A quarter of a century. When I was little, I wasn't sure I'd make it this far. I lived recklessly - drugs, fast motorcycles, fast cars... everything fast, most moments of my life full of some friend or party... I have no regrets, only memories, and I'm satisfied with that.
But as my birthday approaches, of course I have been reflecting a lot on the first part of my life. On what it has all meant, on what the next years will mean. I have known much of pain and suffering and betrayal by those closest to me. I have also known incredible joy, love, adventure and true friendship. I have watched many of the people I grew up with graduate, get jobs, buy houses, move, marry and have children. Some did all of those things, some did none, some did some.
I have learned much about myself - what helps me sleep at night and what keeps me up until 2 a.m. I've learned the way I want to be treated in relationships and I've become more aware of my own shortcomings and strengths in the way I relate to others. Really, it's just been this 25-year process of getting to know myself better and yet I am still a mystery and so are the people around me.
Having said that, here are a few things I've learned.
1. Just because I am related to someone, doesn't mean they are looking out for my best interests. This can be a hard pill to swallow, and something a lot of you can probably relate to, unfortunately. The worst betrayal and abandonment that I've experienced in my life has come from my own family. This often leaves me feeling lonely, but as my Al-Anon sponsor constantly reminds me, and like I have come to learn have the years, sometimes friends are family. And sometimes, family can actually surprise you and change for the better.
2. I can leave toxic relationships whenever I want. I just have to be ready. Now THIS one took a while! Haha. One of the main signs of an unhealthy relationship is an inability to get out of it, even when you want to and even when it's really bad. I've had a couple of those myself, which I can write about more in another blog post. I learned this lesson when I was 23, and after leaving that last unhealthy romantic relationship, I have done really well in not getting into another one and I believe that if I did find myself in one again, I would be able to leave. Sometimes it can take more time and bad experiences than we want to be ready to leave an unhealthy situation, but the important thing is to not feel ashamed or mad at yourself. We are all here on this planet learning as we go. The most hurt people are the most abusive, I have to remind myself of that so I can forgive.
3. Walking away from toxic relationships allows room for healthy, supportive people to be a part of my life. YES. YES. YES. Our universe is a universe of reactions. When you make a decision and take an action, a reaction is created and a whole new life can begin. I like to remind myself of that. There are only TWO for sure things in this world: death and change.
4. I am way more awesome than I give myself credit for and I'd be happier if I let that sink in. True or true? It's the same for you too and everyone else on this planet. I don't mean to sound cliche or shallow, because of course there are people who do hurtful and horrible things. But I know that when I'm happy and loving myself and being content with where I'm at and yet eager for more, I make good decisions and I treat people well. I think that's true for everyone.
So I'll keep this short, I have to go back to work! I know I haven't posted in this blog in a while, which is too bad because I've had it since 2011. But I'm going to pick it back up again and be way overly personal, because that's how I am and I'm accepting it, little by little. :)