Why I Left My Story

A year ago today, roughly 24 hours after the hardest conversation of my life, I moved out of my house, leaving behind the life and family I had built for over 6 years. It was, and continues to be, the hardest decision I ever made.

It took years of trying (and a heavy dose of denial in some respects) before I had to admit that I wasn’t my best self, and perhaps never would be, living that life. I hated the truth, but the reality was that as much as I had wanted it to be, it wasn’t the right story for me. It was a great story, filled with adventure, heartache, twists and turns unforeseen… but the happy ending was decidedly absent. It wasn’t without yearning and desperate attempts to make everything ok, but at the end of the day it wasn’t ok, and when I finally came to accept that, I knew I couldn’t stay.

I haven’t spent much time talking about this truth over the past year, I suppose because it seems most aren’t too comfortable sitting with OPP (Other People’s Pain), but the truth *is* that my decision was devastating, scary, unwanted…and right. It broke me, it still brings me to my knees many days, but since the day I knew I was living the wrong story, I have not felt for even one second that I made the wrong decision. In my deepest, darkest moments of grief and loss, I have bargained with my pain – wondering if the pain of staying would ultimately have been less than the pain of leaving – an unknown I can accept most days. And yet, the day I accepted I was living the wrong story, was the day I started taking my hands off and leaving my heart open…so that I might one day be able to find the story that was meant for me, instead of pushing for the one that was intended for someone else.

Changing my story has been both the greatest miracle and greatest challenge of my life to date, and I think that means I’m fully showing up to life these days – feeling and holding both in just about every moment I can. I know I would not have the joy, peace, and freedom that I hold in my life today if I had continued telling that story. I am wiser, wounded, and definitely more beautiful for having been broken…but as I quietly pay attention to my still, small voice, I am reminded every day that now, finally, faithfully, I have found myself in the right story. It’s complicated, messy, nontraditional, unexpected, and perhaps unpopular…but this chapter of my life is full of my very favorite characters, those known and yet unseen, with passion and purpose beyond my wildest dreams…and it’s mine.

I’ve been told that joy shared is doubled where sorrow shared is cut in half, and I will always believe this is why we tell the story in the first place.

*So I hope that you will tell this tale tomorrow

It will help your heart remember and relive

It will help you feel the anger and the sorrow

And forgive

For all the ones we leave

And we believe

Our lives become

The stories that we weave*


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