So I had a conversation with someone during this past week that I had been looking to have for almost a year. There were apologies and a few giggles and a few tears. There was attempted understanding and openness. And at the end of it all, I really realized I didn't value myself enough. I realized I had put a limit on how much I deserved from someone I valued. I realized they didn't value me like I valued them and it was only my fault.
I also realized I contributed in more ways than I thought to the demise of our friendship. I learned I was as much an aggressor as I was a victim and I didn't even see it. I was looking for communication when I wasn't communicating. I was looking for a security blanket when I was on fire.
It took almost a year for us to have a conversation and admit our mistakes. It took a year of wondering and worrying and anger and pain to come back to "I was wrong and I miss being your friend". For us, was it worth it? I don't know yet. We're only back at day one, but I'm hopeful.
So when you, My Loves, are in a situation where maybe you could afford to take a moment to reflect, do so. Take an honest look at what happened and try to see things from the other person's point of view. There was no way I could've known the extent of my contribution to what looked like the end of our friendship if the other person wasn't open to communicating. But there was also no way they could've known my hurt if I wasn't open to communicating. Now that we've had a conversation, it feels like none of it mattered. It is what it is. Either we will work toward being friends again and will be successful, or we won't. I don't know the outcome. My only obligation as a human is to be open to forgive and learn and start anew.
And don't mistake forgiveness for forgetfulness. I will not and should not forget what happened between us. Only two things can happen from forgetting: I will make the same mistake and hurt myself or both of us OR I will not retain the lesson I learned about looking at myself in the mirror and I will end up hurting someone else I care about.
What I will not do is forget. But I have an obligation to myself and to the Universe to forgive. I am required to accept an apology and attempt to move forward, however that looks. I am not required to open myself back up to attempting to rebuild the friendship we had, but I am required to accept the apology, let it go, and move on.
I, personally, have decided to see how it goes and see if we can rebuild our friendship. I am that type of heart. But there is nothing right or wrong about my ability or desire to live my life that way. My type of heart is not right or wrong, it's just mine. So here I am, open again after so long. I have hope, though, that our friendship will be stronger because of what we went through. I have hope that this person will be front and center and cheering loudly on the day I marry the person I love. I have hope that I will do the same for them. I have hope that whatever paths we are meant to walk, we will walk in the same direction, if not together, and we will celebrate each other's wins and be there as a shoulder for each other's losses.
I have hope that my old friend will be my friend again and we will move forward.
I have hope for all of you, My Loves, in all aspects of your lives and your relationships. I wish you forgiveness and love. I wish you friendships and laughter. I wish us all happiness.
~until next time
I've been feeling so off for a few weeks now. I feel like I've been falling apart... like I can't keep my feelings in check. It's like my logical mind has nothing to do with my initial reaction to anything anymore. I feel lonely. I feel unwanted. I feel like my voice doesn't matter. I feel like I've just been floating on auto-pilot through reality but none of it is really me. The worst part about it is I know none of this is rational. I know I'm not alone. I know I'm wanted. I know I matter and so does my voice. I know I'm important to some people. I know everything I'm feeling is temporary. But none of what I know makes it any easier to deal with.
I'm telling you all this because I want you to know it's normal to feel like you've lost yourself sometimes. It's normal to not know where to go or what to do next. Most importantly, though, it's ok to ask for help to sort it all out. I've talked to my mother and brother about it all; and I'm going to try doing more things that make me happy. I'm going to do my best to branch out and start doing things I'm interested in, regardless of whether or not I have someone to do those things with. I have to start thinking about what my mental health looks like, and what things I can do to make myself happy.
There's so much more I want to tell you, but I'd be telling someone else's story. I really wish I could say more....
Just know that you're helping me by just being here. Check back with me soon, please. I miss you all terribly, and I'm doing my best to come back to you full time, with full force.
Also, I've been getting your emails. Thank you for the love and support. I can't tell you how much I truly appreciate your words. I've responded to some of you already, and I'll be responding to the ones I haven't very soon. I apologize for the wait - as you can see, I haven't been feeling myself lately.
Well, my loves, I'm going to get going for now. I'll be back again soon. I must continue working on me (and my sanity).
And never forget: it's ok to not be ok. You don't have to pretend, and you are allowed to ask for help.
~until next time
I've been feeling a lot lately. Please be patient with me. I'm definitely human; I just need a minute. I have drafts started, but none of them are done, and I just need to gather myself again so I can write.
I promise I'll be back soon.
