I have never been great at taking it slow.
When you have anxiety, patience is not in your vocabulary. You must always be active in order to maintain inner peace. You cannot sit still for more than a few seconds without feeling like you need to be doing something. Stillness leads to being alone in your mind, and being alone in your mind means that it can race on and on, and there is nothing you can do to catch up with all those thoughts you’re having. When it comes to anxiety, there is no relaxation or tranquility, just your mind running on as your heart races and you experience shortness of breath just trying to keep up with it. Your mind is moving at the speed of light, and you can try to catch up but no matter how hard you try your brain will be miles ahead. Still I do my best to keep up with the constant train of thoughts my brain generates throughout the day, good and bad.
Speed can be beneficial in many situations, but there are also times where you may be advised to take it slow. Whether it’s someone who is trying to complete too many tasks at once, or experiencing a new relationship, or mourning the loss of a loved one, the phrase “take it slow” is constantly told to us. There is no right pace to move at so long as you do not try to move at an unrealistically fast pace when attempting to complete more tasks than you can handle in one day or expect to quickly grow accustomed to someone who played a major role in your life no longer being a part of it. As Confucius once said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
I have many goals set for myself, and I often find myself striving to achieve them all at once. I know that I have a long life ahead of me to complete them all, and I will come across many more goals I want to set for myself, yet I tend to hear this imaginary timer go off in my head as I remind myself of how much work needs to be done to achieve my goals. This imaginary timer convinces me that I have failed because I am already at this stage in my life and have achieved so little compared to others my age. Time is valuable, and before I know it thirty years will pass and I will be in my fifties grasping onto hope that I will at least accomplish something before I die. I fear if I don’t reach any of my goals now, I never will.
While I am overcoming that fear, I am still fighting the mindset I have of “now or never” when it comes to most goals. That mindset has been prevalent during the moving on process from my ex-boyfriend.
One piece of advice I have received when it came to coping with my break-up was to take as much time as I needed. Feel what I need to feel. Cry, miss him, hate him, grieve, feel relieved, reflect, look forward instead of back, think about him, occupy myself with other things, do whatever it takes to move forward. It could take weeks, months, and even years. Regardless of how horribly he treated me in the end of the relationship and how things ended between us, this man played a significant role in my life and I had been deeply in love with him. As unnatural as it feels to still be reminded of him and long for his presence at times when we have not spoken or seen each other for two months, it is in fact a normal part of the moving on process. Even when I reach that stage of full acceptance and finally move on, he will always remain in my heart and certain songs or places will always remind me of him.
Moving on from an ex-lover is not something that can be done in a day, especially if it is someone that you spend every weekend with for a year and a half, shared some of your best memories with, changed for the better for, and built a sense of trust and intimacy with. It does not help if you had promised to spend your life together and had come to believe that they were the one.
One thing that my ex-boyfriend and I had believed was that we would never be able to replace each other. We had always said no matter what happened between us, we would never be able to love someone else like we loved each other and we would never be able to relive what we had for each other. That is true in a sense where I will never be able to fall in love with him again. A part of me will always love him, but after the way things ended and what I came to learn about him after we broke up, I will never be able to look at him the same or love him as I once did. Whenever I do fall for someone else, I will not love them for the same reasons I loved my ex-boyfriend. They may have some of the same attributes that I loved him for, but they will not be exactly like him at all. I also will not be as naïve or as tolerant of some behaviors as I was with him. My ex-boyfriend and I had some good times together, and he did have his good attributes, but in the end, the bad outweighed the good too much to maintain a happy and healthy relationship. This was a fact that I refused to accept when he broke up with me, but it is something I have come to accept as a fact on my own.
We were not meant to be. We were not compatible. He was not the one.
I have come to accept that. I have also come to accept that if he showed up on my front porch begging for me back, I would decline. As hard as it would be for me to look into those big brown eyes of his that would once be hard for me to resist and say no, I cannot see us getting back together and being genuinely as happy as we once were. It could start off that way, but we would soon fall into the same rhetoric of explosive arguments and toxicity as we did the last few months of our relationship. If his anger issues and tendency to allow his friends to make his decisions as well as let them speak and treat me however they wanted did not change in the time we were still together, there is no doubt that it still has not changed. Old habits die hard.
