Iíve been thinking a lot lately about my current circumstances and the path that I took to get exactly where I am today. I also spend time thinking about the future, as unpredictable as it is, wondering where Iíll be in 1, 5, or even 10 years from now. Every time I get to thinking about it I come back to the same realization. That the power to change lies within myself and that I can use it anytime I need to. (Deep stuff, I know.)
A little over 6 months ago I made a major life change. Iíd known for some time that I was unhappy in my situation, but I would tell myself often, ďYouíve made your bed and now you have to lie in it.Ē. This is a very unhealthy mentality that I think a lot of us have. Change is scary. And even when things get really, really bad we make excuses to ourselves to avoid any type of change. We are always so afraid of what could go wrong that we lose sight of all the things that could go right.
One day I woke up.
And it was terrifying. I decided to leave the man that Iíd spent the last 8 years of my life with, the father of my child. I decided to leave the home that we had together. I feared that I would lose friends. Or that I would end up alone. Or that my son would suffer. So many things. But I was unhappy, and I took a leap.
Iíll tell you what happened though. Some of my fears came to life. Leaving was one of the HARDEST things Iíve ever done in my 26 years of life. I lost friends. I lost my home. I spent countless nights crying completely consumed by my fears that I would be alone. But, as time began to pass, I started to see things differently. Those friends I lost? They were no real friends of mine. My true friends were still there when I needed them. My home? Hardly. It was just a building. I have my own dainty little apartment right now and Iím in the process of purchasing a home exactly where I want to be about a half hour from where I live now. And those countless nights of crying and loneliness? Well, I realize now that it was simply grief. I was grieving the loss of the ďold meĒ. The old Andrea died. And the only way to move on and become the ďmeĒ that I am today, was to acknowledge and grieve the loss.
The Andrea that is here today appreciates the experiences that have led me to where I am. She is happy. She still has bad days, but she recognizes them for what they are. Bad days. Not a bad life. She doesnít accept abuse in any form. Mental or physical. She commands respect. And she will never settle again for less than she is worth.
My son has adjusted well to the change. In fact, he is better now than he was before. I can see the weight that has lifted off of his shoulders since the change. He appears to be happy.
And as far as the loneliness, itís still there sometimes. But, I surround myself with my closest friends. And I realize that I need to be good with myself before I can be good for another person. I know better than to jump into a meaningless relationship only to repeat my pastís mistakes. For the time being now, Iíve decided to focus on myself. Iíve been working out and training for my upcoming race. Iíve been trying to eat right and track my food. I play on a volleyball team with my friends. I spend time reading and Iíve toyed with the idea of taking up a new hobby.
Iíve shared a lot of my personal feelings here. Iím getting to know this new me. And I hope that what I have to share speaks to someone else. The power to change lies within us all. Donít settle for less than youíre worth!