Starting over vs staying put

“Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.” Nicole Sobon.

I read this today and thought that it is pretty darn accurate.

I’ve gotten really good at starting over. Actually, I’m not good at it, I’m just used to it. And let me tell you… It sucks!

I have found myself in relationships that I should have left long before I did. All for the simple reason that I didn’t want to start over.

To some, starting over is exhilarating. It gives them an energy and a high like no other. J Will is like that. In fact, she has gotten so good at starting over that she has turned it into an art.

“IKEA is the starting over headquarters! Instead of moving all my shit, I leave it and find the nearest IKEA and get all new stuff!”

While I sometimes envy her wanderlust mentality, I do not envy the notion of EVER having to start over again.

But, that’s exactly what I’m doing. New career, new girl, new home. All of it scary and exciting. That wasn’t the case at the start. I was angry, resentful. Hurt and confused. I had settled into the idea that I was done looking for happily ever after.

Was I happy? Some days. I was content. At my age I’d resigned myself to the idea that contentment was better than being alone.

My mother reconnected with her high school sweetheart when she was 47. They married when she was 48 and sadly, he passed away when she was 52. Just five short years.

After he passed, she stated, “I’m done. I don’t want to start over again!” And she didn’t. She passed away at 78 years old single and alone.

At first I didn’t know why she would make that choice. Why she would rather live life alone than find someone to share it with. Today, I’m right there with her.

I’m not a young pup anymore. I have a career, children and a grandson to think about. I’m in love with a woman that I’ve never stopped dreaming about and life is right on track to be amazing.

If I ever find myself in a position that I have to start over again, I think I’ll opt out the way my mom did.

It’s hard. It’s draining. It gives a person a feeling of not being quite good enough.

I’m getting too old for that shit!

Julie and I sometimes find ourselves on different sides of a situation. There’s never any yelling or anger. There’s no passive aggressive, “fine!” to indicate a counter-strike. There’s just two people picking and choosing what’s worth holding on to and what’s worth letting go of.

That may some day change. I may wake up on day and discover that I’m tired of making compromises. She may wake up and wonder how she felt love for someone as abrasive and rough as me.

For now, though, I’m ok starting this journey. As always, I have a plan B. I have a way to salvage my dignity and self respect should I ever find myself looking at her with anger and resentment the way I have in my past.

I’ll walk away. Go back to being a bachelor and live out the rest of my existence with my dog.

While I will never allow myself to remain in a loveless home again, I refuse to continue to start over when I’m worth hanging on to.


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