Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the votes are in - i think i'll just be me

Fault and Change by Carlos Miceli (Trust 30 Prompt 20)

I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?
Wow - this couldn't be a timelier prompt ... after the weekend I just had, I feel like there are very few things in my life that are not working for me. I look at my life and am amazed. And while fault is not a concept I believe in, at least with the connotation of blame attached to it, I do firmly believe that very one of us is responsible for 100% of our lives ... and yet ...  

Yes, we're all 100% responsible for all aspects of our lives. But, given that our lives intersect with other lives, sometimes that 100% gets rubbed up against someone else's 100% with mixed results. In those circumstances, we return to ourselves. To Emerson. To our truth. And sometimes that means making some hard choices. 

I've really been struggling to write this post. There is something I want to talk around rather than just coming right out and saying it, which is completely contrary to the point. So here goes ... a friendship that has been deeply important to me for the past couple of years ended last week. It's been coming for a while, and while it was not the elegant, respectful ending I had hoped for, it was also not as dramatic as it could have been given the people involved *waves.* I've been mostly feeling relief when I think about it, and then feeling guilty for feeling that relief.

I truly love said friend and I miss what we once had. She's an amazing, generous, fun woman. And we've grown apart. Most importantly for me, it has been a long time since I felt it was okay for me to be who I am and to say what I want to say in that friendship. From what I can gather, she feels like I haven't appreciated 'the effort' she's made. Honestly though, I'm not interested in people having to make some sort of heroic effort to spend time with me. There's no need for anyone to martyr themselves here - I'm actually not that hard up for entertainment, or love, or support.

I don't say that lightly - love and support are far too precious to just cast aside. But when they come at the cost of honouring and being myself ... are they really love & support? Ending that friendship - at least for the time being, who knows what the future holds for any of us - has given me the opportunity to look around and see all the other love I have in my life. And to look at where in my life I've not been free to just be my perfectly imperfect self. That's where the amazement comes in - in looking around and seeing the many many people who contribute to my life and - equally importantly - who allow me to contribute to theirs.

I am learning every day of the great and soul-affirming gift it is to get to be me - thanks in no small part to STG, but also to my family and those friends who encourage me to be myself first and foremost. As I do that, I find I'm simultaneously building myself rather than breaking, and re-connecting more and more with the parts of me I'm most proud of. I'm having conversations with other friends about what they mean to me, and trying to learn from this circumstance and to protect those relationships that really matter. 

It kinda reminds me of that oft-quoted supposed Suessism:

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