There are few things that we are in constant opposition to than change. As I began this column, I envisioned something quite a bit different than what has emerged now six months later. This could not be less of a complaint. In fact, I am abundantly grateful simply for having the opportunity to share my first editorial column with the community I grew up in, because now I have gotten to grow up here again.
What brought me here was ending the worst relationship and situation of my life. Someone who belittled and put me down daily. Someone who was cruel, dishonest and inconsistent. Essentially, tools which can best be used to destroy another person. I had to rebuild my own way of thinking, of living, of seeing my value and worth, and it has been the most incredible journey.
Learning how to embrace the differences as they come and to exist in the storms as they are happening has been one of the greatest lessons. When the water is rising, we only drown if we panic. Starting over is treading water, you just need to keep breathing.
Asking for help is hard, and sometimes the gravity of your pride and ego can be what drags you down, when all you ever had to do was let them go and release the weight. It is alright to reach for someone besides yourself. We have only ever been human, and we have never been above needing one another. Do not allow yourself to stay in hell simply because the street signs have grown familiar, and you would rather not admit that you need directions to an out.
Needing one another does not represent weakness, or a lack of drive. In fact, our ability to love and be loved sets us apart. Life can get busy, and money, bills and responsibilities can cloud our point of view so intensely that we forget that none of it can love us back and we were only really put here for each other.
We love for life to happen as we want it, when we want it, yet often, these ideals don’t pan out. Life just happens and somewhere along the way, we convince ourselves that we are not where we should be, that we are not smart enough, or successful enough, or reaching the same milestones as everyone else. Patience here is key.
The simple reality is that there is always a purpose in even the most dismal phase of our lives. I was not meant to be writing this a moment before now because I would not have been the same person that is sitting here now. Had I acted on every whim of impatience, I would not have had as many opportunities to learn and grow as I have written this column.
A commonality I have found among nearly all who begin again is that at some point or another, we start to miss our roots. We try to revert because old habits die hard, and sometimes those habits feel like home, even when not healthy. In the impatience for visible progress, the subsequent discouragement can make us want to throw in the towel entirely.
If there has ever been a moment that I wanted my writing to feel as if I were speaking directly to you, it is now. Do not go back. Do not turn around. I do not care how loudly your past bangs on the door, lock the deadbolt. There is no place for you in yesterday.
The last policy I wrote on forgiving oneself, and the experiences it takes to reach the final result. No matter how large or small, do not belittle trials and pain. A broken foot is worse than a sprained ankle but that does not mean you should walk on either. We are all just healing. Remember not to hold your humanity against yourself.
You can know every rule in the book. You could do it all perfectly, right down to the letter. Accepting change, asking for help, being patient, not turning back, forgiving yourself—you will have to take the first step. Life will keep moving forward and it most likely will knock you down at some point or another. Those are the moments you will need to remember everything learned, the moments that you don’t turn back, that you reach for help, that you forgive yourself for falling.
The Final Policy is this— despite everything you know, you have to let go of every single notion and idea of what you believe Starting Over is about to look like.
Change won’t happen at all the way you thought it would, and that is going to be the best part.
Let go, it’s going to be incredible. We got this.
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