I need to keep saying this over in my head as I make the decision to move back home. What have I achieved from a four-year relationship? – I keep asking myself.
I’ve lost my independence, a partner, a flat and perhaps my sanity. I’ve had to make the decision, that I can’t afford to live in the apartment that I have called my home for the past two years. Instead, I’ll be selling the items that have brought so much joy, the items that hold special moments, the details that made my house a home. Along with those possessions, I too will be finding a new home. A new home back with my parents. Yes, my loving parents who would give me the world if they could. But for a woman who hasn’t lived at home for roughly six years, it’s difficult to make the adjustment. I’ll begin packing up the memories of my home into a few cardboard boxes, knowing that one day I’ll be unpacking them into a new home.
Perhaps this is why I feel like a failure. From four years creating a life and a home and nurturing a relationship, what do I have to show for it now? I have a sore heart, mascara-stained pillowcases and worn out furniture.
As I sip on another glass of wine and listen to The Greatest Showman album, I think towards the future. The future of moving back home, to be in an uncertain period of my life. I watch as the people around me purchase homes with their partners, settle down and begin a family. Although these milestones were never in my immediate future, moving back home feels like I’ve missed out on what could have been. I feel as though I’m going backwards, as though I’ve lost those four years of my life and have ended up in exactly the same place. I’ve missed out on four years of moving forward, instead of being stuck but happy.
But the truth is, that everyone makes mistakes. Most people feel like a failure when they leave a long-term or even short-term relationship. But you are not a failure, for not being able to make something work. Instead, you need to use this new opportunity to change your circumstance and to do the things that you have always wanted.
Starting over does not make you a failure. If anything it makes you a warrior, for getting back up and for starting over once more. I’m setting myself free from the guilt associated with breakups and starting over.
My favourite quote from Elizabeth Gilbert is this; “People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then leave.
A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”.
Perhaps this is my lesson from a four-year relationship? – Perhaps the truth is that starting over does not make you a failure. Instead, starting over just means that you have repositioned yourself back on your path. The relationship was a lesson, a detour from your original destination. You realise what you have learnt and then you move on! – Oh if it was only that easy.