The Game of Life

“The world is not black and white; in its entirety and even in the most specific aspects, the world around us is one giant gray area. There is always movement, both forward and backward. Structures are built and then torn down – both physical buildings and in other ways, like the hierarchy of positions in a corporation or the building blocks that compose a friendship. Life is not black and white. The things you lose may come back to you someday, or they may not. They may never return, lost for eternity in the space that surrounds us. Or they may return, in the same way as before or in another way. You will change, you will grow, and sometimes, you will revert back to who you were before. It is all a grey area.”

The above paragraph is something I’ve had sitting in my drafts since early September of this year. For months, I left it there and intended to write more, to either expand on those thoughts or try to continue them in some way, but (clearly) I have been unable to do so. Alas, here it is, nearly the end of December. Much has changed in these few months, but I’m going to try to expand on my thoughts now, all these days later.

I think it’s important to realize this, the world is one big gray area. Nothing is certain. Everything can be destroyed; the wonderful flowering moments, but also the terrible ones. Good things can fall down, but bad things can be destroyed as well. The fact that nothing is certain can be exciting or scary; thrilling or terrifying; or maybe a little bit of both.

The point is this. Life is not black and white. Life is not certain. Things can come back full-circle or not at all. Some things will stay, other things will leave you, but it’s the impression those things leave that truly counts.

We are all moving pieces in the game of life. Sometimes we jump three spaces forward, other times we sink back a few slots. Some days we may sit exactly where we are, sometimes for weeks, months, years on end. But nothing is certain, everything is gray, and life keeps going.

 

I Really Don’t Know How to Title This…. on Closure, etc.

There are lots of things in life that aren’t fun to deal with.

Spilling your coffee all over yourself when it’s barely 8 in the morning, for one. Or stepping on a piece of gum in your brand new shoes and having to miserably pull your leg away from the sidewalk like a deranged person.

Even the little things like finding that you’re just short of having enough change to pay for that coffee, so you’re forced to pull out your debit card and allow the nickels and dimes to jingle, jangle in your pocket the rest of the day. Or just missing the green light, having to suffer through an 80-plus degree day with no air conditioner, or walking outside only to have it start downpouring — and of course, you don’t have an umbrella.

But one of the things that really isn’t fun to deal with?

Missing someone, especially when you know there’s nothing you can do to get them back, and you know that you shouldn’t really want them back, anyways. It’s hard, losing a friend or a significant other. It leaves us with a sense of emptiness, as though there’s a pocket in ourselves that isn’t full.

We may not be able to put it into words, but it’s there, like a dark little abyss, and we can’t seem to figure out how to close it up.

The worst part is when you want to close it up, but you just can’t. You know that missing that person is futile, and yet, there it is: that sense of loss.

Eventually, the day comes when you think you’ve gotten over it. You think you can finally move on and stop missing that person. But then you hear that song or visit that place you both used to love, and you get a little twinge on the strings of your heart. You can feel the ache pulling in you, and you struggle against it.

You know that missing them is useless, but you do it anyways.

You might even begin to hope that they’ll return to you. You hope for an apologetic text message or an accidental run-in when you go for your mid-morning run or your afternoon coffee. You hope that you have a chance to speak to them again, to either mend the wound or finally close it.

The world keeps spinning, and not everyone comes back around. Not everyone should.

Maybe closure, not a return to normalcy, is what you really need.

The thing about life is that closure doesn’t always come, not in the way we’d like. Sometimes, things are left wide open; when that happens, you’ve got to be the one carrying the needle and thread and sewing that wound shut. It may take days, weeks, months, even years; but bit by bit,  you sew a little each day. And sometimes, something happens and the whole seam rips open and everything falls out and you’re like “WHAT THE HECK,” but you can always start sewing again.

Believe me, closure will come…. someday. For now, just keep sewing.

Moving On….

Moving on when a relationship or friendship ends can be extremely difficult for some people. Sometimes it’s easy, other times it just… isn’t, and you may be left wondering “What the heck?!?” Well, I’ve got something to say about that.

First of all, everyone is different, and every situation is different. Whenever a relationship ends – whether platonic, romantic, or somewhere in between – we are left to grieve. I realize that word is traditionally used to reflect the feeling someone has when someone passes away, but it’s also appropriate in this context. You’re grieving the end of a relationship, a friendship, a partnership of some sort. It is perfectly normal and okay to feel any range of emotions: anger, hurt, sadness, betrayal, despair, loss – or to feel no emotions at all. You may even be happy that the relationship has come to a close.

There is no clean-cut method for moving on; no recipe that you can concoct that will set you straight and allow you to move forward and leave that person in the past. There’s no set time that is “acceptable” for moving on. You may feel like you’re moving on too fast, or not fast enough.  But I want you to stop thinking like that, because in the end, it’s not going to help you.

Now, there are two sides to this. The first side is many people – maybe even yourself – telling you something like this: “Why haven’t you moved on yet? Come on. Don’t be pathetic. They’ve moved on, you’re better off without them.” Some people may even say that the best way to move on from someone is to throw yourself in focusing on a new relationship with someone else. The other side is people who will tell you to take as much time as you need, focus on yourself and move on when it feels right, not just because you feel like you “should.”

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. Sometimes, I tell myself – hey, it’s okay. You haven’t moved on yet, but clearly this is a situation that hurt you, deeply, and it’s okay that you can’t just snap your fingers and move on. You will eventually, when the time is right and the person is right. Other times, I want to slap myself and say “Wake up! They moved on, why can’t you? What’s wrong with you?” Sometimes it’s one of those things one day and the other the next. Sometimes I feel empowered and ready to move on, while other times I feel down and just not quite ready yet and despairing that I am unable to move on when others have so easily.

In the end, moving on is subjective and it’s unique to each individual and each situation. Some people move on quickly, others don’t. It’s no different than some people taking longer to learn things than others. We all do things at our own speed. It’s easy to slap yourself and tell yourself to move on already because COME ON it’s been too long and you can’t do this anymore, but forcing yourself to be uncomfortable and move on JUST because you feel like you have to is not healthy. Take the time you need, give yourself the time you need and move on as it feels right for you. Sometimes you think you’ve moved on from someone and then you see them and it’s as if you took a hundred steps back; or you hear that song, or go to that restaurant that makes you think of them, and it feels like you’re back at square one. Don’t get discouraged.

Moving on is not an easy process; you’re grieving the end of a relationship of some sort, and that takes time. There’s no set formula for exactly how long it will take, but go about the rest of your life and do the best you can in every aspect of your life. The rest will fall into place.

Radical Acceptance (And How It Can Help YOU, Now)

Have you ever heard of a little thing called ‘radical acceptance?’ Whether you have or haven’t, it’s something you should take a few minutes and learn about. It’s a simple idea – not the most revolutionary, but very easy and ANYONE can do it – and it may prove to be something you want to keep in your emotional toolbox.

Continue reading “Radical Acceptance (And How It Can Help YOU, Now)”