I have 29 seats in the downstairs of my home alone. And, my car is in the garage. It seats 5, well 4 comfortably. That’s over 30 available seats.
In my 20s, I was always looking for space in other people’s lives. I felt relationships were destined to work. I needed confirmation of love. I was almost desperate for attachment.
I didn’t understand the concept of growing apart. I thought we mated for life. I had a very textbook view of relationships, friendships, and family. I tried to make those relationships as sitcom as I possibly could. It was important to me. I needed it.
I grew up an only child, the only child at home. And although I had a lot of friends, our relationships were restricted to wherever they were created. School friends were at school. Dance friends were at dance. Friends were left behind where the friendships were formed. They would be picked back up when we got back there. I learned to be at peace alone, and I value that today.
However, it created confusion on how to manage those relationships as adulthood allowed them to break free of their creation point. I didn’t understand the ebb and flow of make ups and break ups. I fought for relationships I needed to let go. I felt I needed a place in their life. I needed to create a place for them in mine. I saved them a seat. And if they happened to forget to “save” me one, it was okay. I was permanently carrying one on my back. I would sit in a corner or the smallest space. I didn’t take up much room or demand anything. I was just figuring out how to hold on to the relationship.
Heartbreak lives in that behavior, with anxiety and frustration.
Then in my 30s, I stopped making room for everyone. I still carried my chair, but I didn’t keep making room for anyone else in my space. I just tried to fit in theirs.
Forever the chameleon.
Heartbreaks and frustration lives there, too. Anxiety wanes.
Now in my 40s, I realize I have 30+ seats available to me. What the hell do I look like trying to fit in someone else’s space? I can sit in a different seat every day for a month. I can sporadically decide where to sit. I can plan it out. I sit wherever I want to sit, on my seats, in my space. And, I am very welcome there.
Why am I even writing this?
1, because they say I’ve changed. And, I have. People notice when your behavior no longer suits them. They notice your behavior, but they will ignore the behavior they had that didn’t appreciate you. They will act as if their behaviors never impacted yours. Yes. I switched up. I realized that if you don’t provide me a comfortable, considerate, seat in your life, I can skip home and sit on one of the ones I already have.
2, because someone may be reading this struggling with relationships in their own life. Hopefully this gives you the nudge you need to let go of the pressure you feel to maintain that relationship, or maintain it in its current state.
Pick up your seat and go to the house. You’re welcome and comfortable there, and that’s what you deserve. Shortly after you realize this, people will start taking up the seats around you. They will want to be in those seats, and they will invite you into their lives too.
Please know that I’m switching seats right now, just because I can.