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Turn and face the strange

All good things must come to an end. At least, that's how the saying goes, but what happens when you've become so comfortable in the known, you're unable to move on? Be it a relationship, job, your living situation or even your diet, when you've finally had enough and know a change is needed, it's not always as simple as just walking away.

Personal history has taught me to accept most situations as "good enough." My brain was trained to devalue what I contribute. Instead, I should be happy with what I have – even if it is making me miserable – because that is all I deserve. So, it takes a lot for me to realize I've had enough.

When I finally have gone back and forth about a million times – convincing myself to make changes, then convincing myself to continue on as things are – I am left cautiously energized but overwhelmed by fear and doubt.

What if I move on to something that makes me feel even worse? What if I miss so-and-so? What if I hurt him/her? What if I can't afford a new place or a new lifestyle? What if I put in all this effort to reinvent myself – which is essentially what moving on is – and am still miserable? What if the problem is me?

That is where I currently find myself, firmly in the "what if" stage. It's an uncomfortable place to spend any time in. I know I don't want to be unhealthy and unhappy. I know I need to let go of some pretty important parts of my life to get to the place I want to be. But, change is terrifying. 

Step one, for me, is... well, this. Admitting I'm done, I'm moving forward. Of course, that comes with a deep well of sadness as I mourn for what I thought I wanted, for that person I thought I was. And that's OK. I am not on a deadline and I'm not going to stuff this hurt down deep, trying to ignore it as it festers and grows. No, I will feel this. And, with each day, that pain will dull just a little until it no longer feels like I'm walking through wet cement. 

I will continue to push ahead. I will make plans, check off necessary tasks as I work out my "exit strategy." It will be difficult and excruciating at times, but I can do it. I may not come out the other end shiny and new, but I will come out with the pieces of myself I've stifled to appease the other (loved ones, society, comfort of the known, my own ego).

In the words of the late, great David Bowie, it's time to turn and face the strange.

Allison Chorney

About the Author: Allison Chorney

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