“Oh sweetie, you’re so sad. Just like I can see you’re trying to do right now, you’re working really hard to keep it contained and hold it all in, but sweetheart, you’re allowed to let it out. Sometimes it’s good to have a cry and feel your feelings.”
I was definitely surprised and almost annoyed to hear the card reader I was seeking guidance from say this. I knew this already. Of course I knew this. I thought I was pretty good at feeling my feelings, being present and moving through them, but she picked up on this as soon as we sat down together. I was hoping to have her say, “Oh wow, good for you for having all that shit behind you, look at your glorious future!” But it turns out, maybe I wasn’t as far along as I thought. At least in terms of processing the sadness. For the last year my strategy was basically, “don’t fall apart, just keep going and keep your head above water.”
It’s been almost exactly a year since I asked my Baby Daddy to move out. (I don’t know what to call him anymore other than that. Before it was always ‘partner,’ ‘ex’ just sounds bad, and “daughter’s father” is a mouthful. So yeah, my Baby Daddy.) We had officially called it a few months prior, and I had essentially given up and was biding my time for much, much longer than that. With the way we initially approached each other, this thing was doomed from the get go. One of those relationships that you can foresee the final days right out the gate, but you decide to do it anyway.
This weekend is his turn to have our daughter. Technically, I’m footloose and fancy free and can do whatever I like, but I don’t know, I’m not up for much. A quiet walk by the water was all I could muster. Today was a good enough day, nothing too much in one direction or another, but sometimes I guess when you give yourself those soft spaces, it’s like the valve loosens a bit, as if it’s implied consent to just let out some more sadness. Earlier in the week, when I was putting our girl to bed, she complained that she hated having two houses. Why couldn’t Daddy live with us? What happened? My heart just broke. “I never wanted it to be this way, darling, and I’m sorry it’s so hard for you. It’s hard for me too. I wish it could be different, but sometimes in life things happen that you don’t plan for and you just have to make the best of it.”
So, I solo walked along the ocean with the same dumb playlist I’ve been stuck on for months, and quite unexpectedly, I just started crryyying. Not sobbing, or anything obvious, just tears streaming down my cheeks as I recalled Natalie the card reader’s words to just feel the feelings and sit with them to help heal. Most of the time I feel uplifted, and peaceful, and hopeful, and incredibly thankful for all the positive things in my life, but tonight I just felt sad. Sad that I wasn’t one of those happy little families walking together with their children. Sad that I missed her so much and that this is my new reality – half of my time with my child. Yes, there are pros to the situation, but today, I felt the cons – hard. I feel sad for this familiar loneliness. Sad that I accepted that cold, unaffectionate, distant relationship for myself for so long. Sad for all the things I did to contribute to its demise – didn’t I know better? Sad that I didn’t state my self worth years sooner. All.the.feels.
A lot can change in a year, and having things fall apart can bring all kinds of beautiful new perspectives. The woman who entered that relationship seven years ago wouldn’t dare turn up again. She’s transformed with the knowing that you must never rely on anyone else for your own happiness. After making the mistake over and over and over again, it has finally come clear that you should never, ever enter into a partnership with the underlying hope that someone will change. You either love and accept them the way they are, and build each other up from that, or you move along. “Oh, he would be so perfect for me if he was just this completely different person – maybe he’ll turn into that.” What an outrageous notion.
I like to muck around with oracle cards myself – mostly animal medicine cards, as I’ve always felt that certain animals arrive in my consciousness with the messages I most need to hear. Tonight I pulled the reversed spider calling out my current lack of creativity. Before I started getting paid to do business writing, I would write for the simple joy of it all the time. I always said, “If I could be teaching yoga, and doing my writing, I’d be fulfilling my dream and using my gifts.” The last few years I threw myself into my yoga practice, and god knows where I’d be without it, but, right around the time I got into that relationship, I completely stopped writing for fun. In retrospect, I turned a lot of myself off to focus on trying to fix that thing. Silly, I know. I see that now.
As rusty as I am with this, I’m trying to turn the tap back on. Just feeling the feels without too much thought, criticism, judgement or editing. Creating a little sanctuary for myself that will hopefully shift this in the right direction. Here’s to making soft spaces for healing. Friday feels for reals.