If This Is Redemption… Why Do I Bother At All?

One of the things that keeps popping up in my life, and in the lives of this wonderful sisterhood I’ve got going on, is how to deal with positive changes that aren’t reaping the results that you want.

As much as I’d like to tell you that if you are positive and happy, things will go your way, it’s not that black and white. When you make the commitment to change, to try to be a different person, there’s always this huge upheaval, this descent into chaos before things straighten out and begin to fall into place.

A lot of the time it gets worse before it gets better.

When I first started this journey I wanted radical transformation like that *snaps fingers*. I wanted a cause and effect reaction. I wanted for A + B = C and it just doesn’t, not when we’re talking big life changes. It’s a process, a very long, and a very trying process.

I made the decision to work on my anger. I made the decision to try to communicate with my loved ones effectively. I made the decision to work on my issues instead of letting them control me. For each and every one of those decisions, I suffered. There are always consequences.

I lost my best friend and one of my biggest confidants. I had another friend who decided that what I was doing was absolutely hilarious and she made fun of me behind my back at every opportunity. I haven’t talked to my sister since Christmas of last year because she was always treading on my boundaries. I was taken advantage of because I thought that I had to be a “nice” person and give people money even when it came back to bite me in the ass. I felt like no one understood what I was doing and I was just coming off as this big uber confused, grasping-at-straws, quarter-life-crisis, joke who had no idea what she was doing.

The thing of it is, all of it was worth it.

I’ve spent days being heartbroken, in tears, feeling lost, feeling sad, feeling alone, wondering why I even bothered. I looked at my life and I felt like while it wasn’t happy or perfect as “old me” I had friends and family, I was oblivious to a lot of things, everything was easier to handle because I just didn’t know better. I didn’t believe I had options, I didn’t believe that I could change or that I was meant to change or that I could ask anyone to treat me any better than they did. Ignorance was bliss. However, there was something missing. Something so important, something that once you grab hold of it with both hands you realize there is no other way.

My sense of self. Paid for in heartache and dark moments, in brokenness and pain, and so unbelievably worth it. 

What I have learned about myself has been priceless. I wouldn’t give up this love and respect for myself for anything. For the first time in my life, I truly know myself. I have opinions and passions, I have boundaries, I have dreams and goals. I make magic, and at the end of the day, all of the birthing pains were worth it. There’s this song that I love to listen to when I am having those moments of doubt. It just resonates deeply with me, as music always does.

If this is redemption, why do I bother at all 
There’s nothing to mention, and nothing has changed 
Still I’d rather be working at something, than praying for the rain 

That’s what it boils down to, even when things aren’t going my way and it feels like nothing is better, I’d rather keep trying than to give up, because even in those moments, I know that I am working for something beautiful, something that pays off in little moments, and that will ultimately pay off in the end.

So what has put me in this contemplative mood you ask? 

My former best friend, the first casualty of “new me” celebrated her big 30th birthday and I felt myself feeling like I was missing out. We text a few times a month, about the tv show Dexter, about funny pictures or baby animal cuteness, about things that mean nothing. It’s never going to be the same, it’s never going to be like it was. She’s never going to see me for me, and honestly when you get right down to it, she’s never going to like me for me, not this me.

It’s so difficult to accept that. It’s so difficult to have unconditional love for someone and then realize that you don’t measure up to them and you never will. That she still gravitates to the same kind of people, the kind that I used to be. The more I fix myself, the farther I get from anything that she would ever like about me. How’s that for messed up? It’s discouraging, saddening, and maddeningly frustrating.

The thing about it all, is that I realize that it’s for the best. Am I better off without this friendship as it used to be? Yes I am, but that doesn’t stop me from wishing that I didn’t have to let go of things that mattered to make space for the good things, the happy things.

Growth means letting go.

When things feel all sucky, and you are trying your hardest to trudge through it with a smile on your face… keep trying. Don’t give up. Don’t let the fear that it will never get better keep you prisoner. You won’t get anywhere unless you try, just keep moving in the right direction, one step at a time, and you’ll get somewhere better.