This has been a "growing year" for me in many ways. I've hit my stride as a mother (in whatever way that's possible considering that the nature of this role is very fluid and constantly changing), I've learned much more about what it means to be a wife and a spouse, I've seen my interpersonal friendships and relationships with family change and evolve and in some cases die completely.
Physically we bought a house and have, for the first time in five plus years, settled somewhere for the semi-permanent future (okay, maybe not even semi-permanent but we will be here for three years which for us is pretty epic (considering we moved six times in four years)).
I also feel that I have finally and permanently closed the door on my past in some ways. This is a good thing because those doors really desperately needed to be closed, but until now I think i was afraid to discover who I was without that opening still available. Now, I can see that I am free to be myself - to reinvent myself even if I shut the lid to that pandora's box of who I used to be.
One way that I've done this is by finally and totally cutting my ex-boyfriends out of my life completely.
This might seem like a weird topic to discuss here since I am married and have a husband who I am 100 million percent devoted to, but I made a vow to myself and to this blog to be honest, straightforward and to have this be a REAL place with a real conversation going on. Sticking only to sweet and happy fluff topics is what causes me to leave for months on end and never update.
Anyway, caveat aside, "getting rid of them" has been so...so freeing.
I think that I was so focused on Staying Friends and being the kind of modern person who could make that situation work, that i never stopped to say to myself, "do I even want these people in my life anymore?" And once I did ask myself that question, the answer was, obviously, No.
Not to say that any of my exes are bad people, for the most part they're not. And even the one who I recently feel is "bad" just has some serious issues (although I happen to know he's working through them in therapy so honestly, that makes him a good person fundamentally, right? I truly believe that the willingness to work through things is what defines the quality of one's character).
It's just - i'm not the person these people once knew and they aren't the people i once knew either so maintaining any kind of connection to them, whether it is friendship or merely an acquaintanceship (albeit the kind that facebook allows now in this crazy era where our passing acquaintances get the kind of intimate access into our thoughts that used to be reserved for good friends) is just a massive step backwards. It tethers me to this place of negative growth almost because I am still being seen as someone I'm not and people will therefore have the opportunity to interact with me as if I am still someone I'm not. That kind of thing can pull you down.
That's also why I've released some friendships this year, too. There are just people who I have moved on from (and who have moved on from me, this is in no way condescending) and we are just in different places now. Sometimes it's hard to let go and to be honest and say, "look, we once were compatible but now, we're just not...that doesn't make either of us bad people." but i think that that kind of honesty is truly necessary...it's even what maybe shows someone that you still respect them. At least you respect them enough to know that you no longer see eye-to-eye with them. Or maybe it's just a sign that you respect what you once had.
And I've noticed that by releasing these friendships and former relationships I have made so much more space in my life to be filled by other, much more lasting and interesting connections. I always used to tell clients in coaching - you must be willing to free up a part of the energy around you in order to allow new energy to move in. And who'd have guessed it? I was right! In this year I have reconnected with old friends, made new ones and strengthened important friendships that I want to last forever. It's been marvelous.
I know i'm sortof rambling at this point and that this post is totally stream-of-consciousness but that's okay. That's basically what blogging is for for me.
I've been blogging for a long time now. Seirously, it's been ten years. And in those ten years I've learned so much about myself and grown so much and changed so much but one thing that has remained constant has been my introspection and my need to connect with others. Blogging has helped me merge those two traits together and it's why I love it.
I am looking for somewhere new to blog (I still blog where I always have but it doesn't feel quite right anymore) and I want that place to be here. I know i'm taking a personal risk by making a step towards being more open and candid on this blog but I honestly think that risk is worthwhile because even though it makes me more emotionally vulnerable, maybe it will give me the opportunity to connect with someone who truly can benefit from what I have to share, or vice versa. Maybe not. Who knows.
In any event, I have done a lot of growing and a lot of changing this year. There have been hurts along the way, there have been laughs and tears and there has been a LOT of sleepless nights but this has been one of those Mega Years in my life where I know I will never be the same nor will I unlearn all of the lessons that I worked my way through along the way. It's been really rough and really great all at the same time. And for that, I am thankful.