Tuesday, December 14, 2010

forgive yourself more


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I just watched the movie Eat Pray Love. I had started reading the book a few months back, but I only made it a few chapters in. Life always find its way of interrupting a good book. But there was one quote from the first few chapters that I wrote down. It epitomized everything I had felt about my last relationship, all the guilt that filled me on a daily basis:

"Let it be sufficient to say that, on this night, he was still my lighthouse and albatross in equal measure. The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn't want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland."

When I broke off the most important, meaningful relationship I'd ever been in I had no idea what to do. I knew it was coming. I could feel myself drawing back. And it was nothing he did. He had remained the same person. But in the years we'd been together I'd changed. I'd grown. And somehow I needed to get out and find myself.

The week before we broke up I went to Costa Rica to study abroad. I spent nearly three weeks disconnected from everything. In the middle of the rainforest you have nothing to do but examine your life. I was supposed to be opening myself up to new adventures, but I was falling apart at the seems.

Back in high school I would pray every single night that if God would just let this guy return his feelings for me that I would never hurt him. I would never break his heart. This isn't even a slight exaggeration. I spent countless nights bargaining with some higher power to please let me have a shot at this relationship. But here I was, having transferred back to Towson, living two houses up from him, wondering what had happened. I wanted to love him. I wanted with every ounce of my body to be happy with the relationship. But something in my had withdrawn itself and I knew no other way to deal.

I told him my feelings the night before I left for the Bahamas. I was petrified. I thought if I could just get away from the situation it would be fine. But when I cut things off I was so scared. I was unable to function. I don't think I stopped crying for 24 hours.

I will never forget my mom at my house, trying to comfort me and pull me together, telling me that I at least had to cut my grass before I left the country for a month. And so balling my eyes out I pushed (or more collapsed on) the push-lawnmower across the front yard. Looking back now it was probably a hilarious sight.

I went about my break-up in quite possible the worst way a human being can do so. Like a coward, I fled the country. I went to Hopetown where I drank myself under a table. I made horrible, poor choices. I tried to run. write. drink. anything it all way.

I spent a month there making an even bigger mess of my life there. I returned home devastated and realizing that I was even worse alone than I was in my relationship. I couldn't function in the relationship and I couldn't be by myself.

We went back and forth for years. I'd move on. Then find myself comparing someone to him. And nobody was him. They talked too much. They expected too much out of me emotionally. They didn't smell the way he did. Their bed wasn't as comfy. Everything they did was wrong. Of course in reality, one or two of these guys was doing everything that would normally be right in a relationship. But in my chaos the last thing I was capable of was building a relationship.

So for years it went like this: Meet a new guy. Spend 2 months dating them. Realize I don't care about them the way I should. Go back to my old relationship. Find myself dissatisfied with the fact that my feelings were still all over. It was awful. I couldn't get it right. I'd separate myself from the relationship and go back in hopes things would work. I was everywhere. All over the map.

It almost became a form of self-hate. I cannot express in words the guilt that ate away at me. For two years I could still cry about it. I would hear one of his songs or see him interact in public and felt this ache. I could not find a way to make it right and I could not find a way to connect with anyone else. I was in limbo.

It took a long time for me to realize that the solution was not going to be found in him or another person. I had simply changed. Something in me had transformed and this perpetual cycle I was in was only making it worse. I'd lowered my standards of dating just because I couldn't be alone. I came across some real, sorry if you still read this, assholes.

Five years it took me. Five. To even begin to come full circle. We met in the summer of 2005. I fell head over heels. And in the summer of 2010 I finally looked at myself, how much we had gone through. I still was not where I wanted to be.

It took me five years to realize I was searching for something in everyone but myself. So this summer I made a silent promise to myself that I would take a hiatus from dating. I needed to reconnect with myself. So like I do, I spent my July in the Bahamas again. I finally repaired the damage I caused post-break up five years later. I drank. But I engaged myself in life: I kayaked. I ran daily. I would meditate on the back porch. I sailed daily. I let people into my home. I attended a wedding. I took too many pictures. I met new people. I swam.

I returned home. And like anybody, I fell back on my silent promise a few times here or there. But for the most part I made it a point to focus everything from that summer on about bettering myself and my future. I refused to carry any of this pain on beyond five years. Half a decade is too long to be upset about a relationship.

I finally found a way to forgive myself. And I found that to be a huge theme in Eat Pray Love. Forgiving yourself. Because we both went through hell and back. And I think sometimes we need to just let go and cut ourselves some slack. I didn't know my life was going to change so drastically from 17 to 22. But it does. That is life. And I am so thankful that I got that shot at the relationship. Maybe it didn't end the way it was supposed to. But some day I am going to look back on this process and realize that it was preparing me for something greater. It was a stepping stone to loving myself, by myself. It sent me on a journey. And it may have taken an unnecessarily long amount of time, but I am happy. And like I quoted Ashly, "Happiness is a hard fucking road".

Forgive yourself more.

xo
Sam

24 comments:

  1. love! great writing & thanks for sharing! you deserve your happiness.

