Have you ever come to place in your life where you really weren’t sure of which way to turn? In that confusion, you end up closing more doors, as the time for taking one opportunity eventually expires. Opportunities have expiration dates. Unfortunately, it takes missing your deadlines to realize they were there in the first place. It reminds me of the time when I curated my first large exhibition, it went so well that an art collector asked me for a price on one of my pieces. Instead of giving him a number, I took my time thinking about it, asking my mentors for advice, and by the time I got back to him, he was no longer interested. I needed to be more decisive and direct. I needed to see the hidden expiry date of the offer.
Which brings me to how I missed one window in light of another. Regrettably, I threw my virtues out the window that I was planning to take, and I was insensitive to how my actions would effect other people.
How do I explain? When I had been living in my van getting ready to leave everything in the dust, I would constantly run into the man I had left. Each time it brought up a whirlwind of emotions, I was reminded of how much I still cared and loved him. There was an anger I had harboured, frustrated that my expectations had been let down and now he was being the man I needed him to be, but it wasn’t for me. Why did it have to come to all this for us to finally start living the life we had been putting on hold? Were we really not meant to be together? Had we been holding each other back this entire time, or had we been holding ourselves back by not taking responsibility for own happiness? I realize now that we both stopped putting energy into one another. It was much easier to point fingers than it was to own up to our own shortcomings. We both felt unsupported by the other, and our expectations were let down. I was mad that I lost my patience and broke up the relationship out of a built up frustration. Instead of dealing with any issues, I planned to runaway from all of them.
I foolishly distracted my mind and heart, talking to other guys that I knew would never get that close to me, because of an emotional unavailability, which seemed like an easy route to moving on. It wasn’t all bad, I found traits in those people that I admired and wanted to own myself. When everything kept falling apart, I just kept going. I let myself make mistakes, and Im glad that I did. I learned more about myself, what I need to improve within myself, and what I really want in life. I learned that I simply hadn’t been doing what I wanted to do, and I had no one to blame but myself. I learned that no one could make the changes for me, no one could live for me. A part of myself was re-awakened, my hunger to live the life I want, to dream big, and push myself were all reinvigorated.
The day before I decided I had to do something, I saw him again in passing and couldn’t help but smile, because seeing him felt like I was home again. It warmed up my heart and it was like a light switched back on. I wanted to go home now. I wanted the love in my life back. I wasn’t sure if it was right, but I knew it wasn’t over.
So the day after I saw him and couldn’t stop smiling, I woke up crying, everything felt wrong. It was like all the pieces were in the wrong spot, and I didn’t have long to pick them back up before they settled into place. I knew though that my window was still there, there was hardly space now, but there was just enough of a gap for me to get through. So, that was the window I truly couldn’t miss.
Is it possible for a couple to flourish after a bad break up? That is what I am trying to figure out now. So far, it has not been easy. Every little thing is a possible trigger, but it’s also a chance to reprogram our reactions and an opportunity to communicate clearly and more efficiently than before. It’s a chance to redefine what a healthy relationship is for the two people involved.
What is a healthy relationship? For myself, it isn’t how you work well together, it’s how you don’t and what you do to make it better each time. I don’t expect it to be perfect, and I would assume something wasn’t right if it were. What are my expectations? I expect for a relationship to work, you have to meet each other in the middle. That means there is no playing field, there is no higher ground, your both on the same level and share all of the same responsibilities towards maintaining a healthy relationship, while keeping the individual self happy.
Starting with defining what the basics are. Clear communication, speaking up before the thought is able to fester. Respect, understanding that the other persons wishes and feelings have value, and so do yours. Compromising, something I really need to get better at. We will run into times where one person wants to go about it one way and the other a different, but there has to be a common ground we can find that solves conflicts in a fair and rational way. Being supportive, constant reassurance and encouragement from one another is essential as well. Building each other up, instead of tearing each other down. We should make each other feel like we could do anything, within reason. Healthy boundaries, just because you are in a relationship together, doesn’t mean you have to share absolutely everything, there should be a respectful amount of space. A certain amount of negative space can make a well balanced image, song, or any composition, so this is also true within a relationship.
These are the things that I know I can strive towards myself, and for whomever I decide to be with needs to agree to. I think there is also an important responsibility to have fun, to take things light heartedly and forgive each other, to let go of the mistakes we make along the way, and keep moving forward. Is it possible? We’ll we will find out.
Whatever happens, it’s between us, and although I am choosing to be open, I am doing my best to not let other’s opinions, on which path to take, taint my own. It hasn’t been easy going through this in a small town. It has made me feel extremely uncomfortable to go to town. It’s made me refrain from going to certain places, because I know people have formed their own opinion of me that isn’t a good one. Eventually, this small town gossip will unfortunately turn its face to someone else’s personal life and the next person will have to face the subtle scrutiny of what feels like an entire island knowing about your personal life.
What I have learned from going through this, in such a small community, is that you HAVE TO own up to every action, because sooner than you expect there will be a chain of reactions. Although it’s hard to not care what people think, or how they give you “weird vibes”, it really is up to you how you handle your self. I will admit I handled myself with little grace, I was insensitive to how my actions would effect anyone but myself. I needed myself more than ever and in order to get closer to myself I regrettably pushed away the people that supported me the most. I am sorry to the people who’s feelings were hurt by my actions, but I can’t say I’m sorry for the many mistakes I’ve made in the past two months, because I have had to learn to by them. And now its time for me to embrace the fact that it isn’t any of my business what others think about me.
This is the adventure I hadn’t planned to be taking this winter. It’s the unknown I hadn’t planned to explore, how could I have planned for this to happen? I didn’t, but I am grateful to fall again and once again be the virtuous fool.