“It sounds to me like this isn’t your jam.”
Jam. She literally used the word “jam”.
“It’s not!” I sobbed. I was a teary, blubbering mess with a mascara problem plopped on a plush therapist couch.
My therapist was referring to my relationship with my adorable boyfriend. She was letting me talk. I was cry-talking. She was asking for clarification here and there. And gradually…ever so gradually… I was coming to the realization that we needed to breakup.
Babe, if you’re here, I hope none of this is in some way hurtful to you. I did my best to communicate with you directly, but some things I didn’t think to say at the time. Thoughts and feelings are coming to me with time and keys under my fingers. And you know that conversation between you and me – even now – is open.
I always seem to lose it on the therapy couch. There is something about a safe space, a neutral third-party, and a fresh box of tissues that just makes me… tell the truth. I tell the truth with my thoughts, my emotions, and my words. Tell the truth. Tell the truth. Tell the truth. Tell the truth.
My therapist asked me to expound upon my trip to Denver. I said that I found it challenging…
I said that…
- I eat cherries on top of my ice cream sundaes. He eats his beside his sundae.
- I wave with my right hand. He waves with his left hand.
- I pull through parking spaces. He backs in.
- He parts his hair on the left. I part mine on the right.
Ok, so I didn’t say any of those things. Nothing of the sort. I just typed up random nonsense. But the exact things that I said that night don’t actually matter at all. Because if the person you are with doesn’t match up with the person YOU are then the reasons why you don’t see a future with that person don’t have to matter to anyone else but YOU.
I have a special quirk. My sister calls it “my thing”. My thing is that whenever I need to make a big decision I run around asking 47 people who I believe make better decisions than do I; and then I proceed to co-ruminate with those people on whatever the present problem is in an attempt to inevitably get them to tell me what to do (aka “make said decision for me” because I’m 26 and apparently still haven’t figured out how to make decisions for myself).
But that night… that night was different. I told the truth with my therapist that night about how I was really feeling and thinking about my relationship. I wanted so badly for it to work. I was so open and patient and willing to learn and love a new person that I just knew it was going to work. But that night I truly started listening to myself – and my body. Let’s not forget about my body because she has been a wreck for months and I wasn’t exactly sure why. I knew that night that breaking up was the best option for me.
And right there on that couch – I cried. And I got all shaky and snotty and damp on the front. And I got a little distracted while driving back home through downtown and nearly killed people by driving down a one-way street until a nice truck blocked lanes and flashed at me until I came to my senses. And that night in my dark, cold car… I resolved to make my up my own dang mind and make my own dang decision.
I resolved to be true to myself.
I made my decision. And I told no one. I asked no one’s opinion and sought no one’s counsel except my therapist because she asked and my heart because she cares.
I felt like I was wading around in a pool of depression for the next 3 days. I was sad in every corner of me. And when he and I got a chance to talk and we agreed that it was best to split up…I found that it was actually one of the best conversations I (we) have ever had.
We broke up that afternoon. And again I told no one. It seemed unnecessary to share at the time since I didn’t need any help with the decision anyway and all I felt was numb sadness.
It was an amazing conversation not because I was happy to break-up – on the contrary. He is one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever known. And I miss his hipster, vegetarian, concert rocking, earring-sporting self on the regular. It was an amazing conversation because I stood up for myself. I looked at a situation and I made a decision for ME. I made a decision based on who I was and what was important to me. This is something new for me for sure.
In the past I have been so unsure of myself that I have stayed in all sorts of situations simply because I mistakenly believed that if I waited long enough the situation will magically improve and it would magically be more in line with who I was. But not that night. That night I didn’t wait around.
I’m here tonight to encourage you to be true to yourself in all sorts of situations – not just relationships. Stand up for yourself. And a situation does not have to be bad in order for you to make a course correction or walk away entirely. Whoever you are and whoever you intend to be – make decisions that honor that person.
And listen to your gut. Literally. It’s no coincidence that we use funny little idioms like “I have butterflies in my stomach” or “I need to digest what you just said” – there is a connection between our thoughts and feelings and our digestive systems. I think our guts can teach us a lot.
So, if you’re reading this, whoever you are and wherever you are – I’m here to challenge you to take a step back and look at where you are and what decisions you have before you. Are you being true to you?