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  2. i feel you sweetie, i'm going through something just like that, but i'm glad you found your way (: here's an advance or backdated hug to you for all that has or will happen. The movie's pretty awesome as well !

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  3. Parts of this really hit home, bargaining with higher powers and comparing everyone with that special someone...
    I am richer in years but have yet to find myself where you are.

    Thanks you Sam for this post.

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  4. This is exactly what I needed to read tonight.

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  5. I LOVE THE LINE ''HAPPINESS IS A HARD FUCKING ROAD''. I think u have to forgive ur self and don't be guilty, because u already cursed ur self a lot and the ONLY PERSON U R HURTING IS YOU ........now stop being sad and move on, there is a long way to go...

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  6. that was unbelievably raw. i love it! thanks for sharing. for a while there i thought i was actually re-reading eat. pray. love. (which i am so a fan of by the way) hope you are doing well now. you deserve all the love you can get and give.

    xoxo

    notsomundanelife.blogspot.com

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  7. I wish I could sort out all my thoughts and emotions and just put it down into writing the way u just did.. it's just so brutally honest and beautiful. Finding happiness is really a tough and painful process, but it's worth it. thanks for this post.

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  8. this was so great!! im seeing a guy back and forth now.. havent met him for 2 months, but we will see each other soon. Im so confused. I like him so much. But we cant have a relationship, and that sux. Anyway, im gonna see that movie asap thanks to you :) <3 Love, J

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  9. i could have written this. just gotten out of the hardest relationship of my life and i have no idea what im going to do next... happiness is definitely a hard fucking road

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  10. i could have written this. just gotten out of the hardest relationship of my life and i have no idea what im going to do next... happiness is definitely a hard fucking road

    Lace Maxi Skirt Giveaway:

    http://sartorialme.blogspot.com/2010/12/freebie-friday-forever-21-lace-maxi.html

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hi there...great post and great blog!

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  12. I travelled the same cyclical road for more than 5 years. Even to the point of returning to the same places to 'redo' things, trying to make them right, but it comes to a neverending roundabout. So best is to move on and start afresh. The part about forgiving oneself is also to leave the past be and forge ahead. And don't forget to have fun.





    Http://diaryofaccidentalhousegf.blogspot.com

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  13. damn girl. i think you and i need to get drinks. reading this felt like it came right from my own head. i wish you the best of luck on your road to happiness

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  14. I want to thank you, thank you for putting your words out there. It makes me feel like I am not alone on this mess I have made around me, I have tried what you did, take a pause from everything. And each time it is the last, every time. I definitely on overtime, but this time I will give it my best shot, with you as inspiration!

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  15. I can't help but be overwhelmed with the belief that today i was meant to come across this blogspot for the very first time and be hit by your story. You may have just saved my heart from more ongoing heart ache and self doubt. I have also been doing this for the past 5 years and had the biggest break down 2 days ago. I truly thought i was reading my own life story then. But it stops today, I too will be in charge of my own destiny. Thank you with all my heart xox

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  16. Someone once said that happiness isn't the destination, but a way of travelling - that helps me a lot...

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  17. Someone once told me that to find the right person, you have to make yourself the right person - like attracts like.

    When you are ready in yourself to find the right person (or even just a good person), then you will. I didn't recognise him until I was in the right place in myself, even though he was right in front of me.

    Good luck!

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  18. This was so incredibly real, honest and refreshing. It's comforting when we find someone who can articulate exactly how we're feeling better than we can ourselves.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  19. I don't know how long it will take for me, but at 36 the prospects of a brighter future don't seem to shining as at 22... and I am ready even for the 5 years circle.

    He did too much bad to me. They did that to me, and what I feel now is that there is no life without hope, there is no hope without life...It is my first focal point, but some days, the days are simply miserable and hopeless.

    Eva

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  20. Never read Blogs before but this being the 2nd one of the night expressed everything...i was in a realtionship for about 3years...going back and forth...its a sick cycle and just when you think you have moved past it...BAM!it comes right back like a short straight to your heart...that is where i find myself...pleading to God that he gives me an answer...I await for my day of freedom...thank you so much for sharing you story...there is hope!!

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  21. Wonderful writing. Self forgiveness is a huge thing to accomplish!

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  22. That entry will be sure to stick with me for a while... I just broke up with my boyfriend my first love again today. Two years we dated and yet it needs to end. Everyone around me can see how stupid I'm being or naive but when youre in it, it's a hard situation. We were in limbo for a while playing games really cuz I know I don't want to get back with him but he does and idk it feels good to kno that someone else has gone through it too and learned to love themselves again :) thank you for that post and I wish you the best in love

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  23. For my part every person may read this.

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  24. I loved this post. When I read it, I found that I could relate to it amazingly well. I have been through a similar relationship, too. Though the break-up and post-breakup wasnt as difficult or painful as the one mentioned here, I did go through my own bit of hell. I experienced the same lack of love and wanted to get out and find myself, just like the author. I know he loved me a lot, but now, almost 4 years down the lane, I believe the break up was definitely for good. :) I will be posting your link in my blog, because I loved your post a lot and want to share it with others. :) Great work!

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