Am I saying too much?
Is this too real? Is it too overly sensitive? Too harsh? Too not enough?
Are these words too weak to really convey how I’ve felt? Are these words too diluted?
But after weeks of not writing because of worrying about “too” – I’ve decided it’s more important to speak than to worry if it’s too much or too little.
Florida, oh sweet sweet Florida… it’s not what I had expected.
In fact, it’s the opposite of what I had hoped for when I was jumping into this new adventure with wide eyes and an open mind.
What I wanted for those six months was clarity, freedom, and to find some sort of inner peace or sense of spirituality that spoke to me. But instead, I was beat down, challenged in ways I had never imagined, and felt lonelier than I could’ve expected… but was I expecting too much?
Those six months were tough.
The one thing I yearned for was to feel free and yet, I found myself feeling the opposite. I found myself tied down into something that unexpectedly bloomed in front of me but instead of this situation helping me in my journey to grow, it kept me bound. And not just bound, but I felt my inner spirit, my joy, my happiness withering away.
Instead of following my goals and my aspirations, I followed lust. Infatuation. I followed this idea of ‘fate’ that I twisted and turned and molded into what I wanted it to be. It wasn’t what was – it’s what I wanted so desperately to see… is that too romantic?
I fought every day for my self worth. I gave everything I had, and then some, to prove I was worthy of a love that didn’t ever exist. In a way, I knew I was going against everything I set out to do but felt as though losing a piece of myself was worth it for this man… for far too long, I was too blinded.
And in the end, I was made to feel as if I was the idiot, the one who wasn’t enough and would never be enough, the one who was selfish.
The carefree, happy, woman who was excited for adventure, went missing for a few days… weeks… months.
And – you know what – this lesson, this beach-filled extended vacation, these last six months were worth the tears, the questioning, the hurt.
Because when all was said and done, I realized yet again that the universe didn’t give me what I wanted – it gave me what I needed.
Because in these six months, I realized that nobody else has the power to define my worth, my value, my inner strength.
I found it within myself despite the words I had heard.
I dug deep inside of who I am and I pulled out the strength to walk away from something that didn’t serve me anymore. I realized that I have the ability to leave and with that, I ran. I ran even when every part of my heart wanted me to stay and see if “maybe things could work” but knowing they never would. Knowing that he would never change his view. Knowing that I could never be me when I was there… is that too survivor-y?
I learned that being alone is crucial to recognizing who you are and who you want to be when no one else is there to cheer you on or there pat you on the back. That it’s up to you to set the boundaries you need for your own heart, head, and well being and that it’s up to you stick to those boundaries. Stick to them when it’s hard. Stick to them when someone else doesn’t understand. And stick to them especially in those moments when you know you need them the most.
I learned that I’m in charge of my future and if I cry more than I smile, I can leave. I have legs to walk away. I have the strength inside of me to block a phone number. I have the ability to not respond to pleading texts to come back.
And you know what? You can too. You can stand up for what you believe in and you can walk away from the things that you don’t need in your life… is that too preachy?
And through this experience, I’ve finally discovered that I need to do what I need to do to be the best version of myself. This isn’t about you, it’s not about that cute guy who winked at me in the coffee shop, it’s not about this idea of a man that I once knew.
This year. This journey. This experience. This Florida adventure. This is about me.
I’ve started writing gratitude lists to help myself see plainly that bad days are just bad days, not bad months or years. I’ve read self-help books that taught me how to be more emotionally agile. I’ve spoken affirmations on a daily basis. I’m about to create a damn vision board for 2018… is that too hippy?
I’ve realized that I need to write when I don’t want to share – those are the moments my keyboard needs me most. Because in Florida, I was scared. I was scared to sit down and tell you how I felt and what I was going through. Because I was scared you wouldn’t understand – or perhaps I was scared you would and that you’d try to make it all better from hundreds of miles away when I just needed to cope with it myself… is that too selfish?
I’ve learned that I don’t care about societal norms – I don’t want to keep quiet about my experiences.
I want to tell you about how my gratitude list has helped fight back tears when nights are hard. How bad relationships are tough, and heart breaking, and can run you into the ground – but then I want to tell you that even when you feel stuck, you can get out. And I want to help you pull yourself out of that dark hole. That shit is hard and life is hard but darling, that’s no excuse to give up. To stop trying. To not read, learn, craft a future because it seems “silly” to write lists or craft boards.
This year, it’s about me.
It’s about sharing more than I hide. It’s about shaping my own future so no one else can barge into my life and shape what they want for me. It’s about being my own damn hero. To making my own adventures. To taking my key back. To saying “no” when I need to – even when I don’t want to. To live, love, and experience to the fullest but not for anyone else.
This year, I hope to write. To share. To be real.
I hope to write when it’s hard, when it’s easy, and when I want to and when I don’t. Writing is what makes me who I am and that… well, that’s a big part of me that I lost because I was scared. Scared of how I’d be perceived. Scared that I let you down because I took this journey of a lifetime and part of me feels as though I’ve failed. I stayed inside and I stayed in a bad situation and I stayed inside of this shell I wasn’t proud of.
And, that’s the easy thing about life, isn’t it?
It’s easy to be scared and decide, “Nah… Not now. Maybe I’ll do/say/attempt that later but not right now.” And then, we don’t. We refuse to change, to grow, to do what terrifies us to our core.
That’s what I did for days… for weeks… for months.
I hid behind my fear – fear that you’d judge me for not taking full advantage of the sand and the sun in front of me. For falling into something so serious so quickly. For giving up a huge of myself to someone else for the sake of “maybe this will be good” when all I do is tell you to never, ever give up yourself for another man, person, experience because dammit, you’re all you’ve got. And yet, there I was… doing exactly the things I warned you not to do. So, I hid. I stopped writing. I stopped blogging. I stopped sharing. I shut off a huge part of who I am and what makes me happy and you know why? I did it out of fear.
But, not this year… I refuse to be held down again.
This year is mine… is that too confident?
Just kidding. It’s not too confident 😉
This year, I hope with all that’s inside of me that you’ll refuse to be afraid – you’ll do the things that scare you. You’ll take adventures even when you don’t know what lies beyond the “yes, I’m going to do this.” You’ll be the person who lives for you, you’ll do what your soul tells you to do without second guessing. My hope is that you’ll rally for yourself. Be the person you want to be – you’ll take moments to reflect on the good and bad of 2017, make moves to ensure you’re setting yourself up for a happy year filled with love and kindness.
Please – take time for yourself. Take time to set your boundaries, to find the strength inside of you to say no, to not be afraid to be alone, to jump into an adventure that presents itself even when you’re scared. To fight for what you believe in, to be kind to those who are different than you are, and to be the best damn you that you can be… is that too much?