Sometimes, you have to walk away. I talked about that a while back, more than a month I think, but there’s one problem with walking away: when you walk away, you can end up alone. Someday, I’ll write a post about that, but for now…
What happens in the meantime? How do you find the motivation to keep moving when you’ve left everything behind, when you’ve walked away from that person, place, or thing that used to mean so much and now is poisonous to you?
Consider That Which Remains
When you walk away, you leave a little empty place in your soul. It’s a place that used to be inhabited and now it’s not. Even if that place used to be filled with something black and dark, you’ve still got a hole there.
What do you fill it with?
Turns out, nothing can fully fill that hole. You can try to fill it with anything you want, but there will always be a shallow little dip that reminds you of what used to be. There will be scar tissue and there will be scabs and random gashes that occasionally mood. You know what?
It’s okay to have bumps and bruises and scars. All those little imperfections? They prove that you’re human.
Now, this is nice and encouraging and all, but before you can accept those blemishes, you have to fill in those abysses enough to make it a little dip instead of a gaping ravine. How? With what?
Better yet… why?
If it’s okay to have those imperfections, why try to fix them at all? Maybe it’s better to just accept them as the holes that they are and move on.
The thing is… if all you do is ignore them, you’ll run out of soul someday. You can’t walk away forever. It’s not healthy to spend your time in constant denial. Rather, you have to come to terms with what you are and what you’ve become over time.
These holes can’t remain holes. You won’t be able to handle it, even if you think you can, right now. You may be strong, but you’re not as strong as you think you are. You can only get so far.
Eventually, you have to fill up those holes, at least enough to be able to limp on. Until you’re able to fill those holes, walking away will look more like stumbling, limping, hobbling, crawling. So. What do we fill up those holes with?
Look around at your life. What’s there? What’s around you that you still love. I know you’ve abandoned and walked away from some things, but there is always someone or something in your life that you love and that loves you in return. Even if it’s just your pet gerbil named Alan. He loves you with all of his fluffy little self and you can’t deny that, all right? You just can’t.
All those things in your life? They’re already part of you, they’re lurking beneath the surface of you and holding you up. They’re maintaining you, in little ways and portions. They’re hanging onto your soul, keeping it from becoming fully engulfed by the holes created by necessary lesions.
And those things? Let them fill you up. Invest in the things you still have, allow them to invest in you in return. Let Alan express his squeaky love. Go on, let him. Show him that you still appreciate his existence and he’ll show you the same thing in return. Don’t just stop with Alan, though. Move out, move beyond and extend your investment to other gerbils, to other animals, even to other people.
When you walk away, you still need people. Don’t walk away from all of them. I know it’s tempting, to think that being all alone will create that peace you’ve been searching for. I know, I know. I’ve tried it, I’ve been there and I’ve done that. It doesn’t work that way. We are not meant to be alone.
Confidence in Uncertainness
I’m a confident person. If you ask people I know, that’s something they’ll immediately tell you: I’m confident, outgoing, funny.
Don’t ask me how I do it, I don’t know and I’m not sure how those three things came to be attached to me, because inside I don’t feel like any of those things. I am, however, exceptionally good at putting those three things on and slowly becoming that way. I’ll start out feeling like I’m just putting on a façade, and then over time I’ll become that thing, and it’ll be impossible to abandon it. I’ll find myself being all three of those things out of instinct, practice, and true feeling.
What about you? I know a lot of people who truly are confident, people who can act confident when they aren’t, and even more people who are completely unsure of what they’re doing. They show it in their actions, on their face, in their emotions, in the way that they smile weakly or stutter or clear their throat, the way their eyes widen when you look at them, the repeated blinks and the dry washing of their hands. The way they shift their feet and won’t look you in the eye. The hesitation behind each movement, the urge they feel to apologize or decline options given them.
I’m not fully sure how to tell you this, but… fake it til you make it really does work. In this case, pretending to be confident is the actual idea behind confidence. True confidence is believing you can do what you’re trying to do. It’s not actually knowing you can do it. It’s acting like you know, it’s having faith that you can.
When you’ve walked away from something, you create a hole. That hole is ripe and ready to make you feel uncertain. It’s willing and eager to eat away at your confidence. One of the most important things to keep that hole from overtaking you is to prevent it from take away the one thing you have going for you. Confidence can take you a long way in filling up those holes and allowing those people around you to invest in you.
But… Why This? Why Now?
This blog is not an inspirational blog. At least, that’s not the main point. This is a writing blog, isn’t it? This is the place where I write about writing and share my writing and so forth, isn’t it?
However, life is also more than writing. Your life revolves around more than writing, my life revolves around a lot more than writing. My life currently spins rapidly around three different forms of art, the engineering forms of science and math, as well as several circles of people, including the circles I left behind at home.
Let’s be honest: this post is as much for me as it is for you. I need to hear the words I’m writing as much as you do. In a way, using LIAA to talk about this allows me to process my own thoughts and feelings in a healthy way, while hopefully providing you with a way to deal with these sorts of things, too.
Hopefully I’m doing that. Hopefully.