I took this photo of the last full moon, not knowing then, how quickly things would shift and change in my life. But I’m well acquainted with the split second moments where everything changes. Last year it was my brother’s death, Monday it was my dad going into the hospital. This time, I’m not sure he will make it.
I fly out on Tuesday. And while I have to see my dad and will, there’s a lot of business to deal with and paperwork to track down and phone calls to be made, too. Doing it from here, while I also need to advocate for his care in the ICU, is impossible.
But the moon – that’s where I started. The last full moon was March 7th. In a matter of a few days, things were so different. Life can change in an instant. I know we know this. But we don’t live it.
We live in the past, we live in the future. Last night and early this morning I was anxious about things a week ahead of me. I don’t even know any of those things will happen. None of us knows what the future holds. That’s why it’s so incredibly important to remain grounded in the moment. It’s all we have – all we are guaranteed. I don’t want to lose the opportunities I have in front of me, because I’m way ahead, worrying about what may never come.
Life changes and shifts in an instant. Don’t lose out on living fully, loving hard, taking chances, and telling those you love – that you love and care about them. This all sounds rather cliché, I know. But that’s what you get out of multiple losses & grief packed in tight over a few years. Life is too f-ing short to play small and not chase down what & who you want.
As usual, yung pueblo seems to share things that hit me right in the gut. I saw both of these posts this morning. Two things have kept me single far longer than I ever imagined – focusing too much on my career and a dogged determination to find what yung highlights in both of these posts. I am not going to lie – I have always been more fearful of being alone and miserable in a marriage than I was of being alone, period. If I’m alone, I still have a life that has meaning. But alone in a marriage seems like a horrible place to be. And so, I’ve been willing to wait until I found it – until I found him. Or he found me – whatever. I was close. I’ve been close. Close, but no cigar. I didn’t realize the complications that come with being older and single – particularly when you don’t have kids and want them. Nonetheless, I’ve recently had this eye opening experience that makes me 100% certain that waiting was good. Waiting was right. It will (eventually) end where I hope it will. Sometimes, we need reminders of what is worth waiting for, pursuing, praying for, and fighting for. A selfless love – one that places the other person before self, and that is just as dedicated to a partner’s wellness? That is worth waiting for.
“As William James observed, we must reflect that, when we reach the end of our days, our life experience will equal what we have paid attention to, whether by choice or default. We are at risk, without quite fully realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.”
– Tim Wu
Sometimes we hope and long for things that feel right on the surface. Our feelings are our feelings. We love, hope, dream, and plan around them at times. We are attracted to people we are attracted to. And yet, our feelings can betray us in many ways. There’s not much you can do to change them. You can love or care for someone and not be able to change that. But it may also mean that your feelings are pulling you in the wrong direction.
I deserve (you deserve), the absolute best. I reached a point (took forever) not too long ago, where I was just done with certain people. I’ve held onto or kept open connections because of obligation, my career, or an inability to let go (for reasons unknown to me). I have, in increasing measure, grown ruthlessly protective of my life and the days that lie ahead.
But sometimes, even still, I’ve found myself letting my feelings carry me away – without standing firm in what I want for my life. I don’t want (and you shouldn’t either) sloppy seconds, being chosen last, or being carried away by feelings, in general. Particularly when, as the quote above says, “we are at risk without quite realizing it, of living lives that are less our own than we imagine.”
What does that really mean? Frankly, I interpret this to mean – stop wasting time on men (or women) and relationships that are less than what you truly want (and deserve). I think it means that we go along with the current, carried by circumstances and feelings, without thinking. We’re pulled along in that current – without reaching for truth, remembering what we’re here on this earth to do, or what we know we truly want.
I can care for someone until I’m blue in the face. My feelings may try to steer me in their direction. But that doesn’t mean it’s what’s best for me. Your feelings are just that. We shouldn’t deny or hide them. Nor should we live a life void of them (of course). But we have to evaluate them and when they’re not steering us right, we have to choose differently.
I’ve shared this video above because I love the idea of making conscious decisions to choose. We have countless choices to make, boundaries to set, and paths to take. We can choose to remove ourselves from relationships that don’t keep us on that path or that potentially derail us from getting to that life we know we truly want to live. Additionally, we don’t need to sit back and passively wait for some future thing to happen for our lives to begin.
