Sometimes tough decisions have to be made.
The fluorescent glow of my phone clicked off plunging my room into darkness. I tapped it again and carefully went over every line and every curve of the letters I read. I was waiting for the realization to hit me but the truth had been there all along. This wasn’t working. It was time for it to come to an end. I closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind. I entertained the thoughts that immediately told me to return to what I knew, I danced with the ones who said you’re making a mistake, and I even sat and talked to the ones who screamed emphatically that I was nothing and alone. I wooed them into silence and fell asleep.
We often sacrifice our vision for convenience. It’s not hard to see people as they are and file the red flags and yellow cards as “not that important” for the sake of not being alone. I see people do it everyday. We’ve all done it before, I had just done it for too long. It’s easy for me to get wrapped up in people, to invest time, expend energy, and devote loyalty when none has been reciprocated. In fact, often times I’m more willing to give to those who’ve taken than to nurture those that have given. It’s an unhealthy habit I’m trying to break and I suspect I’m not the only one who’s fallen prey to it. But slowly, I began to realize that what I was doing wasn’t working for me. I needed more from people who were incapable of giving it. The fault didn’t lie with them for their limits but with me for not making that a clear condition to begin with. It hurt to realize that I had only hurt myself in the end. It hurt even more when this inch of scrutiny caused me to re-evaluate other relationships and discover a disturbing pattern:
I don’t respect myself.
When you have such little self-worth you begin to place more value on your actions than your existence, you’ve got a problem. In my mind, I was more valuable to others if I was giving them something. I could understand why someone would want to be around me if I was useful. Because I saw so little in myself, I didn’t understand that I was enough. I didn’t understand there was value in who I was not just what I could do. But slowly I started to understand that I was more than enough. I wasn’t forced into bad relationships or toxic friendships, I chose them because that’s all I thought that I deserved, that’s all I thought that I could get.
But something happens when you realize that you can stop accepting crumbs from underneath the table and actually sit at it. I had to get up from underneath. There wasn’t enough space for me to stretch out. There wasn’t enough light. I needed a change.
The sunlight peaked through the curtains and dimly illuminated the room. My left eye fluttered open briefly, then the right. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I could feel the tightness around my eyes from crying myself to sleep. I felt the deep sunken feeling of depression pull me further down into the mattress. What’s the point? I felt very alone. Perhaps more alone than I’d ever felt. I hadn’t had to end a friendship before. I immediately regretted my decision. I tried to conjure up images and times of happier days without realizing the happier me was ironically laying in bed, not skipping down memory lane.
I watched the fan revolve as it and I collected dust. I finally decided to get up and get out of my mopey mood. Knowing the wonders Vitamin D can do for the nerves I walked over to open the curtains. The oak trees stood tall and proudly. I smiled. Bluejays flew about and chirped melodically to each other. It was a beautiful sight. I began to pull myself out of my Cinderella moment when my hand passed over something wet. My desk was right in front of the window and was cluttered with books and plastic containers I’d forgotten about. I had purchased a little greenhouse kit and some seeds the week beforehand to try my purple hands at gardening.
The condensation had accumulated on the top. But I could also see little flecks of green. I lifted the top of the container and saw stout, spindly sprouts. The green leaves had peat on it that I flicked away from the Morning Glories and Hollyhocks. But they were more stubborn on the Sunflower leaves. I went to pinch the dirt off but there was no squish in between my fingers. This felt hard. I looked at it more closely and realized it was the seed.
The seed burst open so that the sprouts could take root.
I sat with that for a while. In life, a change can feel like you’re exploding from the inside but what comes from that is more beautiful than the dirt you were living in before. Sometimes we have to allow ourselves to go through that kind of pain in order to grow into something different. Ending relationships, enduring misunderstandings, evaluating yourself and the role you’ve played in your own misery, is painful. But that pain is a necessary part of experiencing healing and attaining growth.
A friend told me, “Just because a decision is painful doesn’t mean that you’ve made the wrong decision.” He was right.