~until next time
Hello, my dear. Quick answer is, follow your heart. I can't tell you whether or not you should stay with the man you love, but I can tell you it sounds like he loves you back. From what you've described, he is consistent with you, even in the things you don't like. You have expressed to him there are things you need him to do differently in order to keep you happy, but he has consistently not responded with action. If you don't love your love and life together enough to stay despite the fact that he's not showing you what you need to see, you need to make a decision for your life. You don't have children, but I find people use that as an excuse to leave a situation when leaving is not always warranted. You have built a life with this man, however long or short (you didn't tell me how long you've been married). You made a choice to commit to one another. No one can tell you to leave or stay - only you can make that choice.
What I can say is this: if you believe your husband loves you and in all other areas makes you happy, are you willing to be the planner in every aspect and live without the "surprise and romance" you desire? You have to weigh your relationship against itself. You know what it was like before him. You know what it's like with him. You know what you want from him, whether he's delivering that or not. The question is which option do you want for your life?
I can only tell you I don't believe in divorce, but your life is not my life. I don't know the weight of your unhappiness caused by his actions - or lack thereof. I don't know the feeling you get in your gut when you see him. I don't know if you back away from his touch or lean into it; but all these things are points you should consider.
I believe you will make the right choice for your life. You just have to believe you are making the right choice. Take your time, though. Don't make a choice when you're feeling frustrated or angry. Make sure whatever you choose was thoroughly thought out and you've looked at both sides of the equation.
Look at things from his point of view. Think about his love language. Ask yourself if there is a way you can express your needs in his love language so he can hear you best. Look at how he was raised and what his values are. Look at his friends and how he interacts with them.
If your man is a good man and he is worth re-evaluating your discomfort, do you love him enough to do that?
Being that I'm feeling all over the place in my own emotions, I apologize if my words seem scattered, but I wanted to respect your request and reply to you openly (Loves, she requested I respond publicly in hopes her story and situation will help someone else in need of advice on the same or a similar situation).
Please send another email if you want to talk more about it. I'm here to help in any way I can, no matter my own issues. YOU are the reason I'm doing this. My CONNECTION with you is the reason I do this. I want to be open with you all and encourage growth for all of us. I am not magical and I certainly don't have all the answers. What I do have, though, is effort and desire.
I want us all to succeed.
Let me know if there is anything else I can speak on, My Love. And I wish you a clear mind to think through your feelings and options.
~until next time
Never be afraid of what someone else will think of you doing what you want to do. If you are certain this is what you want, go for it! It is your life. Always remember: what you eat doesn't make anyone else shit. If you want to risk it and it doesn't negatively affect anyone around you, do what you want!
Thanks for the zig-zag fun! It was a pleasure meeting you. Ride safe out there.
Hello, Loves. I'm having a hard time right now. There has been a lot going on over the past couple of weeks, and emotionally I am pretty much all jumbled up. I have a clear direction of what mental and emotional state I'm working toward, and I can see the path AND THE PROGRESS, but I needed to write to you and talk this through with you.
Let me start with two weekends ago. I went for a short weekend nearby vacay with my family for my daughters' birthdays. It was amazing. We had so much fun just being with each other and sharing those new experiences together. In the middle of it all, though, I got a phone call from someone I was not expecting a phone call from - my father. I hadn't spoken to him since last October when he forgot my birthday then got upset with me for setting boundaries for my own life.
Needless to say I was caught off guard by the call. He told me he was sorry and he missed me and all the other things men say when they want a woman to forgive them (because you don't have to be dating a man for him to pour honey in your ear then break your heart). I listened and spoke, being sure to keep a good balance of both. I agreed to see him. Fast forward a few days and here I am pulling up to a restaurant wondering what's going to happen this time.
I go inside. He's not there. Mind you, when we made these plans he promised he would be early, but we all know how promises sometimes go. I wait. For a full 15 minutes I wait. Then just as I was so angry and hurt that I wanted to cry I called my brother. He's always a voice of reason for me. I was trying really hard to keep it together. Then the phone rings.
It's nothing but dramatics and excuses and I don't want to hear any more. Skipping forward a bit, I decide I don't want to do this anymore. I decide that knowing this man is not worth my sanity. I decide to draw my line in the sand and leave it there.
The most important thing about this story, though, is that I did all of this from a place of love. My father has been far from anything ideal, but I love him regardless. I love him through his faults and mistakes. I love myself enough to set boundaries. I did a really hard thing because I knew it was best. The way things are now isn't healthy for either of us and I love us both enough to say "enough".
So never be afraid to draw your line. And if you are afraid, know that it WILL be alright. Do what is right for you. If that means severing ties with someone you love, make sure it comes from love. Don't be spiteful or angry. Only hurt can grow from spite and anger. Be loving. Be open to put conditions on people if they want your energy, but ALWAYS come from love.