We can choose. I choose to believe that I’m worth more than someone who can’t make up his mind. I’m worth more than a man that is flattered by the attention, but doesn’t care for me and want what’s best for me. I’m worth more than someone who isn’t all in. You are too. You know this in your gut. You deserve better. You know you do . . .
I’m fully committed to choosing the right partner. I’m fully committed to choosing the path I’m on and the boundaries I need to set, to stay on that path. Don’t be swept up in the current of your feelings when you know you deserve more.
I spent my afternoon feeling frustrated about the lack of answers to my why questions. Mix that in with the hurt that comes from having someone disappear and never look back & well, it doesn’t feel great. I spent a few minutes scrolling on social media this evening and this quote appeared in my feed. It fits well. I guess it’s a coincidence? Although, sometimes I think God uses these things (quotes that appear in my path, podcasts that fit the exact moment I need them, Bible verses shared online, etc.) to wake me up and remind me where my focus needs to be. I found it extra interesting that they shared this post today – but it was originally shared in July. I sure needed to see it today. Although it is easier said than done, it’s important for our well-being, growth, healing, and our future plans, dreams, and relationships – that we do just what this post says.
Putting someone else in charge of how we feel is just a bad way to go. I’ve lived it. I don’t care to go down that road anymore. While finding our way out of that is not easy and probably looks a little different for everyone, it is a key to healing and growth. What works for me, may not work for you. I’ve used (and am using) everything from meditations on apps such as Insight Timer, Headspace, & Oak to talk therapy to finding ways to interrupt my train of thought and re-direct myself and my thought patterns. After losing my son, I needed the distraction of laughter – as another example. I watched hours (and hours) of stand up comics online, Netflix, etc. It’s amazing what a little laughter can do for you.
It’s not easy to accept the cards you’re dealt – whether it’s circumstances or how someone treated you (or didn’t, as it were). But accepting the position you’re in for what it is, gives you the ability to focus on healing and your own journey. Though things aren’t exactly where I want them to be right now & today was a jab to the ribs reminder of that, the truth is – I feel more free than I have in years. And that feels pretty damn good.
It’s road trip, time. I’m heading out to Charlotte & Asheville this week. I’m looking forward to a little break from the norm. I have no idea what I’m doing – except for one exciting event on Tuesday evening in Asheville. I hope to share more about that later. What I will tell you, is that I’m ridiculously excited about it. I ordered a ticket for it (the second I heard about it). I had no clue if I could make it, however. Asheville isn’t exactly a quick trip (over 6 hours) on a Tuesday evening – in a typical work week. But I just had to order the ticket – hoping I’d find a way. All the pieces fell into place and I will be four hours closer on Tuesday, now. Have I mentioned I’m excited? 🙂
My quick few days in central & western NC are kind of blank slate at the moment – except for Tuesday evening. I had a few recommendations for places to eat or check out. Here’s some of the recommendations:
NoDa — Charlotte’s North Davidson neighborhood. This arts & entertainment district is right up my alley.
Leah and Louise — Wow. This menu looks amazing. Leah and Louise is in Camp North End which was recommend overall. You can find more info, here.
Chai Pani — I’ve wanted to go to Chai Pani since I saw the restaurant on “Samantha Brown’s Places to Love, early this year. Now that the restaurant has been deemed “Outstanding Restaurant” for 2022, by the James Beard Foundation, it may not be easy to get into, but worth a shot. The Chicken Pakoras sounds amazing! As do the Uttapam! Butter chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes. So, that might be hard to pass up. But man, I just saw that Chai Pani appears to be closed on Tuesdays so that stinks.
Grove Park Inn (for lunch or dinner) — I think the view might be the draw . . .
Bouchon — French food always sounds good. Beef Bourguignon sounds pretty delish right about now.
Tupelo Honey — I wouldn’t hate trying this place. However comma – it’s southern fried kind of food and it doesn’t appear there are many gluten free options (which are available other places).
If you’ll be visiting my adopted home state, anytime soon – I highly recommend checking out NC Tripping! Their site is a treasure trove of info about The Old North State. Here are a couple of their guides for Asheville & Charlotte (open in new tabs).