Free time

Time GFXToday I feel like I’ve ruined the lives of several people in one fell swoop. And at the same time, I was telling the truth about something I had every right to mention.

But I didn’t intend my words to reach the audience that they did.

For a long while I’ve felt unimportant to someone very dear to me. I don’t know if it’s disrespect or something unintentional, but when did it become OK to think that people will never give up after being beat down?

I thought about myself: “Do I do that? Do I let people who care about me feel unimportant?

Yeah, sometimes I do.

I compartmentalize people into convenient spots in my life. I go to Dad about this …. My sister about this…..Friend about this…. I have accused people for so long of having too much going on to be a good friend. While I still think that can happen to any of us, I now see the goodness in living that way.

Shortly after I moved to an apartment in Buffalo, I started doing this. I got very busy and placed a high value on my free time. I spent most of it walking my Labrador retriever, watching Netflix movies or talking on the phone with my boyfriend (at the time, now my fiance).

Dad came over for Wednesday night dinners. I saw friends at work. Caught up with long distance friends on Facebook. My aunt got emails. Sometimes I was lonely, but mostly I felt relaxed and relieved. The moment I stopped taking the burden of listening to peoples’ life stories on their time, I started taking control of what I let into my mind. And that was like coming up for breath after swimming deeper than I should have.

There’s another part to this breakthrough. I thought, “Why am I the only one who feels like I have to be all things to all people, all the time, anytime, daytime, nighttime, bedtime, work time, walk time, summertime through springtime and do it all double time?”

Because I dread feeling alone.

Maybe it’s not just myself being there for others either. It’s also probably about myself having someone else around, in my ear, across the Web, sitting at my dinner table. And maybe it’s more selfish than I realized.

I wasn’t a good daughter, sister, friend, aunt or employee until I stopped being so selfish. People need to be free, and I need to be “OK” being alone.

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