~until next time
Dear Mr. Not Single But Lonely,
First, let me say I know. I know exactly how you're feeling. I know what it feels like to try so hard to communicate with someone and they just refuse to take responsibility for their actions. They let you speak your whole truth, but refuse to acknowledge their role in the healing. In the situation I was in I think the other person just wanted to pretend nothing happened instead of working through reality.
All I can tell you, my dear, is to accept that you can't make her do anything she doesn't want to do. You can't make her process things differently. She may not ever see your situation in a way that makes sense to you.
But what are you going to do about that?
The way I see it, you have to decide what you are willing to allow in your life. You must draw a line somewhere for the type of energy you accept in your space. Until you draw that line you will not find peace. You can continue to fight for the relationship you once loved, or you can accept that not everyone will treat you the way you treat you. Not everyone deserves your energy. It is your responsibility to your own sanity to weed out those people who don't deserve your time.
I would never suggest what decision I think you should make for your own life. What I will do, though, is encourage you to remember this:
"What they eat don't make you shit."
Everyone makes their own choices. You are not held accountable for anyone's actions but your own.
At the end of every day you have to answer to yourself. Make decisions you can live with. Love yourself, and value your sanity.
You got this.
~until next time
Hello, loves. I've been trying to figure out how I want to respond to the emails you send me. Some of you have chosen to stay anonymous; others have chosen to allow me to use first names. My issue, though, has been deciding how to address the topics you email me about. To those who have asked me for direct responses, I have responded. But to those who asked me to share your stories, I have some explaining to do (especially to those of you who have been waiting almost two weeks for a response).
I've been feeling a little overwhelmed lately with the number of thoughts in my mind at any given time. Nothing is wrong, my life is fine and happy, I have just had far too much going on at once. I'm slowly crossing things off of my list, and I'm feeling more like my normal chaos in my head. With that said I give you this: to those of you I haven't written to, I will write you all back by the end of this weekend.
I'm starting with:
Ms. Private Blogger
First of all, you are very welcome for creating this space. I've always felt I had a message to share with the world but I didn't know how to get it out.
[sidebar] My 5 (on Friday) year old child just asked me about "supper" like a retired southern grandma.
I've always written to myself as well, but I found the problem with that was there was no one to correct me when I was wrong, or help me to see a situation from a different perspective. I will always encourage journaling, blogging, or any way to get your thoughts out if you need to, but we all need an outside voice to help us find our own paths.
"I made a promise to love myself and spread love every chance I get."
Those words hit me hard because that's all I'm trying to do. I'm working to accept myself for my flaws and my mistakes. I'm working to not be so hard on myself. I'm working to just be a better version of myself every day. I've struggled in the recent past with being vulnerable. Now I'm staying open for opportunities to give love without effort and it's a pretty amazing experience to truly want to brighten someone else's day with no regard for how they may or may not reciprocate that feeling.
I met a man in the grocery store yesterday who didn't know me from a can of paint but reached out and asked for my help. He said his wife told him to get his son pull-ups that were big enough for 60lbs or more. I could see on his face that he felt like he was missing something and he knew he couldn't go home with the pack he had in his hand. I moved a few different types around and helped him find exactly what he was looking for. It made me feel so good that something so small was such a big example of how the world is not nearly all bad. He was vulnerable enough to ask a strange lady for help, and I was open enough to help him.
Your email was another example of the good in this world. You were open enough to express your thoughts and feelings to me with only faith in humanity to rely on that I would not share your name. Well, my friend, we are a rare breed. We've both come through things that would have broken others. We both have times when we feel we can't handle our emotions. I assure you, though, that you CAN handle it. I have never seen your face, yet I know you are strong. And you are most definitely not alone.
I truly appreciate your kind words and your encouragement. I will do my best to fill this space with nothing but love and positivity.
Please continue to email me with your thoughts. I am more than glad to help you share your story so that others know they are not alone and they can get through anything life throws at them.
To all my peeps, I hope Ms. Private Blogger and I have given you some food for thought. I hope you all will continue to reach out. Next in line is Mr. Not Single But Lonely.
~until next time
Well hello, loves. As you can see, I've survived both Bertha and Steve. They were pretty persistent for a minute, but they were nothing against my ninja-like immune system. We were victorious! I have some work to do for a few hours today, then I'll be back to give you some love!
~until next time
Working a full time job, raising two daughters, attempting to have a social life, trying to make my family proud, and trying to make myself proud are things I do every day. I'm now beginning my journey of giving. This is step one.