After my separation sucks pity party, I put my big girl panties on and started down the trail to find my sparkle, again. I spent the the last few days enjoying my family while they were here from Pennsylvania. I recharged my batteries. My sparkle, it was never really gone, I just lost it for a moment while stewing in my anger and resentment. Boy, do those big girl panties change your perspective.
After my last blog (Read it here), a friend said, “Even though now is the hardest time in your life, at the end your true friends will be there standing there with you. I wish I had something to help with, but all I can say is sometimes when we go through trials in our lives, we find out who our true friends are because those who are left after a loss or emotional sadness in our lives are the ones we want left and those who didn’t make it along our journey, we don’t really want in our lives anyway.” Very wise words and just what I needed to hear. So, I went and unearthed my sparkle and realized that those that are reaching out and supporting me are the ones that really matter. And that’s what’s important.
Blogging is a funny thing. For me, it is emotionally raw. I have a tendency to write when I can’t sleep, so y’all get everything that is keeping me up at night. It allows me to process and quiet my brain so sleep will come. Through this process, I have found support in places I didn’t know it was. This friend with the wise words, her name is Stephanie, I have never actually met her but she has followed my blog and offered words of encouragement and support that have helped me when I needed them and for that I am grateful. For her, I am thankful.
I never knew a stranger would become a friend through words alone but here we are and some day we will grab a beer and chat face to face. I welcome the new community that this blog is helping me to form. I welcome the friends and family that are far away that have reached out to me because of what I am writing.
Being vulnerable is not something I normally do but I am learning how good it feels. I am learning that I don’t always have to be strong. I am learning to be okay with the sad moments. I learning that as hard as it is to feel those emotions, I feel better when I sit in them and let them take take over for a bit. I am learning that when I pick myself back up, it gets a little easier each time. I am learning that the more I share the better I feel, so sharing I will do.
I have always been the one to put on a happy face. Fake it, until you make it. It was easier that way or so I thought. What I know now is that only works for the little things. When the big stuff happens, you can’t fake it. The emotions are to too raw. It’s too big. You have to face it head on and deal with the hard stuff and so I will write and I will move forward.
My therapist said, “You are not responsible for anyone else’s happy. You can’t make someone happy, they have to do that for themselves.” Herein lies my struggle. I take on everyone else’s emotions. I make if my job to make sure everyone is okay. In the past, I put my emotion aside to help everyone else deal with theirs. When I was done, there was nothing left for me. Well, that stops now. I am not responsible for your happy. You are not my job. I hope that I can live a life that brings joy to others but I will no longer hold myself accountable when I can’t.
It was a heavy burden and I was paying the price. My happiness paid the price. My marriage paid the price and my friendships paid the price. The cost was so high and my debt was out of control. My tank was running on empty and I was still trying to go the extra mile. And then, I just ran out of gas and so I ran away from it all. I quit.
So here I am, starting over, but this time I am doing it right. I am listening to the advice my my friends, my family and my therapist. I am dealing with the emotions instead of burying them. I am trying not to hold on to the past. I don’t want to live there. I don’t want to ever get that parachute out again. It was heavy. (Read about my parachute here.)
Why do we hold ourselves responsible for others emotions when they are out of our control? I am not sure but now, I know that I am not responsible. I do not have the ability to make someone happy. What I do know is that if I live a compassionate life, others will be better for it. So I will choose compassion over responsibility.
It is hard to let that responsibility go, but it is one that was never mine to have and through therapy, I am learning to accept that. I may stumble along the way, but I will get there. So right now, I will let that all sink in. I will release my responsibility. I will work on me.
Now, let me run to the gas station and fill my tank up with the highest octane glitter filled fuel I can buy and get going on this bright future I have to live. Life is not always easy but when you say, “I choose me,” it gets better.
And so, I choose me. My emotions are the only ones I can control, so they are what I will take responsibility for. I’m filling my tank and I hope you are to. Please remember, no matter how hard it gets, in the midst of chaos, sparkle. Don’t let life dull your shine.
The Manicured Mom.