The Road Home

Have you ever left a situation either physically or mentally or emotionally?

You know, have you ever just checked out? All in search of a better way, a new you, or a much needed escape?

I tend to do this more often than not. I just check out. Especially when I can feel myself getting restless which is usually an indicator of me outgrowing a situation, scene, or relationship.

For as long as this has happened in my life, I haven’t been able to pinpoint an exact event that catalysts me to my next transformation, but I have learned to just go with it. In the past I suppressed it because it scared me. I was scared of what people would think. I was scared of changing. Fortunately, once I began embracing this side of myself and embracing my changes I welcomed them. I’m always excited for my next transformation and even though it doesn’t necessarily get less scary, I know the changes are meant to make me a better me…

I used to just stop talking to people, I couldn’t manage to keep friendships going, it was like I literally dropped off the face of the earth. I didn’t like it, I didn’t like leaving people, even really good friends hanging, but I couldn’t seem to help it. Eventually I would return different in some massive way whether I vocalized it or not, on the inside I knew. And many of my friends knew.

I learned to stop apologizing for this. I learned that my transformations were gifts. Most importantly I learned that the people who were actually meant to be in my life understood and appreciated this. How did I learn this? Well, if I didn’t see some of them or speak to them for months and we would hang out it would be like we never missed a beat. They would recognize my change and be happy for me.

Conversely, however, some relationships were irreparably damaged. Either I changed and they didn’t or we both changed and grew in opposite directions. I stopped seeing this as a negative consequence and instead embraced it as a “learning and growing” relationship or situation.

What I mean is that evolution is inevitable in life and relationships. Trying to stop evolution is like trying to stop the ocean from crashing onto the beach, it’s impossible. If you choose to stop evolving that doesn’t mean everything else around you will. Life just doesn’t work like that. I don’t work like that. And finally I know that it’s okay.

After having experienced so many growing pains, I realized that I don’t have to totally check out. This is a very beautiful lesson that I learned because then that gave me the opportunity to include the people who I care about the most in this process. For me, I think “checking out” was a defense mechanism for myself so I didn’t have to acknowledge that I was hurting others by not being fully present in the relationship or situation. Sometimes I didn’t give the people I loved enough credit. I didn’t believe they would be able to really understand the changes I was going through and they proved me wrong.

The road home always seemed long, but whenever I made it back it made me even more thankful for the journey I had just taken. Personal growth is always precarious territory because it usually doesn’t solely affect you. The effect is typically felt by those who closely inhabit your life. But, trust me when I say that if these people truly love you they’ll welcome the new you back as if you’d never left. So whenever I can feel my transformation process beginning I find comfort in this fact. And if you’re like me, you should find comfort in this, too.

Home is within you. Growing and changing (positively, hopefully) is such an important part of life and being open to these changes is crucial. We try to stop these changes because we think everything around us will have to change, too. And the truth is that sometimes everything will and that’s just a part of the deal. However, sometimes, everything around us doesn’t change and we’re meant to change so we can bring a fresh perspective to a relationship, scene, or situation.

Garnering experience in life requires leaving home, this could mean your physical home or this could mean comfortable relationships or this could mean leaving behind a fearful and stagnant YOU. Outwardly the journey is supposed to appear daunting and treacherous. Inwardly the journey is literally life or death which makes it completely necessary.

You have to make the decision for yourself. Just remember whenever you’re ready to step onto that transformative path, home is an illusion. We don’t go back home because it’s “home”, we go back for the love. Love is the destination and true love will always welcome you back. Self-love included.

With So Much Love,

Brittni Pope

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