*Updated December 2016
* Almost four years ago; 4 January 2013, I opened the door to a different life.
Moving into my new apartment in almost a foot of snow I began embracing the different me that began emerging. I have spent the last four years getting to know this me. I think in all honesty the perception that some had of me as “The Bitch” was because my choices actually empowered me. I finally was being the most honest me I can ever recall being in my life. I’d began to feel accountable for my happiness and my peace of mind. I began to create boundaries in my life. It’s been a process with quite a bit of a learning curve and I blow it still sometimes. I am finding there is empowerment in boundaries though and I am getting better at it. Better too at not dissolving into a puddle of guilt when I do draw lines that impact other people, despite this being sometimes perceived as cold and uncaring.
Making a commitment to create boundaries for one’s sense of serenity and peace sounds so much easier than the reality is. That is if you care to live in your universe with other people and hope to have your soul rocked by others.
Some will rock your soul, some won’t. Some will cause you to wish that you could simply rock them out of your universe. Life has given us the marvelous gift of being in control of what and who we let rock our soul, our heart, our mind, and our world. Making choices good or bad are at least my choices, and they make up the person I am and how I live my life. This comes with the understanding that no one else is responsible nor can I point the blame if my decisions don’t bode well. But there is this empowering liberation. It took me the large majority of my lifetime to understand this. To apply the knowledge took me even longer, and to finally own it? Just recently in fact. When the choices serve me to the good I willingly and happily own it. When my choices serve me poorly I am working on owning it, but not so happily. Yet.
Today in 2016 I am happily owning it.
I know very few absolute truths in this life of mine, but I do know that one of life’s most basic truths is things constantly change. We as people change. What others saw in me thirty, twenty, or even three years ago has changed. We are a continuous evolution of change. It’s called humanity.
Four years ago in the middle of my life I took a hold of myself and shook up my world like it hadn’t been since I was nine years old. Having long recognized that I was literally drowning in angry sadness I found myself isolating like I never had before. Admittedly I thrive on solitude, always have and always will. Solitude to maintain balance works for me, but solitude in a self-imposed isolation to avoid conflicted feelings and tension became something quite different.
Although I referred to this time as being depressed I don’t want to minimize depression, nor the treatments, I know in hindsight that isn’t truthfully what it was I was coping with. Any symptoms of depression were indicative of the changes I needed to address. Isolating became a way of avoidance and as long as I saw and called it depression then I wasn’t having to face the real fears I was trying to ignore.
“Nothing stays the same.”
Things change, people change, and people change their minds, me included. Admitting this wasn’t my first nature; changes meant the unknown and the unknown meant fears. I had not ever been comfortable addressing my fears, yet to continue to think I could ignore them I realized was delusional on my part.
It’s been a long strange trip the last 4 plus years of my life with all the changes I made. After running into an old acquaintance in the grocery store I realized during a baffling few moments that I physically have changed in many ways. While standing in the fresh produce department talking with her it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was my reply to her kind “How have you been?” that did it.Before I realized what I was saying I replied “My life is vastly different and my lifestyle choices might make some who have known me before uncomfortable today.”
My friend pierced her lips, ” Pasha!”
But I know there is credible truth in what I said. The most oblivious outwardly changes has been the physical change. I lost almost 50 lbs.in the first 8 months of making changes in my personal and marital status. The stress was removed from my face.
There are also internal changes I am navigating that no one can see. New truths about myself. Once upon a time I was one of two, part of a couple for
a first lifetime 42 years. Once upon a time my social life revolved around family dynamics, community and other couples. “Once upon a time is where I used to belong.”
Today that’s part of my change. Becoming single has meant major changes in my lifestyle involving living alone, changes in my social status and how I interact socially. Being alone as a Single in social circles brought about my first self-conscious awareness of being a “single” -the first year after becoming a Single, those first moments of being aware that alone could feel lonely, I found myself get sucked into a pity party for one. More changes obviously needed.
