Can looking back clear the way forward?

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ImageI opened Microsoft Word intending to write a post asking, My Ex Contacted Me; Now What? Instead an old Word document popped up. It was a letter I began writing to him on April 28, 2013 during one of our breaks. You know these letters. They are the ones you write with no intention to send. They are attempts at catharsis and healing.  Here is a snippet:

I miss you every second of every day. Even when I am asleep, you’re in my dreams. I wish I could dream of us having a great day together just so I could feel that again.

Are you judging me yet? It’s embarrassingly shameful. They are the words of a young girl typed by a grown woman. They are fantastical thoughts. But more than that, they are a reminder of the relationship carousel that lasted more than two years. It’s funny how the Universe lays things in your path at the moment when you need them. Instead of weighing the pros and cons of replying to his call-outs, the quote above and the rest of the letter remind me of the constant anguish. Even in the happiest of times, there was an underlying anxiety asking if this time his promises of change would be realized. He was convincing and persuasive. He knew exactly how to deliver a line while simultaneously soothing doubts and halting further conversation. In retrospect, it was quite remarkable. As the recipient, it was emotional warfare. He was armed with tactics designed to misdirect conversations, distort my words, minimize my feelings, and when all else failed, retreat completely.  Retreat was his harshest weapon. Ignoring phone calls and texts; allowing days to pass with total radio silence. These periods were the harshest. Confusion morphed into anger. Anger contorted itself into hurt. Hurt transformed into worry. The cycle continued until he chose to end it. At that point, I was so emotionally spent that there was very little energy left to fight the good fight.

So, why did I propose today’s post to seek your advice about returning his calls when the answer is clear? Well, this is the most honest I can be. Who wants to devote years of their life to someone and come out on the other side of it wondering, was it all a lie? Intellectually, I am aware the answer is negligent to my future.  Yet there are days, like today, when I am haunted by that singular question. Luckily, tomorrow is a new day.

Until next time, ASK MORE QUESTIONS

“Turn your mess into your MESSage”

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There’s a wonderful relationship coach whom I follow on Twitter named, Tony Gaskins, Jr. (@TonyGaskins) He publishes a newsletter in an attempt to motivate and guide folks to their path. He recently wrote, turn your mess into your message.

Think about it, we all have at least one mess in our lives. For some it’s career – can’t find a job, can’t keep a job, can’t find career fulfillment. Their mess can be found in the deep breaths taken when the alarm clock shouts signaling another day at work has arrived. For others, it’s money. Whether it’s trying to make a dollar out of fifteen cents, saving for retirement, or digging out of debt, financial woes plague many of us.  Their mess can be found in crumpled up ATM receipts revealing balances too low to make them feel secure. There are people who struggle with weight and body image issues. They move around this world feeling inadequate and confused on how to make and stick to an active and healthy lifestyle. Their mess can be found in empty boxes of junk food, over or under-sized clothing or medical charts warning them a change is needed.

My mess is simple. My Achilles heel is relationships. Have you ever heard the song, Indestructible, by Robyn? 

She sings, “let the bad ones in, let the good ones go.” Well, I have never met Robyn, but I am pretty sure she is singing about me. For as far back as I can remember, I have had a crush on some boy. In pre-k, it was a sandy-haired boy named, John. My heart belonged to Jason each summer from ages 7-10. My first kiss at age 12 was to a rambunctious kid named, William. Those were all harmless crushes punctuated with cheesy notes passed back and forth between friends. It wasn’t until I became a teenager that the heartbreak began. In all the years that have followed, I still haven’t been able to get it right. That’s a post (or perhaps several posts) for another time… But for now, just know that I have a mess too.

This space is titled, Questions, No Answers simply because I do not pretend to know what the hell I am talking about. However, that does not stop me from having a lot to say, questions to ask, and answers to seek. Let this page be the beginning of a community for people to share their own messes and just read about my own.

ASK MORE QUESTIONS, my people… because only through knowledge can we empower ourselves to be better than we were yesterday. In the meantime, grab a broom and let’s try to tidy up our mess!