From The Daily Post:
Life is a series of beginnings and endings. We leave one job to start another; we quit cities, countries, or continents for a fresh start; we leave lovers and begin new relationships. What was the last thing you contemplated leaving? What were the pros and cons? Have you made up your mind? What will you choose?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us CROSSROADS.
Isn’t it interesting how certain prompts come at just the right time? This feels like one of those times. Then again, I have the feeling that no matter what point of life I was at, this prompt would be appropriate. People are always going through transitions, making decisions that create changes that are both big and small.
Right before I sat down to write this post, I replied to an email from a friend I hadn’t heard from in about three years. We (actually I) reestablished contact about a month ago, and our subsequent back and forths, though slow to come, have been consistent.
I’m not gonna lie. Those three years of no contact were rough. This was a person whom I’ve considered one of my very best friends for over ten years. To have a contact and confidant like that taken away can be quite the shock to system, and I was no exception.
That brings me to today’s prompt.
I’ve contemplated leaving the relationship, the attachment I had to this friend, leaving behind the memories of the past since they were too painful to recall.
One of the biggest strengths I think I possess, at least when it comes to my relationships, is that I’m fiercely loyal. Sometimes, though, I’m loyal to a fault. I stay loyal even when I’ve been hurt, long after the other person in the relationship remains loyal to me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve moved so much in my life so I fight hard to have any semblance of a constant in my life, including relationships. Maybe it was something I was taught–after all, my family comes with me everywhere and I remain loyal to them, even though we inevitably get on each other’s nerves. Maybe loyalty is just in my nature–I give what I expect in return.
Unfortunately, I don’t always get that loyalty in return, and I feel as if that was the case in this friendship. Somehow, somewhere along the line, distance took its toll and contact was broken. Keep in mind, the friendship was long distance for years already, and that didn’t seem to cause problems in the past. I don’t think it was really a transgression on anybody’s part; I just think laziness set in and there simply wasn’t enough care to keep in contact. I’m guilty of the same when it comes to other friendships, I must admit, but I’ve been trying to make up for it.
Pros and Cons: Ah, the ever-popular pro and con list. I’ve been known to write pro-con lists many pages long, especially when it came to big decisions. Weirdly enough, though, I didn’t write one for this particular big decision. I think putting the words onto paper would make it real that I really thought hard about ending a relationship that had meant so much to me. I just don’t think I was ready to face that quite yet. But here I am, and here I go:
The freedom of letting go and not allowing the situation hurt me any longer.
Letting the other person move on with their life (which I don’t think I need to try so hard to do, as it seems as if they’ve moved on long ago).
- Learning that I’m strong enough to let go.
- Pain. Lots.
- The lingering knowledge of how I could’ve tried harder to save it, and feeling like maybe I failed.
- Not having that friend in my life anymore (again, not that this person is much a part of my life anymore anyway).
Have you made up your mind? You know, every time I think I’ve made up the decision to leave, memories of how good the friendship was come and attack my mind, and my loyalty gives in and I can’t quite let go. Horrible, isn’t it?
What will you choose? I’ve chosen to work on reworking the relationship in a way that I’m not left disappointed. This was largely inspired by the advice my hubby gave me when I told him how frustrated and hurt I was by the situation. I’m learning to let go of any expectations, seeing any contact at all as a pleasant surprise. And you know what? It’s been working. The sting of it all is slowly going away, and I’m keeping my propensity to care too much in check. This makes for some highly impersonal emails from me, and that’s just going to have to be okay for the time being, and possibly even forever. And if contact is lost again? I will be thankful for the gift, and (try to) graciously let it go in love.
I have so many other things I’m considering letting go, and maybe I’ll discuss them at a later time. This was just the first thing that came to mind. 🙂
To Learning How to Let Go Gracefully,