Lesson #39: Learn to shut doors and move on.
I have struggled with going into the details of October on such a public platform. I have written this exact piece multiple times, each time trying to omit the exact occurrences of the month. However, it has simply been a vague impersonal reflection leaving the piece quite hollow and trite. If I have learned anything as a writer it is that only through true vulnerability can one connect with an audience. Only by sharing openly can one even attempt to bridge gaps between human experiences.
So here goes my October in all of its unfortunate glory. To start things off I got robbed, but it wasn’t the kind of impersonal mugging where a stranger strolls by and steals all of your pesos. No this was a personal occurrence, I had been seeing a guy, I had decided to stop seeing the guy, I had informed him of my decision, and upon hearing the news he made a choice that I still have a hard time wrapping my head around. While I was at work he broke into my apartment and took my computer, camera, Kindle, iPhone, and to top it all off my sunscreen. Shortly after my bike was stolen from my apartment building (my second bike I might add, as my first had already been taken from me). I spent two days in bed staring at the ceiling fan and when I finally felt ready to reemerge into the world I was greeted by a string of confusing messages from a prior relationship. Messages that stirred up emotions that I had long ago walked away from and tears that I had already cried. I laid back down. I felt like I had been punched all over from multiple sides, and just when I thought it was over it would start up again.
I spent the next weeks agonizing over what I should do. I thought about how I could locate my things, track down the guy who took them and throw a few words his way, I debated buying a new bike, I wrote message after message trying to convey the slew of emotions that this person’s reemergence into my life had created.
What I needed to do was shut doors and move on. I needed to stop chasing my problems and instead accept what had happened as finished events. My stuff was gone. There would be no apology. There was nothing left to be said.
While trying to create a plan and somehow fix the different situations I had actually created quite the opposite problem. Instead of freeing myself from the pain I was living smack dab in the middle of it. I woke up in the middle of the night tormented by what my next steps would be. I limited the space in my head where all of the good stuff resides and let it get swamped with all of the bad that I had just experienced. The truth is I was still waiting and wishing that I could create some sort of closure.
So I made a decision that startled even myself, I decided to do nothing. No retaliation. No last word. No grand scheme to right the wrongs of all that had just occurred. And in doing so I set myself free from all of the agony that I had been experiencing.
So along rolled November. Did I fall in love, get a promotion, and find a new laptop underneath a staircase? No, but I did stop dwelling on October. I spent a weekend on an island off the coast of Mexico, where a pod of dolphins swam by as a friend and I drank beers on the beach. I moved into a new apartment and bought succulents and candles to decorate its shelves. I flew back to the states for a wedding where I got to see family for the first time in over a year. All of it proof that the closure I had been searching for had been in my control the entire time.