Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Jumping Over Puddles

My dad is convinced that I'm going to be eternally disappointed in life and sometimes I wonder if he's right. I admit I expect too much from others or at the very least expect the same things I expect of myself: respect, commitment, self-awareness, honesty. Not everyone lives by those same rules, he says. And sometimes I let my mind dash off instead of focusing on the facts laid out before me, which often leads to heightened expectations.

Last month, I had to let go of a friend I'd considered my bestie for nearly 17 years. It was no easy decision, but after I'd realized how anxious the relationship made me feel and how often I excused her behavior, I knew I had to cut the chord. And despite the colorful language that came flying at me afterwards, I still wish her well, I still wonder how she's doing, and I still wish things had turned out differently.

Finding a new home for Toby has also been laced with disappointments and false promises from people who'd string me along. "Why can't people commit?!" I grrrr'ed. After accommodating the schedules of two potentials only to be left hanging in midair, I was ready to give up on my third prospect - a 73-year-old woman who regularly finds loving homes for dogs through her organization Earth Angels Canine Rescue. She seemed perfect and had the experience to handle Toby's growing health problems herself, but pinning down a time for her to come over was such a hassle. Sickness, a dead phone, and hectic volunteer schedule were just some of the reasons why I was stood up two days in a row and when three hours ticked past the time we'd set for Sunday, I was ready to tear into her.

"It's all a test," A. had suggested, "to see if you're a kind and patient person."

Sure enough, when she came to pick up Toby, I had melted back to human and scratched off her previous transgressions. Plus, I didn't want to waste any time being annoyed with someone who was probably just doing the best they could.

There's another letdown though that I'm still working through. A. and I had planned to move in together this spring, but after starting the apartment hunt we realized that we weren't ready just yet and decided to hold off. I had wrapped up so much into this milestone that I failed to see the missing pieces. I was also determined that what happened with Mr. First in 2008 wouldn't happen again - to find myself signing a lease only to let it all go (thousands of dollars included) and break up shortly after. A terrible motivation that probably added to my stress and while I felt slightly relieved when we decided to push it aside, I was still sad about it.

So I could continue to be disappointed - with him, with myself - that this didn't happen yet or I could choose to move past it and just appreciate each moment for what it is. I've always admired those who've been able to let things roll off their shoulder, the ones who live and learn, who stumble over obstacles, but dust themselves off and keep it moving. Five years ago, I was wiped completely off my feet and let the water pull me under for what felt like forever. This time though? I'm focusing on leaping over the puddles. I will not drown again.



  1. Hang in there... but remember the goal of the journey is the trip itself, not getting there.

  2. Letting go of friends is not easy... I have learned that lesson recently, as well. But, sometimes, it's for the best, and life improves for the better. I hope everything else works out for the best for you, as well. Sometimes having the patience to see things out in the long run is the hardest thing you can be asked to do.


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