Just as animals know when hurricanes will arise, I sense that 1 year away I’ll be flung far from where I am today. Thank god for this job. Maybe it will later mark my true path home.
In the spirit of learning from life that comes through me, here are the 3 lessons I would like to remember before everything falls apart:
1. Be helpful without being co-dependent.
Throughout my life, people have come to me or help, relied on me because “I make them happy,” or told me I provide interesting conversation. I love feeling helpful and I love good conversation, so I’m cool with it.
But this goes downhill fast when this becomes the premise of my relationship with others. When there is no reciprocity or attempt to give back the same happiness, help, or learning, there is no equality; only co-dependence.
2. Honoring my fear.
When I was young, one of my friends said to me, “Elisa, you are never scared.” For the longest time, I took this used it to boost my own ego. I’m the girl who’s never scared, I told myself during fights, during traffic accidents, during rejections.
Now I know that my fear creeps into my life in unconventional ways: in my restlessness, in my daydreams, in my desire to fight. Even if I refuse to acknowledge it, my fear draws invisible strings around me and tugs at my decisions for me.
Now I know it is OK to be afraid. Although my fear looks different in me – it doesn’t make me cold and paralyzed the way it does others – it is there, sometimes. And that is OK.
3. Learn that real love sets someone free.
When I love someone, I must remember that I am not always the best for them, all the time, everywhere, no matter what. I am not the person to fulfill all of any one person’s needs – that is superhuman, and I am not that.
When I forget this, I end up acting selfishly and taking everything personally. So what if my co-worker tells Girl X a confidence but not me? So what if I want to befriend someone but they weren’t interested in me?
There are people out there who will see many others as smart, fun, kind, or beautiful, before they will see that in me. That is OK.
I cannot be everything to everyone, nor do I want to be. I must honor the freedom that comes with a basic, simple love. Just because someone breaks up with me does not mean I am unworthy; it might just mean life has taken us in two different paths. Just because I’m not the first one called after an accident, does not mean I can’t be trusted; it might just be someone else has a more immediate relationship with the caller.
If I love someone, I must know I can’t walk every single path with them. Some they go alone, some they travel with others.
If I love someone, I must allow them space to find their own path.
Even if their path is away from me.
Because I need the time to find my own.
PS: Photo – moi. Sorry again for the dirty camera lens.