Friday, March 27, 2015

Skinned Knees Are Easier to Fix Than Broken Hearts

What happens when everything you knew comes crashing down as one big, elaborate facade? It's like your mind completely stops -- relinquishing all thoughts, dreams and hopes of a future once planned out so thoroughly and so carefully. It can be anything sudden, like a death of a loved one or finding out that the one person you were about to marry has decided not to go through with it. Maybe you were served divorce papers. Whatever the situation is, it's all relative. They all just seem to smack you with a dose of reality that there is nothing can be untouchable. Our future is not secure. Our future is actually an illusion if you want to even take it a step further. Nothing is set in stone -- ever. Maybe that's why we get so disappointed in certain situations. I mean, I always thought my dad would live forever and that my mom would never get cancer. I just 'thought'. I also thought my life would turn out differently, at least to the point of having a general idea of where it was heading. I was completely wrong. I'm not unhappy about it, but it is very different from what I used to 'dream' about. But it was all an illusion. Remember "BFF"? "Best Friends Forever" was scribbled all over your notebooks in school and how you and your buddy would never separate. You'd make plans to have kids at the same time and to always be in one another's lives. And now, maybe a few emails per year or every other year on Facebook saying "hi" and exchanging simple pleasantries and comments about the photo you posted onto Pinterest.  What about siblings? We change. Some move across the country or across oceans to start a new life. Some are right across the street, and yet you haven't seen them in months, maybe even years.

And you know what?

That's okay.

I remember a long, long time ago having dinner at a local restaurant with an ex-girlfriend of mine. She kept asking me to move in with her, taking our relationship to the next level. I didn't answer her right away and was very scared about it. She wanted me to change a lot of things about me. I mean, they were doable, but they weren't the 'true me'. I secretly went to my psychologist and asked him about what he thought. I explained how she wanted me to change a few things about myself. He just stared at me and then said, "Tell her, 'This is me, I'm not gonna change, but I will take this to the next level with you.'" So the following night I prepared myself to give her a "yes" -- to give up a lot of what I had for her -- basically, my world. I had a lot to lose by doing this -- by making this huge mistake decision.  So we went out for dinner. We usually sat at the bar. I ordered a glass of wine and had the salmon with some veggies. I remember every single detail like it was a few hours ago. Halfway through dinner, I was excited and nervous to turn to her and say, "Yes." I thought she would be gleaming with joy, maybe even hugging me in public. But what I got was so unexpected and not what I envisioned at all.

"That's not an option now, Deb."

I stared at my plate replaying her words in my head. I could no longer eat. I took a swig of my wine, but the lump in my throat made it hard to go down. I felt my heart breaking right then and there, secretly trying to hide this traumatic event that just unfolded. I even remember thinking that I would probably never forget this moment. And I was right. My plans and dreams in my mind seemed to have floated up above me -- like swirling around in space asking, "What do we do now?' I couldn't speak. I couldn't even answer my own thoughts that were begging for answers. I didn't even ask "why" or continue that conversation. I didn't want to know. I was actually too scared to know. Did my hair look bad that night? Did I wear the right outfit? What went wrong? So, I remained silent as I drank my wine and slid my plate of dinner away from me. I believe I drank way too much wine within the last 30 minutes of that conversation and had to get a ride home. I was devastated. And of course, wine + devastation + heartbreak = bad reaction. I ended up getting "brave" that night calling and yelling at her. I was angry. I was hurt. I should have just remained silent.

But see, looking back and I guess with hindsight being 20/20, she made the right decision. I wasn't good for her. And I'm not saying that I'm not a good person or not good enough for anybody else, but I wasn't in a good place at the time or even ready to share my life with another person. Just the fact that I had to think about it for a whole week or more was enough reason to show her that I was not ready for that big step. I was not ready for a mature relationship, just because I wasn't mature enough myself to begin with. And I'm not downing myself, I'm just stating facts.

When things don't work out the way we want them to, we can either stomp our feet like big crybabies (like I did), or we can accept them and take those swirling thoughts above our heads and redirect them -- but only when they're ready to be redirected. We don't always have to have a plan or make a decision. Sometimes making no choice is better than making the wrong choice.  Life is unpredictable and so are people. Our feelings can change, our thoughts can change and so can our hearts. So my point is: never think for a moment that everything is just gonna remain 'as is' forever. Never think that 'so & so' will always be there waiting for you. Never think your loved ones will live forever and ever. But never lose hope that everything works out for the best, or at least, to where it's supposed to be. Sometimes we don't know our purpose in life, until a huge life event changes us forever. We all have an integral part in this huge universe of ours, not just in one person's life. So when you feel that pain of rejection and you feel like your whole world has just fell apart, remember that life is so much more than 'you and that person' -- it's about experiencing love, happiness, sadness as well as pain. We can't experience happiness if we've never gone through sad times. We also cannot appreciate beautiful and carefree days if we were never stricken with pain. There has to be darkness in order for light to shine, just as there has to be silence in order for sound to be heard. They all work together.

Even through my own experiences, losing my dad or losing a partner -- these things are how our minds develop experience, knowledge and endurance. The endurance is what keeps us moving forward. It prepares us for future challenges in life. But I'm not an expert. I'm still trying to figure it all out as I travel through this winding road of life. I still make mistakes and sometimes, I even turn into a big crybaby. But I have to say that I always learn something different from my events. There's always something to be learned in those times you feel helpless. There's a quote that I love and I'm not sure who wrote it. But it says, "Sometimes I wish I were a little kid again, skinned knees are easier to fix than broken hearts."

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!