Real vs Perceived

I saw a tweet the other day that spoke to me:

Sometimes it’s hard to live the life that would make you happy instead of the life that would make other people think you are happy.

I think it pretty well sums up some of the kickback we received after letting people know of our decision. A lot of people, when they found out, throw all sorts of “fix” ideas at us. Like they somehow thought we wouldn’t have tried everything in our power. I am beginning to understand it’s their own version of a coping mechanism in hopes to be helpful because they don’t know what else to do. But it’s tiring to have to re-explain and convince them that we did our due diligence and made the decision we think is right.

Most of this has calmed down, but I do think it is a continuous struggle to remember, after trying so long in a different vein, that I am worthy of living the life that makes me happy.

This is not to say we didn’t start happy. We were. But something changed. I don’t know what. I don’t know that I’ll ever know what. But I know that I put in enough effort to try and fix it to be okay with our decision. And I think that this long-span time of fixing singularly, while necessary, is what threw off our friends and family the most. Because in that time I continued to act in a way that made others think I was happy, that masked the real struggle. So when we decided to change the situation, to take the step to find and live the lives that would make us happy, it was a surprise to many.

There’s a song off of Sara Bareilles’s new album that sums this up pretty well.

“Let me paint a picture for you then I’ll have to teach you to see it
Illustrate the remnants of the life I used to live here in Eden
Rolled a lucky pair of dice, ended up paradise
Landed on a snake’s eyes, took a bite and ended up bleeding

You know if I could change anything, I think I would start with the name
The truth is all those angels started acting the same
And I know there’s no going back now cause
Life in Eden
Life in Eden changed
No way to make the pain play fair
It doesn’t disappear just because you say it isn’t there
So when they ask why’d she go you can say cause
Life in Eden
Life in Eden changed”

A conversation with a friend kind of sums this up. She questioned me a month or two ago. Not out of trying to change my mind, necessarily. But out of concern and understanding. She wanted to make sure there wasn’t something she was missing…some bit that made it all make sense to the outsider looking in. In trying to explain to her, I began to realize just how shut off I had made myself in the struggle. How hidden it was, even to my closest friends and family. And I think so much of it goes back to that quote. I had tried to continue to live the perceived life that made others think I/we was/were happy, while not¬†really¬†being happy.
Life in Eden had changed.
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