January 20, 2011 § 2 Comments
My habits, tolerances, reactions, are all shifting and I have moments where I’m feeling like a bit of a stranger in my own skin (except for those times, still frequent, when I miss the pause and step right into an old emotional pattern)… And I feel a little fearful of the unknown here. I don’t know where I’m going to end up. I know that I’m changing. I prefer to think of it as becoming MORE myself, not less. Pick your metaphor, stripping the veneer, peeling back the layers, molting, emerging. Ugh! Cheesy butterfly allusions – No! Another topic for another post – most people would simply say “I’ve changed.”
I’m on (a bit) less of a roller coaster with the process itself – I know that it’s happening, and I’m more welcoming of it, a little less fearful. But, for the first time, I’m nervous about what this means for my relationships. And I know that this is all natural. Relationships change, especially at turning points in our lives – old friendships dissolve or change in intensity and function, new ones emerge. Some friends we are lucky to have for the whole of our lives, but even those have an ebb and flow. I’m not sure I’m ready to let go of some of the people who may need to let go of ME in this changing state. I’m afraid that as I’m pushing myself and observing my behaviors, and thinking out loud about some of this, that it can push people’s buttons. As though my choices are a judgment on how THEY live (Feeling judged stinks – even when you know it may be just the way you feel and not an actuality). Although it’s important to me to be open about where I’m at and answering questions when I’m asked, it’s hugely important to me to NOT to suggest that this is the way anybody else should be reflecting on their life. I hope that I actually achieve that. I don’t think or expect that anyone else’s choices or path will look just like mine.
I’m working on being patient with myself as some of these relationships shift, giving myself time to be sad about it, and being accepting of my friends’ choices and needs and open to what our new relationship might look like (if it survives). Deep breath. For all that this is troubling, new relationships are building too, and though they can’t replace the existing ones, they should be celebrated – these are relationships that I may not have been able to foster a year ago (for whatever reason).
Through all this, I’m amazed and incredibly thankful that one friend in particular (the one that I married) – has been open to these changes in me and is solid enough not to take them as a judgment on himself. He’s supportive, questioning, discussing, and open to his own process as well. And that is an incredible gift, to have this partner to go through so many changes with (18 years… can bring A LOT of changes!)
I wrote for a handful more of the Reverb prompts – but we were straight out until (and since) the holidays and I never posted them. It was an awesome exercise though – I really enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll post some of them or rework, we’ll see. I hope that you all had wonderful holidays (Now that it’s nearly February!) I wish you good things in this new year – contentment where you are at, new directions (if you’re seeking/needing them), strength, hope and DREAMS. And Love. Lots and lots of love.