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What they don’t tell you

For the two months that I lived in Chicago all I could do is fantasize about what my life would be like back in the area I grew up in. In my head there were visions of sugarplums dancing. Ha, not really. But I did think it was going to be all sunshine, rainbows and unicorns. And don’t get me wrong,  it’s great. I love it and I haven’t ever been happier.

I am not the same girl I was when I left here at 18 to go away to college. Besides the obvious (I am 6 years older), I have many more life experiences. I view the world and relationships differently. So does everyone as they get older. But the difference is, my friends? They stayed here for college or came back right after college. It feels like we are on two different playing fields. In the same way the area has changed. Building have gone up and down, neighborhoods have developed, little kids are big kids and my life here at 24 is not the same as my life here at 18 was.

Time changes you and people and places you love. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. Moving back here a different person with a new outlook into a place that was once familiar is nice. It’s like falling in love with a place and myself all over again.

Each day gets better…

Since my last post I have logged into word press at least once a week. I would type a title at the top of a new post and sit and watch the cursor blink. I would draw a blank on what to say and where to begin to describe my new life. It saddens me that the chronicles of my old life are gone. That in a flurry of fear, desperation and sadness I deleted my old blog. Goodbye, Penelope.

But the truth is, since my last post, each day has gotten better. I am in a much better place in my life now than I was a year ago. But I do miss my old blog and what it meant to me. Without it, I don’t think I would have realized the dark tunnel I walked down. I don’t think I would have been able to turn around and see the light at the end. The breath of fresh air waiting for me on the other side.

It’s taken me a while. To gather myself and my thoughts. To put myself back out there again. But here I am back and better than ever.

Realization

As we lay in bed, inches apart from each other, it felt like we were decades away. The pain, hurt, lies and betrayal could have filled a canyon two miles wide. Him standing on one side, wanting so bad to make it work, while I was on the other side knowing deep in my heart the relationship had been damaged beyond repair.

He took a breath in and I realized there were only a limited number of nights left for me to listen to his breathing while he slept. Our relationship had almost reached it’s expiration date.What I had wanted for so long had finally happened. I was finally there with him. The famous saying was right. Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it. Maybe somewhere in the back of my mind I knew this wasn’t what I wanted. But the plans had been set in motion and the train was going so fast. I didn’t see a way out.

We forged the path to happily ever after together. Holding hands, talking about marriage, making plans; maybe because we really meant it (and at times I think we did) or maybe because we assumed that that’s what 20-somethings did. We assumed that after being together for almost three years that’s what people did. They moved in together, they tried to build a life together; even if it wasn’t the life envisioned. There is a danger in making plans, talking about the future, because most don’t think about what happens when that future falls through. What is left, in your mind, is this blue print of what you life was supposed to be like with this other person. And if this blue print isn’t going to come to be, what will happen?

Relationships sometimes fail and if they don’t fail, you get married. It’s a morbid way to look at it, but it’s the truth. Sometimes when I look at us, I think to myself that I have friends that are married and have been together for a much shorter time then we have. It makes me question whether walking away is the right thing to do. But the truth is: more often than not I have thought about walking away. I have thought there is more to life and love than being in an unhealthy relationship.

But people get comfortable and it’s hard to walk away. It’s hard to turn your back on someone that you love, so that you can love yourself more. If you don’t love yourself, it’s going to be hard to love others. I have been trying to remember the day before him for the past couple of weeks and I lost that memory somewhere along the way. What I do remember and know is I am not the same person I was three years ago. I have changed and evolved. I will continue to do those things with or without him.

The world and life are scary places to try to forge alone. The hope is, however, that you won’t always be alone. That the pain won’t last forever and the love you shared will eventually disappear, but you will always love that person. When I look at him, I wonder who will be the next to love him. Will they love him the way I did? If I am not going to be his wife, who will be?

Those are questions for another day. It’s time for me to build my own blue print for what I see my life being.