i awoke from a peaceful, dreamless sleep. i think to myself that that hasn’t happened in a very long time. i felt at ease, content. opening my eyes i looked around to the world outside. everything seemed so perfect. almost too perfect, if that is even such a thing. love notes, flowers, candles, whispers of sweet nothings, sunshine and happiness. the clouds seemed fluffier, the sky bluer, grass greener. birds? they even sounded more beautiful than ever. i wasn’t sure where i was but it all felt pretty damn good. getting up, i felt warm, cozy and safe.
after surveying my perfect surroundings for a few minutes, doubt started to creep in. wait, why am i here? this cannot be real, right? what am i doing in this world? this is some sort of inception bullshit. has to be. i look around and wonder where leo is. i was standing in this strange perfection and had this sudden feeling come over me that i should be waiting for something, even though i was not sure what exactly that something was. doubt and leo aside, i realize i like this world. the coziness returns, so i decide i will wait a bit longer. just a little longer, no harm in that. it’s not like i had anything else to do. time was of no consequence to me. as i stood there reveling in the beauty, something was slowly approaching me. holy shit, it’s my knight in shining armor. my own personal fairytale. move over meghan markle, it’s my turn. gleaming and glowing, this beautiful shadow was coming towards me. this is why all of these happy things are surrounding me. it all makes sense now. i gather myself as he gets closer. i was almost jumping with excitement, eager to see the person responsible for the world in which i was now apart of.
two more steps. i am dying with anticipation. i imagine thanking him for all the wonderful things he brought into my life, kissing him hello, laughing at his jokes, planning my future with him, and just feeling the spark of being alive because he was the source of all this good. how lucky am i? i mean, seriously. finally, everything clicks. everything makes sense. a huge sigh of relief. i can count on this guy. he’s my other half. the reason i smile, the reason i waited.
one more step. oh god, now i’m nervous. i hope i look okay. i hope i live up to his expectations. i know i can make him happy. i mean, he’s brought all of these feelings of joy, love, laughter, and pure pleasure into my life, i just hope i can keep him as happy as he’s made me. i mean, i’m pretty awesome, right? i’m smart, funny, sweet, loving, kind, and make amazing playlists on spotify….. i start listing all of my good qualities in my head but i still have some doubt in my skills. i neeeeeeed to make sure i do everything right. no messing this one up, i tell myself. i am counting on this person to keep my happiness bubble from bursting.
finally he’s here, right in front of me, but the light from the sun is shining in my eyes now blocking my view. stupid light. as i adjust to finally see the source of happiness, my knight, i realize that i am looking back at myself. confused, i take a step back. this can’t be. i’m happy because someone else made me happy. he was the source of my happiness, not me, right?
child, please. time to wake up, but for real this time.
i have been on this incredible journey since last october where i have been living a life that i had always dreamed of living. i was making decisions for myself and by myself that just made me happy. it was (good) selfish, and it was incredible. i was radiating that happiness from head to toe. i felt like i was floating on air, living in the clouds, living in a dream. but funny thing, it wasn’t a dream. it was my real life and i was fucking living it. no excuses, no fear, just me. when i think back to before those initial days, i never knew who i truly was or what i really wanted. i felt sheltered, i felt afraid and i was hiding behind someone else, too nervous and unsure to make the decisions that would ultimately make me happy. then all of that changed. my life changed, was turned upside down, and here i was, ready or not. live or live in fear.
i made mistakes getting to that place last year and those mistakes often cross my mind but they don’t define me, drown me, or mean that i cannot learn and grow from the past. i had a chance to be responsible for myself and for my life and i took it. months pass by and sadly, life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. something i just recently went through was a really tough reminder of that. i let my guard down, i left my happiness to someone else and i learned a valuable lesson from that because that experience reminds me now, on my way to russia, that you, and you alone, are responsible for your own happiness. you should never expect someone else to be the source of that happiness. sometimes people disappoint you, they don’t show up, they break your heart and let you down, but sometimes they are amazing. the ups and downs of life are seen so perfectly in the people in your life. sometimes when life sucks and the tears fall over the people who disappoint you, there are people who remind you that you got this. that you make so many people happy, laugh and smile. that you inspire them. that you are an incredible person and that if anyone can go live their best, happiest life it’s you. those people, who are there for you unconditionally, keep that fire lit inside of you just as you think it’s about to go out. those people, they make your happiness grow.
i have put my life on hold for many reasons in the past (and even in the most recent past – i’m still a work in progress, ya’ll) and one thing is for certain, you never get that time back. we only have this one life, this one shot at living the life we want to live and letting someone else be the reason for your happiness isn’t the right way to go about it. it’s a tough pill to swallow sometimes, especially when you are vulnerable, trusting and repeatedly put yourself out there for the world to see. but you know what, life is hard and if you’re not stepping up and stepping out, life is just going to be status quo. it’ll never be great, will never live up to expectations and will never give you what you truly want and deserve.
sure it means you have to take some risks and then also take responsibility and face some pretty tough realities about yourself when things don’t end up working out the way you planned. it also means that you probably counted on someone, believed in someone and trusted someone who probably let you down in some way or another. don’t get me wrong, those are all admirable, good things, but you should always count on yourself, believe in yourself and trust yourself above all else. you are the source of your own light, your own happiness, and your own fire.
bad things happen in life, in relationships, at work, it doesn’t matter because shit’s gonna get real at some point. when the bad shows up, banging down your door are you going to run? cry? freeze? face it head on? learn a lesson from it? grow? deny it? lock yourself in a room and scream? pretty sure i have done my fair share of crying, running, being in denial and then making excuses to not face the facts, but today, right now, the bad is getting a face full of me and i am no longer running. i’m moving on, i’m learning, i’m growing and there is no looking back. i don’t do what ifs. fuck that. i leave it all on the table and risk it all for a chance at something great and that is something i will never apologize for, no matter what happens in the end. blood, sweat and tears.
i have learned a lot about myself in the past 11 months, a lot of good, some bad. i’ve learned that sometimes my words inspire, sometimes they cause tears, and sometimes they can speak for others who are too afraid to speak themselves. i’ve also learned that giving you heart away can mean a lot of pain when it’s returned to you in pieces. i’ve learned that i am a fighter but sometimes that fight needs to be reserved for yourself. i’ve learned that i need to trust myself and my instincts first and foremost. i’ve learned that i have a pretty awesome set of friends and an amazing family who i can always count on no matter what. and i’ve also learned that i am a pretty fucking awesome person and i should be proud of myself and never sell myself short or settle for anything less than what i deserve.
i’ve spent too many days feeling sorry for myself, instead of realizing i have my whole life ahead of me and a world of opportunities just waiting for me to take them. life can sometimes suck and make you cry, make you want to give up and push you into a downward spiral…..but life can be oh so great. life can inspire you, surprise you, teach you, and can keep the fire inside of you burning bright. life is what you make of it and no one should tell you otherwise. be grateful for the good, prepare to take a few knocks when the bad rears it’s ugly head but never let that stop you from moving forward.
you know what they say, when one door closes another door opens. just make sure you’re the one opening the new door for yourself and not waiting for someone else to do it for you. keep living your happiest life with no apologies, keep taking risks for a chance at something great, and keep enjoying those special moments in your life because sometimes you only get one chance to live them.
don’t call it a comeback…..because i never realllllly left. but it’s damn good to be back.