EXTRA! SO VERY EXTRA!

The Art of Moving On

In Encouragement, R[evol]ution on January 7, 2013 at 12:56 am

A blogger’s existential moment of crisis. Why bother writing? No one reads it. What I say doesn’t matter.

But, it does matter. It matters to me. It matters to who I was before I started this blog. It matters now. It matters because I am being honest about myself–in a forum with every possibility of being extremely public.

One evening over cocktails, one of the most incredible women I’ve ever met (who also happens to be a dear friend) told me: There is something to be said for moving on gracefully. That started the wheels in my head. I’ve been through break-ups, disappointments, tragedies, and dramas. I’ve survived and I’m still alive, so in a purely chronological sense I have moved on. But, had I moved on with the determination, simplicity, and thought that grace demands? Indeed not. I was still carrying baggage; still nursing wounds; still picking emotional scabs; still subjecting myself to guilt and regret; still going through that endless cycle of silent question asking. I had moved on with gumption, with panache, with pizzazz, with flourish, but not with grace. What I called moving on was really limping through a process of constantly trying to “keep it together.”

Not good enough. Keeping it together doesn’t really sound like it fits in with a life of kindness, joy, peace, love, and patience. Keeping it together sounds like something that grandmothers would advise me to do in a really tough situation. It means that I don’t have time to shut down; I don’t have time to analyze; I don’t have time to purge; I don’t have time to do anything but continue with my routine of life. I was angry because everyone else seemed to be moving on and sliding through life in a way that I could not.

So, I did everything opposite of what I thought “keeping it together” meant.

Some days I shut down. I stayed in bed longer than I should. I wore my comfy pajamas. I didn’t talk about how I was feeling.

But, then came the time to put a name to the pain–and pain was being left behind, being left out, being written off, having to leave others behind, the hurt that comes from separation and distance. I realize that what I was doing in those years that I was “keeping it together,” was internalizing those feelings and incorporating that pain into my identity. For a moment, I referred to myself as a black widow spider–because that’s how I thought of myself.

I named each hurt; put it in a specimen bottle; examined it; and, then I began to see the patterns, the lessons, the reasons behind each. I saw that I was not the only contributing factor to each situation. And, if each hurt represented something that I had learned and something that caused me to mature into the (super awesome) person I am, I could not in good faith hold onto regret or anger.

That’s stage 1. It’s an art, after all.

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