“You can’t forgive without loving. And I don’t mean sentimentality. I don’t mean mush. I mean having enough courage to stand up and say, ‘I forgive. I’m finished with it.'” – Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 — May 28, 2014)
Déjà vu. This is a dream that I believe I’ve lived through before. This feels all too much like a time, 10 months ago, when I took a (somewhat misguided) leap of faith and decided to venture into something that was all at once familiar and completely new. Only this time, instead of being able to fall back into the safety hammock of knowing what comes next in my life, I’ve been left completely in the lurch, completely clueless, and, as it sometimes feels, completely lost.
Make no mistake, it was what I wanted. No: it was what I needed. I needed to extricate myself from an increasingly toxic and poisonous atmosphere and breathe again — even though I was the one who poisoned my own waters by playing with a fire that I didn’t know how to extinguish. I needed to rectify the mistake I had made in blurring the lines between a personal and a professional relationship. I needed to claw my way to the surface after allowing myself to drown in a hopeless and unrealistic sea of expectations. I needed to cleanse my mind and my heart of a relationship that consumed every fiber of my being for a year, and to learn to live with a silence that was once filled by a man I thought I was desperately in love with.
So here I am, jobless and trying to rebuild my life and my career, all while doing my damnedest to get past the guilt of the mistakes I’ve made. In some ways it feels like a form of posttraumatic stress disorder, and were it not for the surprisingly strong support system I have for the very first time in my life, I would probably be somewhere at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean by now. In any case, I’m giving myself no more than two months to secure myself a new job that I can genuinely say I like enough to hold until I can find my way back out of this country.
I’m also aware that I need to do some serious soul-searching and figure out what to do with my emotional baggage. I need to figure out where I went wrong and why I once more allowed my life to spin so far out of my own control that I ended up making yet more mistakes from which there would be no reprieve. I need to learn to let go of the anger, admit where I went wrong, hold on to the moments when I was genuinely happy and remember that at one point in my life, true love really did exist, no matter how fucked up the circumstances were. And more than anything else, I need to try my damnedest to find myself again.