(For the first time in a long time, I have no path to follow. No course set out. When I find out what I do next, I hope you’ll be a part of it.)
I didn’t realize how much of a shell of my former self I had become. I had undergone a number of physical changes due to illness. I had gotten sick in 2019 and lost 60 pounds, making me look very sickly and rail thin. I then developed a nerve problem that left me with a pronounced limp due to my left foot. (I’ve always been a very ill person, with my health declining more and more the older I get… but maybe that’s a story for another day). I also went from being someone who always wore contacts to someone who wears glasses the majority of the time due to the diagnosis of two diseases existing in my eyes.
Being sick was part of the reason that I changed internally, being in constant pain and fear of the progression of these illnesses has left me with anxiety and depression, the heights of which I hide from most people. The changes were so much more than that though.
I use to be a very outgoing gal. I was athletic and involved in soccer and a local city softball league. I played in a billiards league and traveled out of state to billiards expos. I had a plethora of friends and events to go, socialized at the local bars on several nights, and was an avid reader and movie goer. All of this on top of my voracious love of learning and my academic achievements. I’m not really sure when this all changed, but I began moving through the paces of life with no real enthusiasm or joy.
I use to journal on a weekly basis, often working through my fears and anxieties by putting pen to paper and sharing my true feelings with myself in a depth that helped me to better understand myself. I use to read almost daily, devouring books at an astonishing rate. I use to laugh and look forward to hanging out with friends. I’m not sure why I stopped writing… where my joy for laughter escaped to.
I went from being an extrovert to an introvert. I was existing without really living.
I recently left a pretty toxic relationship that lasted for the majority of two years. While this individual is mainly a great person, we just couldn’t hack it together. We brought out the worst of each other at the worst of times. Looking back, I feel like I let myself be beaten and broken down by the things that happened in that relationship. I’m no longer as loving, no longer as snuggly, and very cautious of love and feelings of affection now. The anxiety of always waiting for the other shoe to drop was overwhelming and definitely effected our relationship and that has played a huge part in me becoming who I am today.
When things ended with my partner in October, I realized that I was trapped in a warped pattern of leaving and going back. Of changes being made then becoming forgotten and no longer important. Integral compromises went by the wayside and ruined things again and again. I felt like the only way to pull myself out of this cycle, out this…. This fog of a life that I had slid into… was to leave entirely.
In mid-November I moved from Central New York to the middle of nowhere North Dakota, just south of the Canadian border. While the plan had been devised three weeks before the move I didn’t announce it to anyone other than family until 48 hours before I left. I didn’t want the opportunity for anyone to convince me to stay. I knew that if I let myself think about it too much, I would stay and nothing would ever change… and what a change it’s been. What a rollercoaster of emotions.
The opportunities open to me are now endless. I have one of my very best friends with me, and her and I are embarking on a journey that has already had it’s ups and downs, but is hopefully moving to a better place. (And somewhere warmer in just a few short months… stay tuned for that adventure!)
The first couple of weeks were difficult for sure. I finally had the emotional break down that had been building deep inside me, and in a moment of fear and weakness and being totally overwhelmed by myself and what was spilling out of me… I packed my bags and prepared to make the 24 hour drive back to CNY. Then I got sick… (surprise surprise!) and in being sick I had a lot of time to rest, heal, and mend the torn pieces of myself. While I’m still scared, I’m feeling more confident of my decision to stay and give this whole thing a real shot. Social media, cell phones, and face time have definitely helped with the transition. I no longer live in the same small city with my immediate family members and my nieces and oldest nephew. The five individuals who were the center of my world are now 1600 miles away, and while I feel a sense of freedom not being tethered to them anymore there is also a great sense of loss as I no longer have them for physical comfort. I am so grateful for their support in this. From the tearful phone call telling them that I wanted to come home, to the encouragement about me sticking it out. (I love you mom and dad and I miss you more than anything. <3)
Now I have me. I myself have always been responsible for my own happiness and success, but I no longer have people persuading me to their passions or their way of doing things. I have no major influences in my immediate everyday life, and I was able to leave behind the negative people that were definitely dragging me down into a hole I did not want to be stuck in. It is awe inspiring how large the world suddenly feels. I can reinvent myself, be truer to myself, and hopefully find the life that I’ve always longed for.
The only thing missing is you. I’ve spent thirty years searching for you, and feel like I was in the wrong place doing so; no matter what trifles life had given me, I always felt like there was something missing from where I was. I hope to find you along this journey, and look forward to the happiness and love that I have only ever felt in my dreams. The kind of love that leaves my heart aching when I read of the love and devotion of the likes of John Keats and Fanny Brawne… Keats wrote “… I have no limit now to my love…” and I finally feel like I have a chance at that.
” – My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you.
Yours for ever…”
W J Elliott