There are moments in life when you just know for sure you are growing. I’m not referring to the fearful realisation of growth that comes with turning 25 or a desire to be gifted a few more inches for better body composition – I’m sure for me that ship has most definitely sailed. The growth I’m referring to is not physical in any way. No candles blown to the sound of an overly enthusiastic ‘happy birthday to you’ sang in drunken harmony. No need to pick out new ankle-length trousers on the next shopping spree. Rather it’s the kind that can’t be seen immediately nor does it beg for instant celebration and compliments.
This type of growth takes place in the mind. It’s the type that adds to who you are now and fuels the person you’re becoming too. As leaves change from green to brown and time flies at a mercilessly consistent pace, staying the same is impossible. When the heart breaks into pieces to then be mended back together. When you miss the train a few too many times and the chaos pushes you in the wrong direction even more times. It’s when you’re caught wrestling with what you want and what you have, that’s when life-changing realisations are made. In between takes of everyday life and during the crucial scenes too, lightbulb moments that echo cold hard truths often appear. Truths that can’t be ignored anymore or painted away by putting on rose coloured glasses.
I’ve been having many moments like that lately. Moments that force me to pay attention to bitter truths I’ve often brushed off. When the truth lays naked in front of you, covering your eyes to avoid getting stung by reality is quite a normal reaction. It is impossible, though, to hide from the uncomfortable forever.
Today, I thought I’d take some time to share a few bitter truths I’ve come to terms with lately. I’ll share why I think they are worth acknowledging sooner than later.
I wonder why we always try to rush through healing… I mean, there is a world of difference between a paper cut and a deep stab wound. Whilst they are both wounds caused by sharp objects, you just wouldn’t treat them the same. A band-aid may suffice for a paper cut; however, you wouldn’t place one over a fresh wound as blood gushes out. Why would you put a band-aid over a bleeding heart?
Some wounds require longer treatment before they can heal. To avoid them getting worse, you may need the attention of a doctor and the help of medication to get through the day. I’ve been learning that it’s just not enough to slap a band-aid on emotional wounds too. Doing that won’t stop the bleeding and hurt long-term. That’s neither treatment nor medication.
This may be too hard to swallow whole. As much as you put in your best effort and hard work, there is always a possibility that things won’t work out the way you want them to.
Imagination won’t take you there and neither will dreams without hard work. But what if your best effort doesn’t actually pay off?
Well, I think the key is first to admit that while there is room for success, there is also room for failure. This realisation is not to make you succumb to the fear of failure, but rather it is to help sharpen your focus. The possibility of failure can also help re-assess what you’re doing and give you an opportunity to question if it’s worth it.
“If things don’t work out in the end, will I still be content with the path I’ve chosen?”. You may ask yourself this question.
Wanting to know what, why, and how things happen is normal. Before closing a chapter, you may want to ease all curiosities, and make sure there are no corners of the book that hide clues you may need to understand the ending. Closure is a luxury item though, and sometimes it’s too expensive. At times, you buy it and it turns out it wasn’t what you really wanted, but you cannot take it back or request a refund. Other times, it’s not for sale and no matter the price you offer to pay for it, they just won’t sell.
The question marks may swim in your head for a very long time. You may find it hidden in future pages of the book. Alternatively, you may never find it. Whether it’s in the cards or not, this is something you must accept in order to move forward.
Bitter it is indeed, but it is true. Sometimes the people you love will not care for you in the same way you do. There will be people who will constantly leave you doing all the heavy lifting, forcing you to pick up all the pieces. Despite your efforts, they may continue to not meet you in the middle. They may let go of your hand even when you hold on tight. Broken oaths and shattered expectations only lead to disappointment and heartbreak.
I’ve learnt you cannot force people to stay in your life. If they no longer feel at home with you, they’ll eventually find a way out the door even if they need to use the window. You can’t tie people to you with strings, physical or emotional. Frankly, relationships like that are exhausting and draining. A complete waste of time.
Although you have to be willing to put in the work for any relationship to work, it is important to notice when they are no longer as invested in it as you are. Now, this doesn’t mean they do not care at all, but it may just be that priorities have shifted.
Essentially, you’d have to decide if you still want them in your life and to what capacity. People’s roles in your life will most definitely change, just like yours would have done in someone else’s. From friends to lovers, lovers to strangers, and strangers to soulmates – nothing really has to remain the same.
If you’re unable to keep them in your life in a different way, then you might have to learn one of life’s hardest lessons; how to let go.
Your restless romantic roamer