Firstly, and partly through stress, I began to lose weight. In a moment of my physical self replicating my mental and emotional self - making the break from my old relationship I felt like an enormous weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I hadn't quite realised that I was carrying around the emotional burden I was. Well, maybe not quite how much of a burden it was.
I caught up with my oldest and dearest friend Denise a few weeks ago - and she approached me from behind on the street where we were meeting. She wasn't actually sure it was me. She told me this, as she said my posture was so different. I was holding myself differently. Wow. I caught up with her again just the other day, and again she said I had changed. I was told I was beginning to look how I did when I was 21. OK people - you can do the maths as my age is probably listed somewhere in an old post. That's a damn long time ago. But I suppose what she means is that those stresses are leaving me. And I am a lighter, happier more carefree person because of it.
I no longer feel weighed down by someone else's attitude to life. I am able to be myself. I am able to find again the sheer joy in so many things. I've always been able to be happy in the moment, and appreciate the small and simple things in life, like the feeling of sun on my face, a great cup of coffee, a flower, my cats purring on my lap etc. But I was with someone who lived life in black and white and in a 2 dimensional way. It is hard to explain, but I had a moment last night where someone said a quote from JFK on the telly. 'And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future'. I was marveling at the hidden meaning of this quote regarding the person (my ex) sitting on the couch next to me. He has been unable to process our break up and is stuck looking backwards and unable to look outside of his own pain and find a way forward for himself. Wow I thought. I wondered if he'd feel the enormity of this quote in relation to himself. He then began ranting at how if anyone thought about the quote for more than 3 seconds they'd realise it didn't make any sense at all, and basically how crap it was. So there in the space of one minute I became acutely aware of our differences and how being around someone who has this outlook on life is crippling to me. It makes the world a small place. A sad place. A mistrusting place. A pedantic place. A cynical place. And worst of all - a place not enriched by things that make you think. Think about yourself and your place in the world. How you relate to other people and perhaps most importantly - how you relate to yourself.
I am saddened to think about how being with this person had effected how I interacted with others and how it made me look at life. It almost makes me want to weep at who I was becoming. But the great thing is that I have made the turn left and towards the real me. And best of all, I have found someone who marvels in the person they see embracing life, trusting in others, and looking at paintings, photographs, nature and literature and watching how it makes me think. I am constantly amazed to hear someone marveling at me full stop, let alone for the sorts of things listed above. But it makes me aware of perhaps how much I have changed.
I used to look at photographs of myself taken in the last few years. I never recognised the person I saw in them. It barely looked like me. Perhaps it was the weight, perhaps it was the shroud of unhappiness and stress I had placed around myself. But somewhere there underneath it all, was me. And as I boldly strip back layers and once again smile at the world and feel happy to my very core, I can look at photos taken now and begin to see myself. The one I always saw in the mirror. And it feels nice to think of how far I have come in just a few months, and more excitingly, perhaps what awaits me in the future. As that is where I am looking.