Everyone Seems To Know The Answers
I’ve seen it many times. I’m guilty of it. It often occurs as a passive advice meme. We have something to say, or we want to express something we are going through without showing weakness. It shows up as a post on Facebook or Instagram.
Maybe a day will come when it will be possible to share our weaker underbelly. Of course, there are those who wear their pain like a badge of honor. We all become embarrassed for others when they overshare. Most that do it, eventually learn to control it.
There is still the question, “Is it okay to not have all the answers” in this Internet age.
For myself, I’ve enjoyed exploring topics I understand as advice or shared experiences. Yet, I’ve found that sometimes when I lie in bed at night, and I’m alone in my thoughts wondering at something that’s left me without the single most important thing I’ve searched for in my life.
Despite an earnest life, I’m alone. Words come to mind as those words are exposed. “They said I was lonely when I was really just alone.” It’s been a fight to achieve that state of mind. It’s almost an impossible lesson to act on. Some of us are simply incapable of escaping loneliness even in a crowd. Everyone can see the truth, why hide it?
Therein lies the truth. We don’t have all the answers to some of our inescapable problems.
I don’t have all the answers. For all the life experiences I’m proud I’ve learned from, there is one fire I’ve put my hands in over and over again. Love. The goal was always simple. Not grow old alone. Experience the important things in life with a best friend.
I’ve been in long-term relationships. I’ve been married. In every relationship, I was wise enough to not commit to someone I would not get along with. The exception was my wife, but that was not for the lack of my attempts to avoid conflict. I even suffered verbal abuse for the sake of the greater good.
Ultimately, my experiences in business, friendships, cooking, sports, you name it — they’ve all resulted in my ability to learn how to avoid the same mistakes twice.
And still, when it comes to finding that best friend for life, my mistakes have meant I’m getting closer to having no dances left.
My most recent failure resulted in the most profound change in my life. We were together for many years. We didn’t fight. We didn’t argue. We rarely bickered. I did things a lover would appreciate intrinsically, not out of duty. I reminded her often, “I appreciate you” with those words, and through actions small, and large. In her hardships, she felt my support and when it was clear she needed more, I stepped up. She was family to my family.
Then one day I lost her. You can believe in someone —that is another lesson…
It took a long time to recover if I can even claim that I’ve truly recovered. In the years since the answers seem countless, and yet none are ‘the’ answer. Answers such as she was never the person I believed she was, conflict with the beautiful experiences we shared.
I believe that out of blue comes green. We are only a failure the day we quit.
Remember how this piece started? Here’s one now.
If you never quit, you get there.
The fact is, I was out to prove in every way that I was not like any other man. I was out to prove I was the man I’ve always proclaimed myself to be.
Point of interest. I demanded the hidden feelings and truth be told about what she wished about me. It was a hard moment in my life. The words stuck with me like no others in my life. They stuck because I was watching the woman I love, leave me.
The list of things was the challenge of my life because I falsely believed if I made each one right, I’d get the girl back.
She rightfully told me that I needed to return to full-time work. In fairness, this was one she was watching me work towards for months. After all, we were engaged. This wasn’t playing house. I needed to do more than buy dinners, dresses, and trips.
I attacked this with relentless desire. Now, years later, I’m earning and pocketing more money since I ran my own company when I was married. The work is what I do best, and I’m proud of having skills piled on skills. This alone leaves me with the satisfaction, I’m nothing she wanted to make me out as. NEVER had I ever in my life fought as hard for something as I did to return to the workforce as a powerful asset to the company I’m a part of.
The next item was in my mind equally fair to demand. I put on weight. She met a guy in Olympic form. I experienced five operations in the previous two years. Still, no excuse. I responded by losing 30 pounds in the next 30 days. I ran in the morning, followed by a 3-mile skate, then the gym. I switched from low carb to full-on keto. This combined effort resulted in pounds flying off me by day 14.
Yes, some other things I changed out of insecurity. I recalled being told my lower teeth were unsightly. One year later, my teeth are straight. It came at great expense and sacrifice.
I was told my hair wasn’t thick so she could run her fingers through it. $14,000 later… That problem is loved too.
Did I expect her to come rushing back after all this? No. Not in the least. Nor do I want her. I mean… I do want her. I want the friend I knew. I miss that person. Not a day goes by that my thoughts are not infected by the memory of her face and how much I enjoyed being with her. I’ve said it many times, “The best part of being with her, was being with her.”
For all these sentimental attachments, I’m not an idiot. I know that what was done was unforgivable. Not by the simple act of her cheating and lying to him and her friends and family about me, but that to this day she gave the life she promised me, to another man.
It’s a thought that all but killed me at the time.
Now, I simply swipe left on apps. For years. And I say to myself, “Thanks, Sarah.”
I fight the bitterness.
When the next day begins, I’m free of the thought I’m alone. I’m back into the better fight. The fight to keep myself worthy. My self-worth means the world to me.
And yet, for the happy life I’ve built for myself, when the sun goes down and I lie in bed at night, and I’m so alone…