“I got my body and my mind on the same page and honey now happiness is all the rage.” ~The Promise Ring, Happiness is All the Rage
I recently told a story of my decision to move (Dear Chicago). When I made the decision and started telling people, the reaction was varied. I expected that. There was one reaction that stuck with me and for months I debated whether or not it was true. It went like this:
“Don’t move away because of your ex-husband. Don’t give up just because he sucked.”
Interesting and perhaps a little true. Is he the reason I’m moving? Not directly. I stuck it out here two years since the split. This wasn’t a knee jerk reaction. However, I have the chance to do and go wherever I want because of him. Could I have stayed in Chicago and found true love and happiness? Maybe. Life has thrown some chances my way since I announced I was leaving so it has made me wonder. It was the “giving up” notion that stuck with me. Was I? Am I?
Giving up is not a term I take lightly. I don’t give up easily. Sometimes this has a down side because I stick around the wrong people for too long. But, for the most part, I view it as a positive. If you have somehow crept your way into my heart, be it friend or otherwise, I got you! Always. No question. No judgment. So the notion I was giving up on myself was hard to wrap my head around. Here is what I concluded:
- I firmly believe staying in a bad marriage was the definition of giving up on myself, not moving. I think that for any bad relationship – partner, friend or family member. I still have some work to do on letting go of certain relationships, but I’m trying my best to take care of myself these days. It feels good making the effort.
- Sometimes removing yourself from an environment that’s not working for you after years and years of trying is the right thing to do. It’s ok to admit something isn’t working, even if it is something you truly wanted for yourself…since you were ten (but who is counting?). I don’t view that as giving up. I view it as being smart. It was Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I can attest this is true because it’s what I’ve been doing. Nothing is changing. Time for a new approach.
- No move has to be permanent. What a move will do is put your life into perspective. You will realize one of three things: you made the right decision, you had it better where you were or this is just a pit stop. I know this already because I did it 13 years ago. It was the right decision at the time. It was what I needed when I was 22. I’m not that same girl. Right now I feel as if I have gotten all I can out of this beautiful bitch called Chicago, so why force myself to stay?
I have watched several friends move away. Some have returned. Most have not. Those that haven’t have created happy lives. Lives that have inspired me to not settle because being alone can be, well, pretty damn lonely some nights. Those that returned have claimed they’ll never leave again. I feel like my options are good either way. I have 12 more days. Time to start the goodbyes…is it me or is it getting dusty in here (sniff)?