I’ve decided to start this post out with a riddle. “If you break me, I’ll stop working; if you can touch me, my work is done; if you lose me; you must find me with a ring soon after….What am I? Answer….The human heart.” And that answer is exactly what part of me the last five years has really impacted the most, hypothetically and literally: my little feminine heart. Of course, my ego has been damaged, my soul has some cracks…my faith in people eliminated. However, I am also a tough, open minded, intelligent, resilient woman with two children. Therefore, even a five year emotional beat down can’t break me. So, in this sixth year, I find myself thinking back on all of the lessons I have learned, so that I can be sure I never make the same mistakes again.
Most of the drama over the past five years has revolved around two things: romantic relationships and financial stress. Since my very first long term relationship that started when I was 14, I never really put much thought into what standards I should have for the person I would devote my time to. As I grew up, that didn’t change much. And, I had children.
I learned that I should never be afraid to ask for help, but that I should ask for help in doses. I should not take advantage of anyone’s kindness as I unfortunately had in the past. I learned that I should take offers to change as an opportunity and grasp them as if they were my last hope. Sometimes, they may just me exactly that.
I learned that in relationships, money is not the most important thing and should never be what the argument is always about. I learned that without communication, trust, respect and equality you have nothing. I learned that there doesn’t have to be a reason for violence…sometimes a woman just has to breathe to piss a man off; or likewise in other situations where the woman is the evil one. I learned that two people can have an amazing connection sober, and an incredibly existential connection high; however, if violence follows on the comedown….the love is tainted and will never succeed. I learned that to get away, you have to hurt the other as they hurt you, at least when you’re forced into corners like that.
I learned the importance of slowing down and reevaluating my goals; knowing that succeeding with one goal does not mean I have accomplished it all. I must find a way to maintain my motivation; but first, take a breath and think.
I realized that I am going to be a lonely person in life. I am very different from others, I have a very different view of life, and the things I like are very different as well. I get along with others fine, but seem unable to keep close friends. I get very attached to people very fast, and they leave even faster than I become attached to them. I must smell.
Most of all, I learned never to ignore my gut instinct every again; not for any reason. No matter what anyone says to me, or what I’m told, or what I read, or what I hear. If my gut says yes, it says yes. If it says no, it says no. If it says run…I will run. If I had listened to myself five years ago, things would have been a lot different, and I would probably be in a different place today.
Then again, I’m a stronger person because of where I’ve been. And the people that I’ve met along the way have given me things I didn’t have, and I have grown from all of the lessons learned. I have loved harder than I have ever loved before; and I have suffered more than I have ever suffered before as well.
One day I hope to get it all right, so that I can make sure my kids can make mistakes that aren’t quite so painful.