Monday, December 30, 2013

Letting Go

I cannot change the fact that he lied to me. He lied about loving me, or else he wouldn't have left me the way he did. And I cannot change the fact that I believed him, or that I loved him. But I can change how I feel about it now. 

I can choose not to feel foolish anymore. Instead, I can be proud of the fact that I loved honestly and openly. That was genuine, and even a little – dare I say it? – brave, and so I shouldn’t feel foolish for it. Instead, I should remind myself that those are the hallmarks of how I want to live my life, because they are better than hiding my heart away.

I can choose not to see myself as broken. I wasn’t the one who lied or misled. I wasn’t the one who refused to open up or be honest about where I was at emotionally. Those were truly hurtful mistakes, and I should remember that I do not want to be with someone who makes them repeatedly and to my detriment.

I can choose not to keep taking this out on myself.  I do not have to sleep 13 hours a day, mostly during the daylight hours. I do not have to eat entire batches of chai spice sugar cookies in one day (they really are the best cookies on the planet, like a more interesting snickerdoodle, and if you haven’t tried them you should go make them right now). And I do not have to keep wallowing in how hurt I am, because none of that will change what happened. I should focus on doing the things I enjoy, with people I love and who love me back, and reminding myself that life goes on, whether I want it to or not, so I might as well enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Let This Make You Better

In times of crisis, when I feel grief or fear change or experience loss, I tell myself, "Let this make you better. Take the rug being pulled out from under you as an opportunity to land on your feet, strong and purposeful and assured in the knowledge that life will go on, because that is what it does."

And then I eat a cupcake.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Leap of Faith

Today is my last day at my job. I'm starting a freelance career, and with it a new phase of my life. Striking out on my own is scary. I'm used to the security of a regular paycheck, employer-provided health insurance, and an easy job I know I can accomplish with minimal effort. In many ways it was incredibly comfortable, but it also made me miserable. I wasn't challenged. Worse, I didn't feel valued or like I had a purpose, which made me even more miserable.

I have a bad habit of staying in comfortable but unhealthy situations . There's something about the familiar that seems so safe, almost homey. When it's healthy, it feels like a cocoon: warm and perfectly suited to me. But when it's unhealthy, it quickly becomes more like a straightjacket. I feel static and stuck, too constrained to be happy but too comfortable to make a change.

After years of unhappiness in my job, I finally took a leap of faith earlier this year. After arguing myself in circles, I scrounged up the courage to tell my boss I'd be leaving at the start of 2014. I started pursuing freelance work, and slowly, things fell into place. Small jobs came my way through word of mouth, and then two bigger ones, including the first one I ever bid competitively. I built a website, I met with clients, and I realized that I felt revitalized - excited, even. I suddenly had more work than I could do while keeping my day job. So two months ago I told my boss that I'd be leaving earlier than planned, and now here I am: doing work that I actually enjoy, for clients who value my contributions (or seem to, anyway). And while I'm still terrified about the loss of security, I already feel happier.

I learned an important lesson about pursuing what I want: I can step away from the safety net, take a leap of faith, and find myself better off than I imagined before.