Now I get it. When a shrink once told me years ago, I was complicated, I took it as a compliment. After all, who wants to qualify as being simple or easy to figure out ? For me, that equates to being bland, predictable and part of the norm. I have been many things in life with a multitude of experiences and a variety of hats, but part of the norm is not a term my friends or family would likely ever use to describe me. I have always done my own thing. Of course I have wanted the basic primal things we all do in life and beyond, like most people. I was fortunate enough to have been raised in a family with enough money to afford me more opportunities than most.
But.. as the saying goes, I only wish I knew then what I know now. I would have stuck to more of my decisions. I would have trusted my gut instincts all the time, instead od letting my brain negotiate, because they were always right. I would have followed through with some unachieved or discarded plans. I would have been less passive, thinking I had all the time in the world and pursued those dreams most important to me with a more voracious appetite. I would have saved more money for the future, instead of fooling myself that the money tree would endlessly keep producing for my wants and needs and not dry up or wither away.
However.. we learn what we learn and in our own time. It takes longer for some than others. I think the key is- as long as we eventually learn it, it’s never too late. I need a degree of optimism, or I wouldn’t wake up or want to go out or try anything new or keep going and take calculated risks. I have my days, but for the most part, I don’t think of how fewer days I have left, although admittedly I have gone there. More so, I think of what I have in front of me. And all we have is today. Life can change in a day. Sometimes in hours or seconds. Age and experience forces you to recognize that.
So when I saw the Marley quote, I thought, “Mmm that was the trouble. I wasn’t easy.” It’s true. I wasn’t, but I am much more yielding today. I am more accepting. Age does something to you. It definitely mellows you. It has me. I don’t join every battle I get an invitation to. I pick and choose as wisely as I can at the time. I don’t want drama, crisis, chaos or histrionics in my life or around me, although I used to thrive on all this. Living on the edge made me feel alive. I loved the adrenaline, the high of it all.
I have traded that in for different priorities. I have little patience for all that nonsense today. Shit happens without looking for it. Just wait if you’re bored, I promise you, situations beyond your control will come to you without ever leaving your home. Today I’d rather spend quality time with friends, out in nature, writing or volunteering. I’d rather explore travel, various cultures and new things. I don’t need to be involved with people who have lives constantly headed towards train wrecks.
I’ve had my share of upheaval, dismantling, uprootedness, change, loss, death, aloneness and being lonely. I want calm and community now. That’s really it. I have enough interests to stimulate myself. I’ve always been a curious person and have ventured out on the ledge. I am not afraid of boredom ever settling in. I have too many interests. There’s still too much of life to explore and as long as I have the energy and drive, I plan to keep on keeping on.
I hope some people still find me amazing. We are all special in our own way and that’s what makes us unique. I hope those closest to me or those new people entering my life will find themselves and myself both worthy enough to take the risk of staying or moving closer. Hopefully, they or we will not give up on one another through the tough times or challenging moments. We all have them and we’ll all get them.
As Marley said, we will all get hurt. That’s life, but I don’t agree that anyone is worth suffering for. No matter how amazing. Perhaps it’s just a matter of semantics and we are saying the same thing. In my life today, the positive must outweigh the negative. Otherwise it wouldn’t feel like the kind of relationship I would want to venture into or sustain. Expect disappointment, because at one time or another, we will all disappoint those we love and be disappointed. No one is here to live up to our expectations. We all have our own process and own journey in life. I think acceptance to let people be who they are is key. It’s not always easy, because our own needs and fears will interfere with that concept on numerous occasions.
I heard a relationship expert on a talk show years ago who said it was easy to define a healthy relationship .”If someone is always draining you of energy, it’s unhealthy. However, if you are mostly getting energy, it’s healthy.” When you think of it, it’s really quite simple. If you remember that quote, you will rarely falter. I’ve ended some long term friendships over the last four or five years. Someone said, ” As painful as it is, if you don’t outgrow or lose friends, you’re not growing.” I never liked that part. I don’t like endings or goodbyes.
We all have a limited source of energy and no one has room for everyone they’ve ever been friends with. We change. They change. Our priorities change, so hopefully we can pick and choose wisely. The signs are always there from the beginning or during. One of my biggest problems is that I don’t want to always see them. I give people I’ve known the longest, a lot of free passes over time, when often, it may just be time to let them go. I am loyal to a fault, so when I love someone, they are who I want them to be, instead of who they really are. I blind myself to their character flaws, values and unacceptable behavior.
Today, I have taken a different approach. I wish them well and let them go with love. It sure has taken long enough, but finally, I am paying attention. Finally, I am learning to take care of myself, my time and it has sunk in that there are different levels of relationships and not all are created equal. That’s really okay with me. I need to accept other’s limitations and hopefully, they will accept mine.. Most of all, I have learned that trust is something that’s earned over a period of time and there are no shortcuts. I have also acknowledged that the length of the relationship doesn’t qualify as a substitute for that..
So suffering ? No. Hanging in there, yes. If it’s the right chemistry, we won’t give up on one another. We’ll put in the energy and time. We’ll give ourselves over to the joy of finding one another or already having each other. We will innately know that we are worthy of who we already are and revel in the idea that we are after all, everyone single one of us, absolutely Amazing.