“If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you–or so I’ve come to believe.”
– Elizabeth Gilbert
When I’ve mentioned 28 was my favorite year to date in several posts, I meant it. When my high school English teacher sat in front of the class and told us, “Ladies don’t reach maturity until their mid/late twenties and men, often times, their early thirties” I distinctly remember the know-it-all disdain my 17-year-old self had towards her comment.
I can confidently proclaim that 2017 has, thus far, been one of my most favorite years of life, to date. I’ve had years of anxiously awaiting the next season in life, years of many tears, years full of mistakes and learning curves, years of deliberate focus, just to name a few. This year though has been simply magical. Not for any particular life reason or situation, other than I truly feel that at 28 years old, I’m learning to own and love this skin, brain, and heart I have. The things that make me, ME, and simply embracing all that is here–the traits that make up who I am, the people who add value to my life, and the experiences I’m ever-so-lucky to soak in with all 5 of these humanly senses. I’m learning to be ok with not knowing what the future may bring or being afraid of change.
I know I’m an extra emotion-driven soul. For those of you that think it’s super sappy, apologies! Feel free to stop reading here. I’ve been meditating, focusing on personal growth in a way that I never before have in my life–a way that turns the mirror around on myself and takes responsibility for the good, bad, and ugly experiences that have found their way to me over the years.
At 28 years old and through much self-reflection, I’ve also come to make the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to consciously make: a decision to graciously appreciate the season, experiences, and beautiful growth my relationship with Preston has brought, but to honor ourselves and our capacity to grow as individuals by going our separate ways romantically.
These words come with a heavy heart and announcing this on social media is a decision I’ve reflected on how to do appropriately for quite some time. Social media is a tricky little thing, and how much of my personal life I share is always done with intention. Nonetheless, as writing, documenting, and sharing the moving stories of my clients is such an inherent part of what makes me passionate about this life, I felt that it would be a bit hypocritical to not expose some of the pieces of my own heart that have molded me and will undoubtedly continue to mold my future.
Break-ups are never easy, and in fact, I think cutting ties with anyone who has ever impacted my heart is an extremely difficult feat for me. An excerpt from one of my favorite books strings together how I feel that I love, perfectly. In If You Find This Letter, Hannah says:
“That’s always been my downfall, the thing my mother always calls me out on. I romanticize things…I feel things too deeply. I hold on much longer than I should. All of life has always been one big book of poems to me. I think every person is a living poem–from their hopeful heart to their ugly habits. Life is just too busy to ever stop and dwell on one thing for too long.”
Letting go of people and the role you are used to them playing in your life is N-E-V-E-R easy, but we all know more than we’d like to admit that the most difficult times are the ones that shake up our insides and mold them into the new form they must take for us to evolve. And well, evolution is ever-necessary for us to reach our full capacity in this one life experience we are given, my friends.
While this decision has, for obvious reasons, not been an easy one for me or Preston, it is one we are consciously trying to navigate through with love and respect for one another. As we have spent nearly a decade and our entire adult lives together, neither of us have the desire to part ways and never speak again. In fact, I feel that that behavior, at least for us, would be extremely silly and counterproductive to us evolving into better humans. We are closing the intimate, romantic chapter of life together, and moving towards our own paths of growth and self-awareness, honoring ourselves as individuals and what that means, fully.
Quote from Conscious Uncoupling by Katherine Woodward Thomas
This ending to our romantic relationship came at a time when both of us were more whole and healthy than not, as opposed to coming from a place of brokenness or hurt. I share this because, for me, that is particularly important. Important for the both of us moving forward into future, healthy relationships and without overhanging baggage, resentment, or hatred. While this process will undoubtedly bring about various levels of grief, sadness, and occasional negative passion, it would defeat the whole purpose of us growing as individuals if we left this season of life with one another angry, resentful, and broken. I truly wish the best for Preston in life, love, and well-being, as I know he does for me.
As Craig Hamilton puts it, “If we are willing to walk fearlessly and tenderly into the crucible of a painful ending, we will find gifts waiting for us there that we could never have seen had we continued clinging to the safety of the familiar.”
If you are going through your own life struggles and growth, whether it be from the impending end to a relationship or some other time of change, I encourage you to look within yourself and embrace the insight and beauty life is bringing into your life by shaking up and resituating some difficult emotions. If there’s one thing I know for a fact in life, it’s that we can find beauty in ANY situation we endure, it only requires us to look past the pain to find it.
PS. If this post resonated with your own heart and struggles and you’d like me to share with you some of the reading material, podcasts, and resources that have helped me navigate through difficult emotions, I’d be more than happy to share them with you. Send me a message or comment and I’d be happy to point you into the direction of those.