Women can break up a spat with children while talking on the phone and flipping pancakes. Maybe iron a husband’s shirt at the same time.
But when it comes to relationships, we come to realize that they can’t be patched together when only one side is doing the mending.
The surface of things can be smooth and glassy as a calm ocean. Until they aren’t.
Then there are the first stirrings of “I need to leave.”
Things will seem okay for awhile and we’ll tell ourselves it was just a blip. Things are fine. Everything will be fine. Of course they will. As though by sheer will we think, hope, that we can make it so.
But then those four little words come rebounding back with more frequency. I need to leave.
“And I realized that there’s a big difference between deciding to leave and knowing where to go.” ― Robyn Schneider, The Beginning of Everything
You can’t find yourself anymore. It’s like searching for something in a room that you’re certain is there. But just where you placed yourself eludes you. How was it there one day and gone the next?
Did you tuck yourself inside a book to hold your place?
The little voice inside of you grows louder. You know what you need to do. But you’re so conflicted. Things were good once, weren’t they? Couldn’t they be good again? Maybe you just need to be more positive.
But you lose yourself a little more each day.
The little voice is sometimes just a whisper. But it is still there, clamoring for your attention. Prodding you when you flail about, worrying, wondering what to do.
“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving. I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody. I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door, without causing any fuss or consequences, and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
You play around with ideas of simply disappearing. That happens, right? Someone goes to the store for milk and never comes home. There is worry for a time, but then time passes and with it the budding certainty that the person simply isn’t coming back. People move on.
Which means they stop looking, right? You play around with this idea but can’t figure out quite how you’d work it out. All the little threads would need to be properly sewn and tucked into place. Every decision would have to be well thought out.
Women tend to wait until they’ve almost completely lost sight of themselves before total panic sets in. Their image in the mirror fades a little more as each day passes. And with that comes a sense of urgency.
Why do you feel so conflicted, you sometimes ask yourself? But then you look around at the home you’ve created. The flowers you’ve coaxed into blooming. The cozy rooms you’ve spent years defining.
“Do not hold your breath for anyone. Do not wish your lungs to be still. It may delay the cracks from spreading. But eventually they will. Sometimes to keep yourself together. You must allow yourself to leave. Even if breaking your own heart. Is what it takes to let you breathe.” ― Erin Hanson
How will you do it? Where will the money come from to start over? Where will you live? And you’d need to take the pets with you of course. So that’s another thing that would need to be worked out.
Now every morning you wake up with questions haunting you, poking at you when for a time you forget. How exactly would you manage it? And every night you go to sleep trying to work the logistics out in your mind.
But then you drift off to sleep and come morning your plans seem flawed and insufficient.
“I have learned that if you must leave a place that you have lived in and loved and where all your yesteryears are buried deep, leave it any way except a slow way, leave it the fastest way you can. Never turn back and never believe that an hour you remember is a better hour because it is dead. Passed years seem safe ones, vanquished ones, while the future lives in a cloud, formidable from a distance.” ― Beryl Markham, West with the Night
So much time passes and you’ve spent much of that time dilly-dallying back and forth. Unable to make a decision because nothing you come up with seems quite right.
The little voice grows louder, more insistent.
You need to leave. No doubt about it now, you just need to leave.
One day you wake up and remember where that book is. The one you might have tucked yourself in to hold your place. You open the book and there you are.
Just waiting for you to pick it up again and get to the end of the story. And then to move on to the next one.
“I’m guilty of giving people more chances than they deserve but when I’m done, I’m done.” ― Turcois Ominek