I am what can now officially be called “middle-aged”, at a point in my life when certain things are becoming more and more true. Everything goes by so fast now, like I can feel time running out. It’s become easier to let go and harder to hold on.
It’s been my experience that you can never really count on someone, that at some point, people will let you down, important people, maybe in small ways, sometimes in the biggest ways. Then you have to decide whether the hurt can be fixed, whether it’s even worth the effort. Either way, there is no going back. You move forward together into something new, maybe even something stronger, but never the same. Or for reasons you might not ever know, that relationship simply disappears. You might think about it from time to time, wondering, but there are no answers. It’s off into the wind, almost like it never happened at all.
I am usually an optimist, generally looking and finding the best in people. This is a hard quality to reconcile when someone fails you. Each time it happens, the wall gets a little thicker, the output a little more superficial. It becomes a question of how much more of your real self you are willing to risk. It’s easier just to put out what you think someone wants to hear, and then when they stomp all over you, nothing really is lost. Shrug it off, proof again that the only person you can really trust is yourself.
It makes me sad to even think this way, let alone write it. I am pretty sure I do have a core group of people who mean me no harm, but the problem is – I’ve always thought that and been proved wrong. All I can do is inch out a little bit at a time and see what happens.
Sometimes, support and love comes when you least expect it, when you really need it. That is what reminds me to keep trying, that people are worth the effort, that I have an impact on people – that we all do, more than we realize, good and bad.
I am grateful for a friend’s message today reminding me of this, a surprise boosting me up after a trying time. Out of the blue making it clear that even though some people are through with you, others remain.
So I put the pieces back together, in a different order, dull edges on the inside, shiny ones facing out. And walk on.