At some point, I realized that there was nothing left to talk about. After all, I had planned my speech more times than I could count. I practiced my goodbyes. I rehearsed what I’d say over and over again.
The terms of our conditions change according to the terms of our needs; thus, at some point, I came to the realization that what I had was not what I needed. Or, more importantly, what I had was not what I wanted either. So, then what?
There were two questions I had to ask myself. First, I had to ask myself, “Is this the life I want?” Or secondly, I had to ask myself, “Is this just the life I have?”
Both questions are equally valid and equally important. However, the challenge I faced was not the answer to either of the questions; but more, I was afraid to answer the questions.
I was petrified because deep down, I know that I knew the answer.
Deep down, I knew that I wanted more for my life. Of course, I wanted more but the effort seemed too much. The work was too intimidating to consider. Plus, I was plagued with the punctuation of self-doubt and burdened by an internal dialogue that misinformed me of my abilities.
In fairness, perhaps I saw visions of my “Goodbye” more than ten thousand times. I’d envision me following my dreams and walking away. I had hopes and ideas. I had visions and fantasies of smiling as I closed the door. And next, there was nothing for me but my future and at last, I could say goodbye to a life that I had outgrown.
I wanted more. I wanted better for myself and above all, I wanted to be, think and feel as I deserved to be, think and feel. However, the internal dialogue can be misleading. This was my downfall.
My downfall had nothing to do with other people. Instead, my downfall had to do with the way I related to my thinking and the outside intrusions that came from people in my social circle. I gave myself away. I quit too often and allowed myself to partake in the unbalanced affairs of one-sided or lopsided relationships. Simply put, I never got my worth or understood my value. I lived a codependent life and considered others before I considered myself. This is not to say that I starved so someone else could eat. But more, this is me saying that I failed to navigate on my own or independently. Therefore, I depended on others far too much.
There is a strange addiction to unfit people and places that keep people stuck. Meanwhile, there is a dream.
Deep down, there is a hopeful idea that somehow life will change. Maybe a door will open. Maybe courage will find us. Or, maybe our will and intent to feel better will overcome the reasons why we fail to launch or take a chance.
I have been sharing some of my older prose in this series of journals. Below is a prose about the ongoing goodbye. This is about my amazement for those who want more but never take the chance. I wrote this because, in fairness, there were times when I wanted more but I lacked the belief.
I wanted to go. I wanted to walk away. I wanted the fantasy and the dream to come true. I wanted to turn around with a smile that said it all. I wanted to smile with a grin that told the world, “See? I told you I could do it” and then without a word or warning, I could successfully walk away without looking back or wondering if I’d be missed.
After a while,
the practice is over.
The rehearsal ends and this time,
“I mean it!”
So here I go . . .
I’m packed up and leaving.
That’s it. It’s over.
I don’t have to take this anymore.
The wind is at my back and I’m out.
I’m on my way
I‘m on my way to a better life.
I’m putting it in the wind, as they say or
I’m splitting . . .
I mean it this time.
From this point on,
Everything is going to be new.
No more yesterday for me because
I don’t live there anymore.
It’s going to be good from now on.
New start, new day,
I’m ready to be reborn
Here I go
I’m finally free.
I’m out the door
yesterday doesn’t matter to me
Not at all
Like I said, I don’t live there anymore.
Last night, I slept on one side of the bed
and this morning,
I woke up on the other side of a decision.
I climbed out of bed and that was it . . .
I’m ready this time.
The rehearsal is over!
Different streets, different places,
new blocks, new people
new buildings, new job.
That’s all I wanted
I want a better beginning;
Another town, another time,
and that’s all there is to it
because finally . . .
No more sitting in silence,
No more miserable intentions
No more distractions
No more projections from miserable people
no more crabs in the bucket
No more lying awake at night
listening to seconds tick until the alarm clock rings.
No more looking out the window,
wishing I was anyplace but here.
No more wishing I was anywhere else but here.
No more thinking you’re better
just because you tell me so
No more wondering what I could’ve been
If I’d only taken a shot
if I’d only walked away
(when I had the chance).
I’m out this time
No more wishing for the spring in wintertime
No more thinking of the fall
when the summer gets too hot.
No more wishing I left whenever I practiced this speech
and no more thinking you’ll laugh at me,
because somehow, you knew I’d never take a chance
You knew I’d never have the nerve.
But ah, I do.
It’s come down to this
How many times can you hold me back?
Or better yet, how many times will I let you?
But that’s it. I’m finished this time.
So go ahead
tell me again
Tell me how I’ll never make it without you
Tell me that I’m going to fail
Tell me how you’ll laugh when it happens
Tell me again how you’ll keep my seat warm
tell me this one more time
Just once more , , ,
Tell me and I’ll tell you how, “I’m gone this time.”
That’s it. I’m done
if only I could just get myself to open my mouth
or open the door
That’d be perfect . . .
I could be Gone
We could be done
And I would never have to wonder
if you’d ever miss me again.
The name of this journal is Imagine the Action. So, imagine the action it would take to choose you over the surroundings you have outgrown. Imagine the freedom. Imagine the sigh of relief. Imagine the idea that no one in the world can (or will) ever put you down again.
The interesting part about the prose I shared is this was written to myself. I had to learn how to escape myself before I was able to be free. I never dared to go back to school or tried to advance my career. I gave in to my old intimidations.
I had to learn how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable facts that nothing valuable is ever given. I had to learn how to take it!
I had to take a chance. I had to take a risk and put myself out there. Otherwise, I would be stuck in the same mental dungeons that keep people from their dreams. I had that life. But fortunately –
I outgrew it.