I think we are all evolving. Changing bit by bit, some faster and more proactively than others. Some for the better, some not. But we are all works in progress, part of the evolutionary process of life. We are all on a journey in a constant state of flux. Our choice is what we do with it. How we evolve.
But the truth is that we don’t change and shift and grow the same way as the other people in our lives. Sometimes, we really do grow apart. Or outgrow each other. And we can lay blame and get mad or say it’s for the best or whatever we want to label it as. We always have a choice of whether we call something good or bad. But in many ways, it just is what it is. The sidewalk isn’t angry at the tree for taking its roots and cracking the edges before looking for an easier way out. A tornado has no more malice than a thunderstorm or a rainbow or a honey bee. We are all just looking for our own place, trying to find our way.
I used to have all these people in my life, even in my daily life. People that I talked to a lot on the phone or spent time with regularly. People that I loved and depended on in a variety of ways. And piece by piece, bit by bit, they started to disappear. At first, it was heartbreaking and scary and hard. And I was angry and didn’t understand and wanted things to go back to how they were. But that isn’t life. Life evolves. There is no going back.
Slowly, I came to see that part of this change occurred because I was changing. I was different. I had thought it was the other way around, but really, if anyone moved positions on the playing board, it was me. I had become someone different and the puzzle pieces no longer fit. I could mourn this or fight against it all I wanted, but I was never going to be that shape again. I could pretend to be, but part of how I had changed was coming to notice that I had been pretending. And that just wasn’t going to happen anymore. I no longer had the stomach for pretending to be someone I wasn’t.
I wish I could say that right away the empty spaces of my life got filled with wonderful people, but that isn’t true. There were some lonely times where I felt like I had almost no one. But I found out in that time who I am, who I really am if no one is there to influence me at all. I found my own truth about religion and spirituality. I read more books than I ever had in my life. I found out how strong I could be when it was just me to live my life and care for my children. I found out exactly what I could do if the bottom dropped out completely with no one to catch me. It was the scariest, hardest time. And I grew from it.
If I hadn’t have gone through this transition of self, and hadn’t lost my support network, I wouldn’t have written my book. I wouldn’t have taught myself photography. And I wouldn’t have met my husband, or have been ready for him like I am now. I needed all these things to fall into place exactly the way they did for me to end up here. And it’s worth it, because I love it here and I truly believe that this is where I’m meant to be. Even if I’m still a work in progress. Even if I still have a long journey ahead. Because I know now that I have the right people beside me, who believe in me and support me for me.
It is often after the fact that I see the lessons life has been trying to teach me. I rarely notice them when I am in transition. But what I think that the last five years of my life have been trying to make me understand is this… When the nonfunctional and unnecessary people and parts of your life try to leave, you should let them go. Holding on to them just drags the drama around in the dirt beside you, marking up your whole life. And you won’t find who and where you belong until you are able to drop what no longer serves you.