The conversation went from talking about my grand or great nephew (both fit in several ways) bagging a deer to her washing machine to my past relationships. How? With mom it is easy. At the point where it became obvious the topic had become uncomfortable, she moved on to the next thing on her mind. I was relieved and ready to discuss the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. I wanted distance from the prior topic.
The other day I was in a conversation with a friend and we were discussing were we both once worked. It comes up from time to time. We both lost our jobs within a relatively close time period. It does come up from time to time as part of me still feels betrayed. What I have come to realize though, is that it was a very toxic work place. While it did keep me physically active and in decent shape, mentally and emotionally I was a train wreck. Its been almost two years now, that time distance has allowed me to see, what I refused to see then. I do still wish the people I worked with well though.
I am a fourteen year breast cancer survivor. While it is ever a possibility for the cancer to return, time has eased the fears and concerns and allowed a calm to reign. Distance.
There is no way that I will ever fully forget that abusive marriage. The events that took place at that time will never completely fade and I don’t wish to erase them from memory. I want them tucked away in a place that allows me to remember and understand when I come into contact with anyone who may be in the same situation. I don’t harp on it, don’t drag it out to show the world and use it for personally gain. I hold onto it for the empathy. I can look at someone and in all honesty say “I understand. I have been there.” The distance in time though, thirty-eight years, means I can see it, understand it, and act on it rationally. I have a control that I did not possess at that time and for quite a while afterward.
With work, I felt then that I was in a position where I had little choice. I knew the job. I was good at the job. I was dependable. I had been there for just shy of thirty years. I had been there so long that my experience was not limited. My age was an issue. I had a boatload of reasons to stay, even as I saw but ignored all the reasons I should leave. Not being called back was a blessing. I see that now. I can admit that now and I can and will if asked, tell others to not allow themselves to become complacent. Do not allow yourselves to feel as if you’re trapped, you have no other choice, that you’ll be fine (not happy but) and if you can just make it to retirement it will be okay. One’s mental health is just as important as one’s physical well being. They go together and if one is off balance, the other will be as well. There are a multitude of options in the world that are waiting for the right talent. Talent, abilities, capabilities, of which you may be the one in possession.
The cancer taught me a lot, I mean a lot. I listened to others, I read, I researched. I discovered what foods were better for one’s health and especially important for cancer prevention and battling. In the time since, I have learned much about other chronic illnesses and how to take care of your health while dealing with them. I have also discovered that each day going forward is a gift. Thanks to a mammogram my cancer was caught very early, it was however still cancer. It did still leave its mark, physically, mentally, emotionally. Going forward I am still the warrior fighting, and the champion for those who come after me. Never forgetting what was, and working on what may come. Thanks to time and distance.
Time and distance from events have given me the ability to see much more clearly. It has also given me time. My peace of mind is better. My emotional health is better. My walk with God is better, stronger. It gives me a much greater understanding of what was, and what may be. It gifts me with a contentment of spirit and soul. Because I was able to put distance between then and now.
Distance gives you the ability to stop and consider what happened. You can remember and think on the events from that different perspective more rationally. Distance gives you the time to heal and to grow. Yes, one can remain in the past and wallow in self pity, but moving forward is the better choice. To take what happened as an experience to learn and grow from, to accept that it happened-right or wrong- and move on. Healing is freeing. It brings about a better, easier life. It allows one to see the positive beyond the negative. It gives one the ability to be there for others. It gives one an inner strength they may not have realized they possessed. Once they have the distance between what was and what is.