A number of people have asked if the trip to London changed me. While I see changes, it’s more like looking in the mirror to notice something different. The trip is the reflection of this five-year journey, rather than the catalyst for it.
That’s not to say that the trip left me unaffected. I’m definitely inspired to expand my subject offerings… but that comes after realizing that the little boy I base all of my art on, is gone now. In his place is this incredible young man, who towers over me and challenges me with his biting sarcasm.
The greatest gift the trip gave me was this giant block of time, that took me far away from the day-to-day STUFF that makes it harder to see the future. I got this chance to not only see a country’s ancient history, but my own as well. Like the giant glass shards that rise up between roman walls, a lot has changed since I got up from my own ruins.
The changes I’ve made to ME are now starting to manifest in the way I live my life.
Recently, as in YESTERDAY, I finally said “Enough!” to an Energy Vampire of 25 years.
You see, I’ve had boundary issues. With a mother who dictated what I should think and feel, and a brother whose sole intention was to inflict as much psychological and physical pain as possible, I didn’t think I had a right to boundaries.
And it showed.
Early in my life, I chose Kindness. I was determined that others would not feel the suffering that I had.
But it turned me into a People Pleaser.
And it invited the Killer Bees to fly into my life without my protest.
Yet even after everything crumbled in 2018, I rose up in KINDNESS… not to please anyone else but ME.
I like being Kind. I like the effect Kindness has on others.
But this time I also choose STRENGTH.
I’m exchanging my Angel Wings for Dragon Wings.
I have no need for revenge, but the strongest “punishment” I can give is NOTHING.
I will simply choose to stop being kind to the offender.
I once heard a great quote that defined hell not as a hot pit, but rather a place where you meet the person you could have been.
Shutting off my kindness is like that. Showing you what you could’ve had (or used to have) and now it’s gone.
So back to yesterday….
I have a friend who stood me up so many times that I always planned for her not to show up. I’d always have alternate activities, or invite others to dinner, explaining that she might show up, but probably not. I used to make excuses. I used to pretend it was all a game. But by doing so, I gave her permission to do it again.
I had said “enough” some time ago, after the waiter brought me a fruit cup, feeling sorry for me, for being stood up yet again.
And years of silence flowed between us.
Then, somehow, she managed to come back in.
I let her.
I taught her how to treat me.
So yesterday, while having lunch with other friends, listening to one of them get angry, “why’d you let her do this again?!” I replied, “don’t judge me by this moment. She hasn’t changed, but I have. Have more faith in my growth than what you see in her texts.”
And that evening I replied to her text, that acted (once again) like nothing was wrong.
It was eloquently honest. Years in the making. But basically it said…
I suspect she’s like this with other people, but it doesn’t matter. Permission to do it with me, ends here.
When we respect other people’s time, we respect Them. When we respect our own time, we respect ourselves.
And when we respect ourselves, we respect our time.
I realize that now.
And I respect that.
It’s about Time.