It’s a Wrap!

Berlin, October 2021

I was going to do another one of those easy-breezy end-of-the-year wrap-ups this month. But then life got in the way and things stopped being easy-breezy for a bit. And now I just don’t feel like it anymore. My wrap-up mood is gone, to say the least. Whoosh. In fact, despite all the really cool things that happened this year, my entire body currently feels like that raw patch of skin that is left after peeling a scab off a wound way before it’s supposed to fall off by itself. In addition to my constantly achy body, my spirit’s a little bruised. I took another hit. I find it baffling how much we can get hurt by other people, again and again. And I’m so much more disappointed than I thought I ever could be as the person who caused me harm was the one person I hadn’t expected to be capable of doing so.

I’ll start with one of the ‘really cool things’ that I mentioned above though, to ease you into the not-so-cool stuff. A little less than a year ago, I finally took a leap and left my old job for one that’s much more tailored to my work ethic than the one I had had for over 5 years. In addition to actually liking what I do for a living now (yaaay!), I also got to meet a bunch of super cool, kind, plant-based-milk-drinking (a little inside joke 😇), generous and caring people. For the first time since I started working, I’m doing something that I not only chose for myself (as in this is what I want to do!), but that also makes me feel like I can grow as a person, both in a professional and personal way, while being valued for whom I already am. I’m incredibly grateful to have got the opportunity to be a member of this team and I will do my best not to disappoint.

Now on to the less pleasant things!

So, apparently people will cut you out of their life without even offering so much as an explanation. Just like that, they unilaterally decide that they don’t want you there anymore, leaving you high and dry. One day they sing your praises, and the next day they ghost you on every imaginable platform and don’t even pick up the phone when you’re calling. Now, I always expect this type of behaviour (= the ghosting) from random men (no offence to men intended – just drawing from my own experience here) on dating apps – absolutely no surprises there. However, I would never expect this type of incredibly immature behaviour from the people who claim to care about me.

Imagine my surprise when one of my favourite people in the world, whom I – in a very cheesy way (and no, I’m not even ashamed of that) – considered my best friend, “broke up” with me without even a hint of a warning sign, nor an explanation. And if that wasn’t enough in itself, they did it twice this year.

Fool me once, shame on you – fool me twice, shame on me. Mea culpa, I guess?

And I can’t help but wonder – am I that stupid?! Am I too naive? Should I stop handing out second chances by the hundreds? Should I be the one cutting people out of my life at the first (okay, maybe second … or 86th) warning sign(s) 🚩 before they can break my heart?

The problem with that is, it’s not like me. And I doubt it ever will be.

Eventually, once people have walked all over me and hurt me enough, I will choose myself (I swear, it’s really true!). Evidently, I don’t do so easily (which is definitely something I should re-evaluate in the near future, for my own wellbeing’s sake).

If there’s one other thing that surprised me multiple times this year – apart from experiencing the same “break-up” more than once, duh -, it’s the number of times people seem to have been personally offended by my (very personal) life choices. I know that my socially anxious brain is often worried about what people might think about certain (who am I kidding – all) aspects of my life. In reality, I’m actually not that important and it’s quite probable that nobody cares. So far so good.
But then, out of the blue, people suddenly do care. They seem to feel personally attacked or victimised – by me – because I changed my mind. Because I’m not moving on from something in the way that they feel I should. Because my process isn’t linear/not like theirs. Because I moved one step forward and nine steps backwards. Because I got lonely. Because life got too hard. Because the path I chose is neither the obvious nor the healthy one.

Here’s an explanation for all of this: I’m not a machine. I get to change my mind. As many times as I want. I don’t expect anyone to even keep up with me changing my mind or to approve any of the things I do. I don’t need anyone’s unsolicited advice. I don’t need anyone to judge or fix me.
I’m messy. Apparently, I’m not very good at relationships, no matter the kind. But here’s the thing: no other person than me needs to be comfortable with how I live my life. Anything I choose has nothing to do with anyone else and everything to do with me.

Looking back at this past year, there’s not much I regret doing. I’m okay with how I live my life. That doesn’t mean that everything went according to plan. In fact, only very few things turned out the way I hoped they would.
But I’m okay with whom and how I am most of the time. Do I wish I was more confident? Sure. Do I think I should be braver? Absolutely. Do I wish I was as good at speaking my mind as I’m at ‘writing’ my mind? Totally. Nobody’s perfect. I do, however, consider myself a decent human being. I’m fair, I’m always honest and I’m usually not afraid to admit that I messed up when I did. And, most importantly, I’m not one to cut people out of my life without telling them why.
And I like that about myself.

I get that it’s sometimes important to choose ourselves/our mental health over other people. I get that sometimes, we need to part ways with people we were once close to. I understand that it’s sometimes necessary to disappoint others instead of ourselves. At the same time, preserving our own mental health doesn’t give us the right to mess up someone else’s. It’s never okay to treat people like dirt. It just isn’t true that we don’t owe people anything. If we have a relationship with someone, we do owe them. The truth. An explanation. (Unless there is some type of abuse going on, of course.)
It’s never okay to leave people wondering what they could possibly have done wrong.

I’ve edited some of my posts in the past because occasionally, I was made aware that I hurt people’s feelings, which is something I never intend to do when I write. And I know that the lack of intent doesn’t exempt me from the responsibility of causing harm. However, there’s a slight chance that said hurt feelings were the result of me pointing out the obvious – ce n’est que la vérité qui blesse.
The people that are close to me may be able to figure out whom I write about in my blog posts and that’s perfectly fine. There’s usually nothing new to discover for them on here.

In hindsight, I regret changing the posts as I’m not sure people would have granted me the same courtesy.
I never name names and I never use my writing as a way to get back at people. It’s my way of processing. I’m aware that it’s a very public way of processing. But then again, I never write about anything that would be news to anyone concerned.

And with that, I’ll (probably) leave you for this year. Thank you so much for reading my posts, I appreciate every single one of you! 🧡

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