Happy Birthday, Self

My biological birthday is not January 8th, but two years ago today my world shifted plains. Someone said and did the unthinkable, the unmentionable. As the words that rolled out of that mouth, the positioning of the body, the look on the face, the dialogue presented in the non-verbal communication all screamed: “You’ll do what I want you to do because you always have. I’ll get my way because that’s the way it’s always been.”

Two years ago, it clicked. The message that I had ignored for too long finally registered in my brain. And what to do about it was simple: Walk away.

Walk away; don’t argue, don’t look back, and don’t expect things to change by changing nothing. I had been changing for years. I had been trying to grow for years, and in many ways I had, but this was the last big step. Actually, it was the biggest step. I had to draw a line in time and move to the other side of it. I had to recognise, actively recognise, that things were not going to improve unless I either walked away or forced the other parties to change.

Let’s face it, you cannot change people. People have to want change, and then they have to change themselves. You can encourage, you can support, you can beg and plead, but change isn’t going to happen until they’re ready. You cannot force people to change.

Walk away. It was the only reasonable option. I don’t even remember what those words were that came from that mouth, but the message that finally clicked told me to close my mouth, take a breath, finish buckling Kidlet into his car seat, and get behind the wheel to calmly, purposefully, drive away from that person, and metaphorically, walk away from the negativity.

Two years ago, my Self began to live. I didn’t realize it at the time, and I’m still getting to know my Self, but what I know for certain is that my Self took a first breath that day.

Happy Birthday, Self.