Four years later I fiercely protect my alone time and realize that a person can be lonely in a room full of people. Or with an insignificant other. Embracing changes means making necessary choices. I began to foster within myself that being a Single is nothing less than being a whole me. Highlighting lifestyle choices of living single keeps me mindful of why I made the life changing decision in October 2011 and made it common knowledge in July 2012. I was no longer domestic partnership material. I no longer wanted to be the other half because I am whole on my own. And that is enough.
Despite the moments of awkward singularity this is the lifestyle I prefer to live today and I am more true to myself (and others) than I have ever lived-for the first time since before the age of nine years old. Not having to be accountable or responsible for anyone but me is worth the few lonely moments. I’ve discovered it’s a far more an empty sense of loneliness living in a lousy, non-fulfilling and angry relationship than it is living single.
It’s been a long 4 plus years filled with needed changes, including this past year of 2016. I have grown, I have healed, I am living my life….my way. I’m even considering now possibly being open to having my heart rocked by someone.
My world? ….it’s already being rocked.
Letting the negatives wash away…. and keeping only the good that Rocks My Soul.
I’m doing things different this year. (* Originally published December 5, 2014)
My self-imposed challenge this holiday season is to create new traditions for myself that are no longer dependent on others expectations, or a sense of obligation to anyone, or anyone to me.
Not knowing exactly what direction these new traditions are going to be has been a bit bewildering, yet there is liberation. Making a choice to not abide by the past traditions that Christmas always held for me has been mind-baffling and emotionally tugging, yet I’m excited about the possibilities of creating new traditions that speak to me and for the life I live today. This isn’t to say I won’t be connecting with my family & friends. What it does mean is for the first time…ever…. I am not going to participate in something merely out of a sense of obligation and expectations to past traditions. I want to create new ones, ones of my choosing, ones for all the right reasons.
But I had no idea where to really begin beyond the desire……..
I love how the universe works.
A “To Do List”.
Deeply breathing in the “Reason for the Season” without any sense of reluctance is absolutely the new tradition I am looking for. Right at this moment though I can’t even imagine how this will feel. I now have a “To Do” list that speaks to me and what I want to be mindful of this Christmas; and how to get there.
Giving myself permission to put my energy and focus exactly where it serves my spirit for the first time in my life is so exhilarating I’d go as far to say it’s intoxicating. With that being said I don’t expect everyone in my world to understand or “get it”. I hope though that for those who I matter to in their lives they won’t judge my attitude and actions. Or lack of actions as the case may be.
No one has been privy to living in my head and my heart; and only a few know what I had been living as a state of mind, heart and spirit, that was literally helping my life slip away. I thought all my passions…all my fire… had been extinguished.
How wrong I was.
I had merely let my passions become stifled. I had given up on hope & dreams. It matters none today why I had done; as long I know that I have the choice to grab everything about life that feeds every aspect of who I am. No more stuffing that which serves my mind, my heart, and my spirit.
No more swallowing my feelings, my anger, my needs, my disappointments, and the biggie…. drum roll please…..NO MORE loneliness despite being in a room full of people.
This for me is another step to an authentic independence to help me find in my world the happy and the complete. Having been on both ends of that spectrum, looking to others for my happiness/contentment; AND being the someone who others’ had looked to for theirs; it is a bittersweet realization to find that I had buried so much of myself to fit the idea of who others wanted me to be. I take complete ownership for teaching others that I was okay with this.
It’s really self-sabotage, yet we all do it. Especially women do it. We all have been conditioned by society to believe it’s the righteous way to live life by being a full-time martyr……then to follow-up with feelings of resentments and complaints afterwards. I know it’s where I was headed.
That is until I found comfort in my self.
I’m retiring from the “Martyr Membership” that I belonged to all my life away.
I’m putting the “Merry” back into my Christmas.
I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas that truly feeds your own Reason For this Season.
Not to be confused with the domestic kind, so don’t go away. It is not what you think.
There will be no need for any outside help for this Blog Keeping project I am not talking about housekeeping on this blog. And though there will be some re-arranging to do I will not require you to move that heavy over-stuffed sofa a dozen times while I decide where it looks best. Not this time.