Letting Go And Moving Forward
We have all been there, that not-so-comfortable place where we must let go of something or someone and move forward with our lives. Sometimes it is easy to do, like when you are moving into a new house – sure you’ll miss things about the old one, but you’re also ready and excited to explore your new home, right? In order to move forward in life we will inevitably have to let go of things that are holding us in place, we have to take risks and learn how to deal with the unknown as we search for happiness, for things that make us more complete.
I’ve done this a lot in my life, sometimes with pleasure – like leaving Iowa after high school and moving to California for college. I have also felt like I was being torn from people/places/things that I was unwilling to part with, those times when you feel you’ve left a piece of your soul behind but you can’t go back for it. There are times I wonder how much of my soul is left in my body after all of the letting go.
I lived in California for six years after high school, I guess you could say I ran away from my problems in Iowa. I never felt I could be completely myself growing up in Iowa, not even with my family. I felt like the people in my life didn’t understand me, I didn’t quite fit in anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends and there were good times, but I always thought there was more out there for me, like a caged bird born in captivity I knew there was more to life than the circumstances I was born into. Not to mention that my high school experience could be compared to scenes from the movie Mean Girls. Everybody pretty much knew everybody else, many since pre-school, and after high school an outrageous number of those people all went to the University of Iowa. I knew I couldn’t do that, I didn’t want to spend another minute in Iowa, so I packed up and moved to California for school.
California was everything I had hoped for and more. I became very close friends with my roommate in the dorms, we lived in the dorms together for two years and then got an apartment with two other girls our junior year. I made some truly amazing friends during that time in my life, a time where I got to be whoever I wanted to be without feeling judged by anyone. I also made some seriously foolish choices and paid the consequences, for some of them. I had the opportunity to see live music almost anytime I wanted, as there was always something going on in LA. I met famous people, partied with fashion designers and models in the Hollywood Hills, fell in love with a musician in Venice Beach, worked in unique little boutiques on 2nd Street in Long Beach, ate things I had never heard of – and loved it, rocked some pretty daring styles, oh and I went to school too! I learned more about myself and the world in those six years than any other time in my life combined. I also fell apart.
I can’t say exactly when it started or what triggered it, though certain things do come to mind. I let my mental health take a back seat, actually I stuffed it in the trunk and tried to forget about it. I didn’t take my meds as prescribed; some days I would skip them all together, other days I would take more than I was supposed to, and it really got messy when a friend informed me that one of my scripts was a great party drug. That musician from Venice Beach that I mentioned, he broke my heart into so many pieces I didn’t think I could get up off the floor, I didn’t think there was any hope of ever being complete again. I was totally consumed by depression, self medicating with drugs and alcohol until I simply had nothing left. I went home, in hopes of finding my spirit again and getting my mental health under control. And I hated myself for it. There was no greater failure, in my mind, than moving back to Iowa.
That was roughly six years ago and I have made tremendous progress since then. I found a man who loves me more completely than I’ve ever known before, and I married him. I have made a few new friends, I am much more cautious now when determining who to let into my life and who to steer clear of. You know how they say you will find out who your true friends are when you go through something hard? I definitely learned who my friends are, and there are only four or five people that make the cut. It can be really lonely, and sometimes I get lost in that lonely place. There are just some days when all I can think about is the life I thought I was going to have and the people I thought would be in it. I wonder why my heart still hurts for these people, and if they ever think of me. I’ve tried reconnecting with some, but my efforts were futile and only brought me more sadness.
So once again I leave a little piece of my soul behind; in California, and in the people I thought would always be there. I have a different life now and I need to live it. Holding on to the past is only holding me back from living in the present and moving toward my future. I have an amazing man I now call my husband who is always by my side, the friends and family that matter are with me in spirit no matter how much distance separates us, and those are the things that will move forward with me. This is not the final chapter, far from it, but it is definitely the next chapter. After writing this, I can move into my future like a new house, ready and excited to explore!
If you made it this far, I truly thank you. I definitely wrote this for myself, like verbal vomit I could not stop once I started! Welcome to my world, friends… I am honored to have you here. XOXO