There were quite a few lessons learned this weekend:
- 2nd chances are ok, 3rd are not
- Some people won't change despite all efforts to help
- My friends save me
- meals > food
- feelings are ok
I had a fabulous, unforgettable weekend in Pittsburgh. Though there for just two days, I indeed learned about myself and my relationships with others. I believe everyone deserves a second chance. We are not omnipotent nor perfect and mistakes are made. I was taught to see the good in others and forgive and forget, so that I do. However, my philosophy is congruent with the common sports phrase, 'three strikes and you're out.' I forgive and forget pretty easily as I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve (I wear it too often, though). I've been hurt too many times in the past, which I'm grateful for, because with each heartbreak and letdown, my skin has become a tad thicker and my brain a bit smarter. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me. People enter and leave our lives for many reasons, something I have been able to accept. This weekend I encountered two "belongers" to the past. The moment I saw him, I felt like Road Runner from The Looney Tunes when he looks above only to see a metal anchor falling on top of him. My stomach dropped to my feet and my hands started shaking. I was a nervous wreck, to say the least, because I felt there was unfinished business that was to be addressed; However, he felt differently... and I should have known better. Though the thought was that I would receive a passionate welcoming energized with excitement, reality showed otherwise. Not only was I undoubtedly disappointed in him, but I felt this inner surge of anger and stupidity rise within me. "Rebecca, you should have known this would happen, you know better," I declared. Despite my anger and disappointment, I was appreciative, because now I do know-- strike 3, he's out.
Similarly, I've learned it is nearly impossible to change a person. I have portrayed the 'life saver' role in all of my relationships. I convince myself that, "I'll be the one to save him.. There is hope". On the contrary, I am the one who usually needs the saving, as a result of a broken heart. Katherine Heigel said it best when she proclaimed, "You can't blame yourself. Some people are just broken. I guess you just try not to care too much and you won't be disappointed." I suppose my need to help, save and change others correlates with a heart dressed on my sleeve and my ease with forgiveness. I decided, against better judgment, that I would meet up with another from my past. Generally when we meet, I become vulnerable and give in to his sad puppy eyes. But this time was different. For some reason, I stood strong and proud in front of him, ready to inhale what was to come out of his mouth. I will always care about him, but I have learned I can't fix a broken person.
"You know it's weird. Sometimes I don't realize how much I miss you until I actually see you," proclaimed my intoxicated (yet very close) friend. We were dancing to the beats spun by the DJ at a popular bar on campus. As the sweat dripped and college students stared, I felt alive. I didn't care who was staring at the sight of intoxicated, loud group of guys and girls shaking their asses and screaming lyrics-- I was with my best friends and that's all that mattered. As we pranced around the dance floor, grinding up on each other, all thoughts of ED dissipated with the smoke from the fog machine. I was me, again. The next night I stood in the back of a room while The VoKols performed. I smiled ear to ear and cried tear by tear as the harmonies resonated in my soul. My passionate energy resides within that group of talented, spiritual singers and I am eager to return to the group. Furthermore, I was reunited with prior roommates and I was ecstatic. When we're together the fun never stops and the laughter is contagious and endless. I love how I can be my goofy self around them-- and how they'll still put up with/be my friend, hehe. I am most thankful for my friends at school because they accept me for who I am. They motivate, challenge and inspire me to live to my full potential. They have saved my life and I am forever appreciative.
This weekend was all I could have hoped for, and then some. Much of the weekend was spent celebrating Carly's 22nd birthday, thus, there were ample occasions for ED to visit (ie: at the restaurants, bars, etc.) Shameful, yet honest, I admit I allowed ED to take advantage of me. Additionally, I allowed myself to observe and be mindful during those difficult circumstances, validating an important conclusion. Meals are not about the food, they are about the people you share the food with. Saturday afternoon Carly, her parents along with out closest friends sat at a near empty Greek restaurant for multiple hours. Time flew by as we laughed and reminisced about our hectic lives and fond memories. Though there were moments when ED successfully made me deaf to the chatter, there were others during which I felt comfortable and at peace. I noticed no one else stared and dissected the meal in front of them, as if the food was a fetal pig in a biology lab. Rather, they ate slowly and subconsciously while immersed in conversation, barely looking down at their plates. I, however, was more interested in the lab. The meal reminded me of the significance food has among friends and family and how it provides warm, loving and delicious outlets for social gatherings. It reminded me that the energy pointed (if you will) towards food, should be (there it is again) focused on greater meanings in life, such as the people I share meals with. Perhaps an important lesson I can pack in my suitcase for Thanksgiving. :)
Finally, but certainly not least importantly, a realization set in. While I have worked diligently on my project I have also become close with several peers, while setting clear, emotional boundaries for legitimate reasons. First, I needed the past few months for me, myself and I. There was no energy (no pun intended) nor time to displace focus and passion towards someone else. No, these countless days were spent on inner-peace, growth and love. Additionally, boundaries are much easier to cope with than feelings-- especially when one tends to wear their heart on their sleeve and put another before him/herself. However, I have recently been told that it's possible I subconsciously build brick walls to avoid pain. And maybe, just maybe, I can slowly destruct the wall one brick at a time, allowing myself to grow closer with someone special. Perhaps, then, I will recognize my potential and eventually reach a state of self-actualization. It is only then, that I will be able to finally let ED go.
Tonight as I dive into a bowl of pear/berry/oat/brown sugar warmth alongside TJ's fro yo (gotta have hot and cold...silly dichotomous thoughts), I will reminisce and let go of the past, then embrace the present and future that lay before me.
I am thankful for my friends whom eagerly await my return to Pittsburgh. And I am thankful for my determination and motivation, to tear down the brick wall-- which can be attributed to you. :)
"Some people believe that without history, our lives amount to nothing. At some point we all have to choose: do we fall back on what we know, or do we step forward to something new? It's hard not to be haunted by our past. Our history is what shapes us... what guides us. Our history resurfaces time after time after time. So we have to remember sometimes the most important history is the history we’re making today."- Grey's Anatomy