When The Time Comes

You swear this is the last time you’ll ever feel this way. You try to convince yourself this is it. No more. From now on, everything is going to be different.
You promise yourself the world.
That’s right. Tomorrow is going to be a new day. And you tell yourself this like you mean it
(because you do.)
You practice saying the things you’ve been waiting to say for years. Only, this time, you say it with determination.
This time you mean it.

You say it with the punctuation, like an exclamation mark.
So there!
You look in the mirror, you give yourself that affirming nod. You look your reflection right in the eye; and you can see you mean it (this time.)
Now all you have to do is follow through.

Here is where the problem is . . .
The thought machine gets in the way

You swore this was the last time you would ever feel this way. But at least (here) you know what to expect. You’ve learned to find comfort in the uncomfortable. You’ve learned to endure. You rationalize the irrational. You explain the unexplainable. You do what you do to get through. But not anymore,

Intellectually, you know you deserve better.
Intellectually speaking, you know most of your fears are only childhood fears. You have fears of being alone, fears of dying alone, fears of never feeling like you’ve made it, or, as if something is wrong with you. Intellectually speaking, you understand what you need to do. But intellect only understands plans and strategy. Intellect has nothing to do with emotion.
Emotionally, you wonder what will happen. Emotionally, you give in to fear, which is why you’ve never given your speech before.
Emotionally, the challenge of stepping away is too much; and it’s not that the fear was anything in particular, but at the same time, every little thing seemed like too much to consider.
So you stayed. So you settled. You waited and hoped for a change but there was no change in sight.
Instead, you dreamed. Instead, you planned. You created an escape, which you never took, but at least you had the fantasy.
At least you had something, which is why you always stayed.
Am I right?
It’s better to have something than nothing . . .

There came a time when I grew too tired of feeling worthless or “Less than.” There came a time when I grew too tired of the snobbery. I was tired of feeling like my opinion didn’t matter; like I never mattered, and that I was no one’s priority. But this is when the facts hit me. This is true. I am not someone else’s priority.  I am my own priority. This is my job to take care of me.

If my happiness is up to me then it is up to me. I have to care for this. Otherwise, I will find myself feeling worse than second or third place. I will have that last place feeling.

I remember a time when I sat at the wrong tables simply because I thought I was supposed to be there.
I remember when I was living the life according to someone else’s plan. I was applying someone else’s program. I felt subservient. I felt weak. I felt so weak in fact; I began to believe that this was all I was worth.
I began to doubt my abilities, which is why I never made the change. So I settled. I took the trade. I maintained my bravest face and I endured a life that was never meant for me.

I gave in.
More importantly, I gave up on myself. Put simply, I never believed I had the strength to take those extra steps.
I say the extra steps because the first steps are easy ones. The first steps can be taken out of anger. This can happen out of frustration. It’s not the first steps that I was afraid of. I was afraid of the future steps. I was afraid of what comes next, the unknown, and aside from this, what of it all goes wrong?
What do I do if I fall on my face and have to go back to a roomful of people looking at me with that, “I told you so,” grin.
Worst, what if I am the failure I really believe myself to be. This is when I learned my interpretation of how I believed others saw me was really how I saw myself.

I needed to change that

It came to the point where I was afraid of the lonesomeness. But yet, I was lonesome anyway. I was afraid of what if I had no one to talk to. But again, I was with the wrong crowd anyway. It’s not like I had much conversation to begin with.

It became clear to me that my ability is only equal to my belief. I had to believe that I could do this on my own. I had to believe that my speech was not just a speech. It was a mission statement!

I had to punctuate this with action. Not an exclamation point. In fact, action can punctuate a whisper to be louder than a scream. And me? I was screaming.

One day, I pulled myself away. I stood up. I walked away. And yes, there were times when I was lonely. Yes, there were times when I wondered if I made the right choice.

I walked away from bad friends and bad family. I walked away from bad lifestyles and bed feelings. More importantly, I walked away from the person I never wanted to be to give myself permission to be the person I’ve always dreamed of.

I swear . . .

It was the best decision of my life.

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