Even with reaching the acceptance stage that we are not meant for each other, I still have not reached a point of saying with confidence that I have fully moved on. In spite of feeling as though I did throughout last month, the transition into the new year was my reality check that moving on does truly require taking it slow. The faster I move, the more likely I will fall once I am hit with a reminder of him that triggers those emotions toward him I still have buried deep with in that I have not yet dealt with.
Taking it slow will also become crucial when facing possible feelings I may have for someone new. I had met someone last month who stood out to me not only because of his appearance, but also because he had let off positive vibes and we had quite a bit in common. There was just something that drew me to him. I plan to get to know him better, and I plan to practice “taking it slow” as I am trying to do with the moving on process. In do so, I will not only be able to get to know this person and determine whether or not I want to give it a shot, I can also continue to have my focus on moving on so that if something ever does come out of this, I can know that I am moved on and not just rushing into something new. I do not believe he is just a rebound crush, I just do not want to take a step I am not sure that I am ready for.
I have never been great at taking it slow, but it is important to do so in order to maintain healthy relationships with others and with myself.
1. For the next week, I will be releasing a blog or two each day. These are blogs I have written but never posted, ideas I had but never posted, or posts I have started but never finished. It’s not a series in a sense where they all relate to each other, I just wanted to start getting more of my writing out there since I have a lot of free time this month and I am starting to write more again after dealing with a block for a few months. I will say though, that while I did not really go into detail about the bad day here, you can the events of it mentioned in some of my blog posts I will be posting throughout the week.
2. I still have not forgotten about the book I have been writing, About Last Night. I am still working on getting the preview done as there are still edits to be made, but I expect the preview to be out this month. Once I have finished and put my preview on Amazon, I will post it to my blog and my Facebook page, Lisa Speaks Out.
You can read the description for About Last Night here:
3. Finally, I do tend to be very open in my writing about issues some have deemed as “too personal”, the reason being that one of the purposes of my blog and my writing is to release these thoughts and emotions I have held in or been silenced from sharing all my life. As a writer, I understand that I will receive negative feedback here and there, it happens to even the greatest and most professional of writers. Anyone who wants to put their creativity out there has to deal with not-so constructive criticism from people who will leave reviews and comments that are cruel. Part of being so passionate about what you do is accepting that risk and developing thick skin. I am building up a tolerance against people like that for when I begin to start publishing my work as well as when I start putting my blog out there more. I always welcome constructive criticism and feedback, and usually that is what I get on my writing. However, I have been receiving comments from someone who has been leaving me paragraphs in response to my most recent blogs about the break-up I went through in November, “In The End” and “The One That Got Away” on both my blog page and my Facebook page. I have deleted the comments, but the comments went beyond criticism. I will not discuss the content of the comments, but they could easily be classified as harassment. The comments were lengthy ramblings by someone who was convinced that my blog posts were about them and insulting me. I am unsure if they were written by the person the blog was about or by someone who does not understand that someone can write about situations similar to what they have been through but not be talking about them. I know that there will always be critics out there and I cannot stop them from expressing themselves, but I do not tolerate harassment especially in a place that is supposed to be a safe space for me. I did not insult anyone in those two blogs, just expressed my emotions about the situation to help me release repressed emotions and explored my genuine thoughts about my ex and what had happened so I can continue the moving on process. As I said, just as he can speak about me, I have every right to do the same. Whether or not this was him, or someone I do not know, I will not point fingers but I will say that in spite of what happened I refuse to stop writing and stop putting my writing out there. I may need to disable comments for a while. I have also considered starting a new blog and removing my Facebook page for a while. Again, I welcome constructive criticism and it deeply disappoints me that I need may need to alter what I have been working on for three years if this keeps up. I just do not welcome any kind of harassment throughout my page and my blog. For the time being, however, I will continue to post my blogs on here and keep up with my Facebook page, Lisa Speaks Out. I thank those who have been follow my blog and page, and for those who continue to show support in any way possible whether it be through reading, liking and/or commenting. Your support is much appreciated.