It's no surprise to anyone who really knows me that I'm a serious planner and organizer. My calendar is what I live by. Yep, I'm one of "those" people. I'm also usually always the one in my group of friends, and even family sometimes, who organizes outings and get-togethers. I enjoy this aspect of my personality especially because I've learned how to become more spontaneous in life while maintaining the label of 'planner', too. I think it's kinda neat to have both personality traits.
Anyway, part of this trait is that I remember dates very well. I'll remember the exact day something happened from years ago and I dunno whether that's weird or great. Well, today happens to be exactly one year since Tom and I broke up. I haven't written about Tom in a very long time because it has been part of my healing process to completely separate my life totally from him. The people who know me the most and who have kept up with me along the way know what a battle my heart has been through. It's been a long road for me and one that has been laced with a complete mixture of joy and pain. I wrote a lot in the beginning about my decisions to seek counseling and to break down my life so that I could begin to rebuild it. At times, I didn't really know that I'd have the strength to keep going. I really felt that beaten down.
Over this past year, so many things in my life have changed that it's almost as though I'm not even me anymore. What I mean is really that the person I used to be is so far gone from who I am now. As time went by, I actually struggled with changing. Not just the part with it being hard (and believe me, it has been grueling), but I realized that part of changing means giving up parts of yourself that you've grown to realize are your crutch. Things like going out and drinking all the time or doing drugs or filling your life with every other thing that makes you not have to take a good, hard look at yourself. Things that prevent you from being alone with your own demons and issues and fears. Things that, from the outside, seem clear that you "should" give up in order to be healthy yet things that have become your only friend and your twisted comfort. I only ever knew how to live this way because it's what I did from the time I was 18 years old on. Patterns and addictions of my severity aren't broken without deep, painful, consistent work.
I'm not writing today to go into detail about all the pain I've been through. I do find it very important to maintain a serious awareness of it, but I never want the past, even the good hard work I've done in starting a 'new' life, to be present in my future. There's just no reason for that. Instead, I write today because I reflect on one year ago and what that evening of talking with Tom represented for me. I reflect on the complete unknown that I'd be facing as our relationship ended. I know plenty of people break up and move on and yes, that has even happened for me. However, at that point a year ago, my whole self and identity was in my relationship with Tom and I had no clue how to imagine life without him. I had no idea who I was without him. Little did I know that our choice to end our relationship would be the key to unlocking the door to serious renewal. I could never even imagine what beauty would lie ahead buried under the layers of pain that would slowly get peeled back. I am astounded by the promises that are delivered when you're able to choose faith over despair.
I got home last night, opened a beer, and stared at the spot Tom and I sat in while we talked a year ago. Though I've known this stuff for a while, I reflected on and realized that it's ok to let go and that it's alright to move on. I realized that closing the door on hope for the two of us to get back together is ok and that I'm not doing something wrong. I realized that letting Tom go is what has let god in to restore who I am as a woman, friend, sister, daughter - it is what has allowed me to even be willing to change. These are very emotional and private feelings I share here today but that's just it, friends. That's the change, you know? The ability I have to allow myself to be open and free is the whole reason I can even write this entry here today.
Will I ever not wish that Tom made the choice to re-introduce himself to me now? No. There will always be a part of me that wishes he'd have a desire to get to know me now. I'll never understand why he operated the way he did with me, but I can't do anything about that and I can't control anything in this life other than my choice to move on. I know that there's a big world out there and that I'm a rare woman in it. The simplicity of knowing what I am worth, what I have to offer, and who I have become is what keeps me grounded and at peace. It is now enough for me to look at myself in the mirror, finally know who I really am, and believe the truth that it actually is someone else's loss to be without me. Above all, I'll forever be deeply thankful for Tom's helping hand in pushing me forward. What a blessing he has been to me, both in my past and now for my future.
So, I celebrate this one year "anniversary" with a sense of pride that outweighs the bit of pain that still lingers. How apt these words are that I leave you with from my devotion this morning:
Show us thy way, oh Lord, and let us walk in thy path.
You are doing so. This is the way. The way of uncertain future and faltering steps. It is MY way. Put all fear of the future aside. Know that you will be led. Know that you will be shown. I have promised.