you.

When you think of the word relationship, you have to get out of the stigma that it means a romance. A relationship is anything other than a friendship, it’s how you know someone. It could be a family member, co-worker, a person you just met. A relationship can be many different things, but the simplest form is simply an association with someone. It can be someone that you never were able to form a friendship with, but you were still connected in some way.

For me, the worst part of losing a relationship is not having that potential come to fruition. It’s kind of like dating someone you imagined yourself marrying. Then you break up and it’s devastating. The future you planned for yourself, the visions you had, destroyed.

In hindsight, we can say, thank goodness I didn’t get that future. I didn’t have to go through a failed marriage or divorce. Yet it still hurts. That grief of a now different future has to be mourned. I guess that’s why John Lennon sang “life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”

I wonder about how other people move on sometimes. For instance, when you get mad enough to block someone, are you able to just block them out of your mind? Like ‘I can’t believe they did that, wow, so glad I don’t have to have them in my life any more,’ then just never think about them? For me? I’ve thought about them every single day. I try not to be mad at myself, I try to remind myself I was only trying to be kind and acting in a way that is familiar to me. That other people also in put in the same scenario, have stated they wouldn’t have been bothered. Yet everyone is different. So for one person it might have been a welcomed gesture, but for this person, it wasn’t.

I keep thinking about the times when it would have been okay and would it would not have. The thing is, we behave in a manner in which we are accustomed. We all grow up with not only different beliefs and morals, but are shown what’s acceptable and what’s not. So what could be very normal for one person, is unacceptable for another. It doesn’t necessarily mean either is wrong.

I go back to customs. In certain countries, people are greeted with a kiss on each cheek. Here in America? Someone might slap you for that, press charges, try to make sure you never come into a position of power. So again, it goes back to what you are accustomed to and what you deem as acceptable.

Communication. Make those feelings known so you can be validated. Hey, you did this, it made me really uncomfortable, I would appreciate it if you did not do that again. If that person respects you, chances are, they won’t do it again.

That’s when my mind wanders back to what my sister said. Truth is, maybe they already wanted me out of their life and now they had a reason to just cut all ties.

This is where I have to remind myself that I am not a bad person. That my heart was in the right place. To learn from this so that it was not all for naught. I have to remind myself, as hard as it is, to not let it change me, just change my actions. I can still have a big heart, I can still love people. I just need to slow down, realize not everyone wants to be loved and assess each and every relationship. It’s better to be overly cautious in some circumstances to make sure the other person is comfortable. Respect boundaries and clarify them. So next time I want to mail someone cookies, I’ll make sure it’s okay with them first.

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