I have to say that this previous week has been pretty stressful as it’s been a huge change in the daily routine that I have gotten used to. I’m normally someone who can adapt quickly but the absence of afternoon naps was really difficult. I found it hard to catch up on sleep and as a result I did not feel rested. I encountered some difficult news and also had an realization that was difficult to process. Disappointment is a part of life and sometimes it just can’t be anticipated. Things change unexpectedly without warning and we have to roll with the punches. I’m finding that experiencing multiple disappointments does not make each one any easier to handle. There is always the process of finding a way to make peace with the new normal or the new circumstance. You have results or an ending that you did not anticipate and you have to create a different plan because things have changed. It’s rough because in some ways you have to mourn the ending that you wanted but never received while recognizing the need to change priorities and focus. I think that there’s also a certain level of annoyance and frustration that accompanies disappointment because of the sheer inconvenience of having to make an unplanned adjustment. However, it’s one of those things that are unavoidable. How we respond to these disappointments says a lot about our resiliency and ability to adapt. But it’s a tough place to be in.
Lately I’ve been seeing numerous posts by various people I know on social media. The posts all have a common thread of being willing to walk away from friends or something distracting in order to experience progress. Now, to be honest, I think that’s a great concept and it’s applicable to a lot of situations. I sometimes find myself repeating that same sentiment as I work with people who have made unsafe decisions because of the influences of others. In my lifetime I’ve walked away from a good amount of things. While the results weren’t catastrophic or anything, it was rarely an easy decision to make. Jobs have always been pretty easy for me to walk away from. Or maybe I should say job offers. It’s another thing entirely when you voluntarily give up a job without knowing when the next one will come along (not recommended by the way). One of the hardest things I think I’ve walked away from is the hope of a future with an individual I have felt I’m compatible with. We all know that relationships are a two way street and if one person is disengaged it’s not going to work. You can’t love someone into loving you back–no matter how hard you try. It doesn’t work that way. Luckily in my situation walking away has also included physical distance so while it’s hard, it’s also something that I’m not reminded of on a regular basis. This helps with the discomfort that often accompanies putting a dream to rest. Sometimes this realization causes you to make the decision that walking away is better than wasting your time. I’ve learned that the human heart likes to hope against hope but that sometimes it’s a futile effort. A waste of time. So much emotional health depends on the ability to identify these situations and learn how to walk away. I haven’t mastered it all the way but I will say that walking away in those type of circumstances doesn’t get easier. In fact, in some cases it gets harder because you invest more time and energy into something that will never be. It’s a disappointment and a letdown. But it’s better than hanging out like a pitiful puppy hoping that something will come along and change the situation. That’s futile.
This past week has been interesting as I laid to rest a 6 year dream of mine. As someone who often plans years in advance, it was a disappointment that the hundreds of choices I made that were in line with this dream were all for naught. I knew it was coming and I knew that it would be uncomfortable but I misjudged the level of non comfort I would feel. Dreams can be one of the things in our lives that inspire us to hope. It’s interesting how I was so convinced at one point that I would have my dream fulfilled but as time passed, I saw it escaping my grasp until it was gone completely. And there was nothing I could do about it. I think that we’ve all been in places where things have happened out of our control that we can’t fix. The crushing of a dream requires an evaluation of one’s life and goals. You think in a different way because your thoughts are no longer filtered through the lens of your dream. The finality of that fact might be both a blessing and a curse because it requires an adjustment of thought. However, we have to acknowledge the change in our lives and in some situations fill the gap of the dead dream with another dream that we can pursue. We can take the “L” and move on with the knowledge that we learned something worthwhile from the experience despite the discomfort at the end.