What does that even mean? Is one ever ready for what life throws one’s way?
When life changes in an instant because of an accident, illness, or act of another, were you ready for that? Were you ready to have everything you knew pulled out from under you because the person you shared your life with no longer wanted the same things as you?
What does ready even mean? And while one is processing the changes life has created, should one wait until they are ready to move on? Should one pass up opportunities for healing, love, and life because they aren’t ready?
As humans, we’re never ready for pain. We’re never ready for the strife, the conflict, or the misery that happens in life. So why, then, do we feel the need to be ready for the joy? We sit in our pain; we process it, we nurture it. We build walls and tell ourselves that they will protect us from more pain. We sabotage ourselves and our joy because we are waiting for some magical, mythical readiness that never appears. Oh, we’re never truly prepared for anything, and even when we think we are, we’re not. We find ways to undermine our own happiness because we want to believe we’re not ready and we don’t want to do the work.
And why wouldn’t we wish to do the work to build our own happiness? Because we’re afraid. We’ve walked this road before, sometimes more than once. It failed. We built, and we built, yet still, our house fell. We chose poorly. We established a life with someone who did not have the same goals. And now we’re afraid to open our souls and our lives to the same pain. The same torture that we have endured in the past.
So, we tell ourselves, we’re not ready. We need to do all the things we believe will allow us to be equipped for a better outcome the next time. But be careful, my darling, because while others tell you you’re not able, while you tell yourself you’re not prepared to meet the love of your life, perhaps you already have. Perhaps you’re sending that love away without even trying. Are you ready to give up a chance that your future is standing in front of you because you’re waiting for some sense of readiness that may never come? Happiness can be fleeting. Shouldn’t you fight for it to stay?
You once told me you were worth the risk; am I not worth the same?
I have been setting up the private vault on my OneDrive, moving documents into it, and reviewing all the other documents randomly hanging out on my OneDrive. In the spring of 2019, I switched from OneDrive to Google Drive because I could not access my OneDrive from my work computer. I liked to write during lunch or other downtimes. However, with the new private vault and the ability to set a time limit on shared documents, I am transitioning back to OneDrive. While doing basic housekeeping, I ran across this gem. The date stamp was December 15, 2018. This was roughly two weeks after I broke up with my most recent ex, the first time.
I remember him telling me that a friend of his told him he was not ready to “meet the love of his life. Since she’s a psychologist, he was apt to listen to her; she probably knows what she’s talking about.” Okay, I am paraphrasing that a tad; it was over two years ago. Yet what I remember most about the days that lead up to that first break up was not being heard.
This is something I’ve been mulling over writing about for a while now. Not specifically this incident or the recovered piece that will likely be a part of my future anthology, but what I believe was the catalyst to the entire disagreement. I have wanted to write about the way I speak.
I am a writer, an expressive writer. While I have only submitted a few selections, the feedback I have received from professionals bears that the descriptors I use in my works transform the stories to life. One can picture the events as they unfold. I use a lot of words to describe things that happen in my stories and real life. Yet, when I speak the way I write, I am accused of magnifying an event, hyperbole, or significant exaggeration. Or in the case of my ex-husband, specifically banning him from entering the town I live in. But, it’s really none of those things.
I write the way I think. This is a part of who I am. And I am neither trying to make one feel worse than he might already feel or overstate an event. To me, what I said, is exactly how I felt or saw the incident. It’s how I communicate these feelings to others with the hope it will make them more relatable.
In the specific instance that led to our fight, I told him I had felt “punched in the gut” by an incident that had occurred. He stopped talking to me for hours after this. Later, when he returned, he was upset because of how I described my feelings. I was making a big deal out of nothing. I had no right to be upset about the incident. He could not see my point of view, only that I was overly upset about something he thought was a non-issue. He specifically told me he didn’t like the way I said I’d felt “punched in the gut.” But in reality, that is how I felt. He thought I was exaggerating. I was describing how I felt in a way I thought he could relate to. Instead, it just made him angry.
It’s not the first time someone has gotten upset because I use colorful language. Our society values people who write like me, but not people who talk like me. They want to read stories that come to life and spring from the page, yet they don’t want to hear someone describe their reaction to an incident as “feeling punched in the gut.” We’re supposed to use safe, boring words to make the world feel better about what happens around us.
But here is the question I have. Is the expectation that I tame my words realistic? Should I be more sensitive to the world’s feelings, or should they try to understand mine? Am I expected to change myself so the world can feel better, so people don’t get offended by how their actions affect others? Or should the world learn to adapt to people like me, people who see color in the breeze and string words together so you can experience that color too?
When am I no longer expected to conform to society? When am I allowed to be me, big, colorful words and all?