Walking Towards

photo by Rebecca Knowlton Photography

It’s been an entire year since I’ve written a blog. I’m not entirely sure why that is, and yet in some ways it makes sense. Let me explain—

In the past, writing has been a way for me to get out my thoughts in an organized way—sometimes it has even been therapy for my hurting heart or rest for my tired soul. It’s as if my thoughts are trapped inside of me, and the only way out is to turn them into words and write them all down. But sometimes that portal still feels too small for everything that is trapped inside. That’s what the past year has been for me. Maybe that’s in part why I feel so emotionally drained, and I’ve found it hard to fully comprehend everything that has happened. But maybe I don’t always have to let it all out at once. Maybe as I sit here and type these words, I can take a deep breath and process one thing at a time. It is my “portal” after all. And that’s the thing about writing that maybe I forgot for a bit. Writing doesn’t have to be perfect to be effective, and it doesn’t have to fit someone else’s standard. I get to write whatever I want in the timing that I want.

So. Where should I start?

2022 was another year of goodbyes for me. I said goodbye to a friend who is still here. “Saying goodbye” without a funeral is something quite interesting. I’m certainly not saying that death or a funeral makes things any easier, I’m just saying that it’s strange. And I know that it might seem odd to write about something or someone while having to be vague, but for my own healing this felt necessary and yet I want to be respectful. No need to publicly blast someone. And maybe this will only be words on a screen and “save draft”. But if I did hit “publish” and you are reading it, it’s because I needed to. You as the reader are just here with me in it. Thank you.

I always thought of these types of situations as “walking away” from the person or relationship, but I actually haven’t walked away from much of anything. I chose to walk towards something different and that person was just not capable of coming with me. If we only think of these situations as “walking away” then we will never find what it is we want to be walking towards. I think that’s always been my problem with this idea that at the end of every year we are “leaving behind” the unhealthy or overcoming problems of the past. And maybe we are, but what are we walking towards instead?

As a people pleaser, I have stayed in many unhealthy relationships or situations because I had no idea what I should be walking towards. And when I have walked away in the past, I never truly found what that should be.

But I think that’s what I’ve learned this year. “Leaving” a friendship is really just me finding what kind of life I want to be living. That’s what friendship is—I get to decide who I want to be, and the people who accept that can be right there with me in it, and I with them. If someone I care about is willing to come with me towards peace, loyalty, honesty, boundaries, kindness, and all the things that make a healthy dynamic, then they can come. They can stay. We can keep walking this journey together. But if I need to go left and they want to go right, then it’s time to say goodbye.

Having this mindset in all my relationships has been really healing for me. Life can sometimes seem like one loss after another. But when we remember that walking away can also mean walking towards, and that leaving one thing means arriving somewhere else, it all seems much more freeing. That’s what I want 2023 to be—free.

The freedom to find new adventures, new people, new circumstances…

and finding more of who I really am along the way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s