The following morning I woke up to party aftermath. There were bottles of wine, glasses, food and even people everywhere. I got myself together to get out of bed when I realized I could barely move. My head was pounding, but worse than that my body ached. I could barely stand and my back was on fire. I made my way to the kitchen gingerly and made room to make coffee and some breakfast for the friends that were smart enough not to drive home. We ate our egg and cheese sandwiches, sipped our coffee and went over the events of the night. I couldn’t imagine what would make me so incredibly sore. Everything on me hurt. As we were recapping the evening, the ballerina dance in the front lawn came flooding back to my memory; Ahha. I was in fact no longer a dancer and my body screamed at me for thinking high kicks and lunges in the front yard was possible at my age.
I spent that day on the couch, unable to move and I assume paying for the sins of my show off dance moves. I went over and over the night in my head. I wanted to find the turning point to my friends walking out that day. I couldn’t find one. I went over and over the last few weeks, months even thinking about if I had done something differently things could have turned out differently for all of us. I do that when things don’t turn out the way we had planned or hoped or assumed they would. We back track and replay conversations, arguments, disagreements, anything to figure out how we got to where we were.
I thought if I had only been nicer, or reached out sooner or said something different or acted different or was someone else that people leaving my life would stop happening. But the thing is, we can’t stop it. It happens to all of us. We can do or say or be everything we think another person wants and still end up sitting on the couch alone unable to move. Why do we internalize? Why don’t we say things to ourselves like, they should have tried harder, they should have reached out or been more honest with how they felt? Why do we always put the blame on ourselves? I guess that’s part of human nature.
The funny thing is we can’t be anything but ourselves. We can’t change a piece of ourselves in the hopes that the other person will like us or love us better than before. We can’t take away pieces of ourselves to make other’s happy. Whether its a friendship or a relationship that person should love us the way we are. I’m not talking about not compromising, because most of life is about compromise, I’m talking about taking away pieces of ourselves in order to make someone else happy. If we do that, if we change for someone else, then that person really isn’t loving us right? They aren’t loving the person you are, they are hoping you can become the person they want or need. Eventually what they end up with is a person that isn’t you. Eventually what you end up with is a person that isn’t you. If you change this piece and that piece, whose to say you aren’t asked to change again and then again. Soon you will look in the mirror and not recognize yourself.
At what point to we say to our friends or our families or our loved ones, this is me? Take me as I am. Love me, flaws and all? And if they can’t? If whoever or whatever you are doesn’t work for them, to me, that isn’t our problem, but theirs. In my mind I have always known people are flawed. They are not perfect. I stopped loving people for who they could be and began to see them for who they are. Which is so much more beautiful than what I could make them into. Their individualities, their experiences, their pure essence is who I love. I realized that day on the couch alone, unable to move that I could not be anything for anyone that wasn’t purely me. Good, bad or indifferent. I couldn’t lose myself to gain someone else. So I sat. And I was sad. And I experienced the loss of a great friendship. And then I got up, brushed myself off and reminded myself I was good enough just as I am. And so were they. And so are you.