Embracing A New Life
One thing I despise about adulthood is that you never really know if you’re doing the “mature” thing to do. No matter how hard I try to grow up, put on my big girl panties, and make the hard decisions, I always seem to second guess myself. Am I really doing the right thing? Is there even a “right thing”?
If you compared my life from back in March to now, it’d seem like I was growing up. Then, I was depressed and isolated, back at home with my parents. I spent my days watching Netflix and avoiding anything remotely stressful, and I had no goals. Now, I’m working full-time, have been accepted into a university for the fall, undergone treatment for my depression, and am working on moving out of my parents’. Suddenly the hours of the day fly by where they once dragged, and I feel the hunger of ambition again. I’m striving to be independent, both financially and personally. I have a life—one with coworkers I can freely chat with, trusted friends both near and far, and a boyfriend who wants us to build a future together. I feel a million times better than I did in March…so why do I still think about my old life?
That part of my life sort of feels like a ghost…most traces of it gone, but leftover feelings that remain. I still wonder about my old friends, but am too afraid to really reach out to them (also, what would I say?). I think about my old university, my old job, my old place. I had a very different life there, with different goals and different dreams…a life full of fear. Mostly I am happy to see it all gone…to let go of feeling lonely, left out, and fundamentally wrong, but it’s the positive feelings that get me all mixed up. The good times I had in that old life follow me around at the heels, begging me to slip into nostalgia. I guess this wouldn’t seem so bad—that it would be a much simpler thing to let go of—if it wasn’t all connected to a person, my ex.
Last fall, Jessie and I practically spent every moment together. We were best friends, lovers, but even more than that…we were each others’ means of surviving the everyday life we dreaded. Me, unhappy and lonely at a place where everyone seemed to thrive, and him, unhappy and restless in a country where he felt disconnected. We kept each other going, and kept each other company in our respective depressions. It sounds pretty twisted, I know, but when I remember it, he was my source of happiness…my everything.
Now, Jessie and I live in separate countries. Our lives don’t intersect at all…heck, we even speak a different language on a day-to-day basis. We have other reasons to be happy, we have separate dreams, separate everything… But for some reason we just couldn’t let go.
Until now, I suppose. About a week ago, our conversations stopped. I quit answering his messages/updates on his life, mostly because I’ve been struggling with what is the mature thing to do. Jessie says he can’t be just friends with me (despite living so far apart) and still keep in contact. So I got upset, had my cry, and just quit processing the whole thing. Since we can’t be platonic friends, I feel like the right thing to do is stop the communication between us, even though it makes me really upset. But the way I see it is if I keep living in the past, I’ll start messing up the present. As much as he may want to, Jessie can’t offer me anything but a “maybe someday in the future…” and I can’t do that anymore. I spent years of my life dragging myself through unhappiness in pursuit of a better future, and now is when I need the happiness. I need to be living, right here and now.
After everything I’ve been through, I feel so proud of myself for making it to this point I’m at now. I have stability and balance in a world that was once upside down…and even though I don’t always feel confident in my maturity, my finances, or my future, I’m confident that eventually this decision will feel okay… Eventually my heart will learn to let go, and be okay with letting go. I can see myself in my future, working hard with my boyfriend to achieve our dreams, and being at peace with the love that Jessie and I lost. In that future, Jessie and I are happy in our separate lives and wishing each other well still, but our hearts don’t ache and our minds are clear…we will have grown up, and realized that everything is as it should be.
I guess the bottom line is: if I spend my whole life second-guessing myself, I won’t ever get the chance to truly live…