GUEST POST BY MELISSA SINKHORN
Ever since college graduation I have been on a journey to find myself. In the last two years I’ve discovered who I am, what I want out of life and the type of woman I want to be. I have solidified the answers to my personal questions and have found my path. Unfortunately, my relationship had not evolved in the same way. The person I was with had not grown with me. I wanted so badly for him to find himself, to be a happy individual so that we could be a happy couple…
I spent two years creating a life with this man, but as I took time to step back I slowly realized he wasn’t the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. He wasn’t in the same place in his life or self-discovery as I was. In my heart I had known for a while this was true, but would ignore it and try to bury those thoughts.
I’ve always had a fear of being alone, and this fear had me dragging out a bad relationship. As a perpetual over-analyzer, that nasty little voice in my head at night would say: “What if I don’t find someone else? What if I never get married? What if my expectations are too high? What if I end up with 20 cats and plastic covered couches?”
But the alternative was wrong. I didn’t want to buckle under the pressure to get married just because everyone else my age was. Not being an authentic, involved partner and expecting someone to change was not the road to success and happiness. I wasn’t going to ignore my true self just to get a ring and a title.
So I made a conscious decision to go down a challenging path; to end two years of effort, to walk away, to be lonely, to cry myself to sleep some nights. It has been hard. I miss the simple things: leaving work and picking up the phone out of habit to tell him I’m on the way home and realizing there’s no one to call. Or waking up to an empty bed instead of a bright smile and morning kisses. But every day it gets a little easier, a little less gray, and I know it will continue to get better… I just have to be patient.
I am simultaneously struggling and at peace with my decision to end my relationship. I know who I am and what I want in life. It’s freeing to finally be comfortable my personal truth. Take time to find out who you are. Be intentional with getting to know yourself; growing and learning about all the wonderful things you have to offer this world and be patient with finding someone who has done the same thing for themselves.
I challenge you. If you are reading this and in a comfortable relationship but know that it isn’t right, be courageous and step away. I promise you are stronger than you realize. You will rise to the occasion when you test yourself and expand in new ways. You will discover, or possibly rediscover, a part of yourself. It will be hard at first, but slowly you’ll start rising through the gray skies and see the sun.
One of the best things I have ever heard about being single is: “Everyone’s trying to find the one, stop trying to find the one. Instead, focus your energy on being the one.” As I venture into this next chapter of my life I’m excited to focus on me, so one day when the time is right, I’ll be someone’s “the one”.
Two steps forward, one step back.
I have something to admit. I wrote the blog above quite easily. As I sat and wrote, and rewrote (as us overanalyzers do) I thought to myself… why in the world do girls not just walk away?! Come on ladies! I did it, and it honestly wasn’t that hard! Before I sent it off to be reviewed by the fabulous ladies of Reset Retreat I actually thought to myself “I wish this were a bit harder, I feel like this doesn’t have enough heart in it.” Welp, careful what you wish for!
I did a great job since I broke it off with my ex of traveling to various cities and not being home in Texas. I’ve been living out of my suitecase for almost two months now and all was wonderful in brave, strong single-land; that is, until tonight.
I was heading to a friend’s birthday dinner. The whole group would be mutual friends of me and my ex. I wasn’t sure if he’d be there or not, but the anxiety over possibly seeing him built as I got ready to go.
Thankfully he ended up not being there, but during dinner I had a sinking feeling wash over me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it came every time I was asked about our relationship status or someone casually brought him up in conversation. Ever since I was little, people would ask me what was wrong when I was in a somber mood. I would very honestly reply “I don’t know”. That was absolutely true. I hadn’t worked through my feelings yet, didn’t know what I was thinking, or why I was even upset… that’s how tonight felt. I slowly felt that I was sinking back into myself, into my own head and my own thoughts and retreating from the real world.
Eventually I decided it was time for me to go home, and on my drive one of my favorite songs came on: “Something in the water” by Carrie Underwood. I sang along with at the top of my lungs and then a verse came on:
“Then it hit me like a lightning late one night
I was all out of hope and all out of fight
Couldn’t fight back the tears so I fell on my knees
Saying, “God, if you’re there come and rescue me.”
I absolutely lost it. Tears were rolling down my face… as they are now as I retype this very shortly after. And it finally hit me… I’d done a terrific job of avoiding anyone who really reminded me of him, who we used to go out with, who would know where he was or what he was doing. I may have heard things here and there from people but mostly I would go into a daze and was doing a great job of not truly absorbing. I figured by avoiding everything and everyone for long enough that once I saw them again I could honestly say everything was “ok”…. and that I didn’t care he was out with a beautiful blonde who worked out seven days a week. I guess the last two months weren’t long enough for me to be truly “ok”.
Then I remembered how I had wished I had more heart in my first blog. Here it is. I can’t imagine writing with more heart than I am right now.
I also can’t imagine anyone else reading this; it feels like a diary entry because it’s so personal. I’ve always feared people’s feedback when it comes to matters very close to me, but there’s something so absolutely freeing in being completely and utterly exposed with these words: I am a vulnerable human being and I am struggling tonight. I feel a bit lost and definitely lonely in this moment. So, yes, I do have a heart! There it is! Beating fast, sinking into my stomach with sadness.
Yet all the while I write this, even though I’m going through a crappy time tonight, I still know this is the best decision. I still know that he isn’t the man I want to spend my life with. But maybe this will help others appreciate the first blog I wrote more and to see that I really do understand the struggle. I understand being in a room full of people, being completely composed while you are slowly falling to pieces.
Every day will get a little better. You are strong, I am strong … and one day we’ll all understand why we encounter these challenges and appreciate where they have brought us in our life journey. Even if we do take two steps forward and one step back some days … we’re still one step ahead.
Melissa’s Suggested Reading List:
- “Being Happy” by Andrews Matthews… read a preview and inspirational quotes.
- “Love and Respect” by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs… watch and learn.
- “Boundaries” by Dr. Cloud and Dr. Townsend… attend a conference.
Melissa is the ultimate Buckeyes fan, loves sweating it out at yoga and is dreaming of her next big adventure… All while balancing her career, friends and family.