I’m the One Who Got Away

I took a deep breath and let it out.

I was driving home from work and I realized — I was happy. Content. At peace.

It was the first time in a very long time I felt like I could take a deep breath. You know the kind — the ones that go into your marrow. Into your cells. They change you. They are life. They are rest. They are full.

I don’t know when it happened. Probably sometime between chasing dreams and cutting negative people out of my life. And on the cusp of my 30th year I’ve realized I don’t need any of them, nor do I owe any of them a single thing.

look what you’ve done
look what you have become
you’re a puppet, a fool, and a thief
with my eyes closed
’cause that’s how it goes
everyone knew it but me

It’s been a slow process, this awakening of contentment. It’s been messy and stilted. One step forward and two steps back. Full of tears and throwing my hands up in the air. Regrettable conversations and placing boundaries in my heart. But yet, I’m happier now than I’ve been in a very long time.

you’re a good looking loser
and I’m the one who got away

This contentment caught me unaware. It caught me on the edge of a meltdown. It was the calm after the storm. The sense that life had been wrecked by the hurricane yet you know the pieces can be put back together, you’ll find a new normal with scars of the wreckage. You’ll manage and not only manage but thrive.

with my eyes full of tears
and my hands with two beers
I’m as sorry as I am ashamed
should have been smarter
should have tried harder
should have been quick to your game

I hit a point where I finally admitted that I was so ashamed of my wrongs. Unable to admit the ways I screwed up, the ways I had offered my heart to the wrong men, the ways I should have known better. But the darkness caused by my sin choked the life out of me. It haunted me at night. Leaving only regret. It felt like I lost myself for a few months.

you’re a good looking loser
and I’m the one who got away
nobody said it’d be different this time
maybe you’re all the same

So the untangling process, the process of admitting my wrongs, the process of healing, the process of wrestling through this shame, took longer than I thought. It took more of my energy than I care to admit. Until one day, there was freedom. There was release. The chains broke and I found myself not caring. I didn’t care about the men in my past. I cared about the woman they’ve shaped me into — the good and the bad — but I realized I didn’t care about them. The final string in my heart severed and they floated away.

And I had my doubts
but I threw them all out
I had faith
there would be no price to pay

There’s a lightness to life when you don’t have the baggage of your past weighing you down. A focus when you’re not distracted by trying to figure out why you weren’t enough or where you went wrong or why they said the things they did. A hope when you lean into the things ahead. A joy when you realize your life won’t be the hard you were willing to choose. A love when you understand your heart has capacity for so much more than any of them realized.

I’ve wasted much of my life on men who did not want to my life given to them. I’ve wasted much of my thoughts on replaying the moments over and over. I’ve wasted much of my energy on trying to reconcile the past. And now I’m just done. Because I’m happy. And life is good. It is full with room for so much more.

On the cusp of 30, I’ve found love. And contentment. And peace. And joy. And they look nothing like I thought they would. It’s funny but I think I’ve found those things because I got away.

you’re a good looking loser
and I’m the one who got away

Yeah I’m the one, I’m the one, I’m the one, I’m the one who got away
Yeah I’m the one, I’m the one, I’m the one, I’m the one who got away
Yeah I’m the one, I’m the one, I’m the one, I’m the one who got away

So when I took that breath, in a lot of ways, it felt like I was breathing for the first time.

you’re a good looking loser
and I will do what I have to do


2 thoughts on “I’m the One Who Got Away

  1. Hi,
    So I found your blog on accident. I searched Google for a criticism of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and up popped your blog. I read the post in that link, and I was intrigued by your writing so I went to your most recent post.
    I’m sorry if this seems an intrusion, but felt the need to comment. I understand the “untangling process, the process of admitting my wrongs, the process of healing” and “wrestling through shame…” It’s so hard. But we do it. I went through this a few years ago (which is an odd similarity because you and I seem to be about the same age). I don’t know you, and that’s okay, but it feels good to know someone else out there gets it.

    I never though I’d be where I am today, so far removed from that state of mind.

    Psalm 91

  2. Hi Donny! Thank you so much for the comment. It’s never an intrusion and I’m so glad you feel able to connect. It’s such a messy process but a beautiful and redeeming one nonetheless. Thanks for spending your time reading my words and commenting!

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