Perhaps that’s true, but the tears still flow – for joy, for fear, for sadness, for guilt – and it all stems from breaking out of my comfort zone, headed toward new paths, leaving behind that which I knew so well. The urge to go back is strong at times. Some days I feel like I’m in over my head, swimming in unfamiliar waters. It can be scary at times and exhilarating at others.
This journey that started a few months ago has been an odd mix of freedom and bondage. I’ve had the freedom to pursue goals in Los Angeles with the determination of a locomotive, yet a part of me is still tied to old habits and beliefs I embraced in Idaho. If you can imagine that one… yeah, I’m feeling like an emotional Gumby being pulled apart.
I ain’t gonna lie. It hurts terribly to be apart from my boys. This time away from them stretches my emotional boundaries farther than I ever thought possible. Those days when my boys text me “I miss you :(” are the hardest on my heart. I battle the “being there now” versus the “paving the road for a better parent, a better me, a better future for us all.” But the same guilt that causes me to pause and question my reasoning is the same guilt that motivates me to push forward. It’s a guilt that won’t let me stop until I fulfill the promises I’ve made. And quickly.
~“Strong is what happens when you run out of weak.” ~
I’m much stronger now, physically, mentally, and emotionally. The softer edges have once again sharpened, but in a different way. I’m decisive and quick to rid myself of that which doesn’t serve me anymore. Every moment is motion forward. And when the time is right for my boys, they’ll walk beside me, albeit on their path, and hopefully I’ll have done one or two things that they can learn from.
Besides… I can’t turn back, because I know too much. I know I have focus. I know I have perseverance. I know I won’t cave under pressure. I know that by stepping out of my comfort zone, I’m expanding the boundaries exponentially. I know “fear” is no longer a part of my vocabulary. I know I can step into the thick of things and figure it out. I know what I’m capable of by the progress I’ve made and the people I’ve met. I’ve seen the true me. It’s the me I want to show my boys. It’s the me I want to show the world.
Hang on, because the ride is far from over…
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It’s a double-edged sword. A two-faced creature. The stuff that either makes dreams come true or shatter into itty bitty tears. It’s the glue between relationships – personal or professional. It’s what raises the bar for a lot of us or, if not met, can disappoint and crush.
No. It’s not love.
Expanding on yet another post I wrote almost two years ago about boxes and labels and expectations being a big part of that, I’ve come to another crossroads in my still-developing life. I’ve been willing to accept that I cannot be contained, cannot be categorized, and I’ve reveled in that freedom. But it wasn’t enough. Others still criticized and pushed their expectations on me to be a certain way and, though I stood my ground, I’d found old habits threatening to resurface. I felt guilty and wanted to bend to their will.
So this time around I’d made it perfectly clear. Do. Not. Expect. Anything. From. Me. I am who I want to be, not who you want me to be. Not my job to fulfill your expectations.
It was easy for me to wrap my head around the fact that their expectations were their issue. Not mine.
Some people complied, some people didn’t and that, honestly, annoyed me because, damn it. I expected them to respect my request.
Ahh, but I’d gotten caught in my own box of expectations, didn’t I? It didn’t occur to me until my cousin mentioned that she was waiting for someone to do something and it wasn’t panning out. She then added, “Oh well. That’s my expectation. Gotta let it go.” This ah-ha moment hit me like a nice 2 x 4 across my ego. I had to release the expectations I had of others. Yeah, I know. I said “duh,” too.
It’s brilliant. Obvious and simple, but brilliant. I’d thought of all of the little expectations I’d had of other people and I just had to laugh, starting with the expectation that others will release their expectations of me. A close second was how events or situations should turn out. Unpredictable at best with all of the possible outcomes, it was far easier to release that expectation then to try to control something I had no control over.
So, yeah. This expectation thing is a two-way street, a journey that if everyone took, could very well circumvent a lot of frustration. As much as we might like to, we cannot control and we cannot predict what another will do. We can only observe and try to respect.
Happy Valentine’s Day!