Breaking Up

When we find ourselves good at something, it automatically becomes our cause.  We get praise, we try hard, we find success.  We get enough success, and we become that something.

When competitive athletes fall short, they come back smarter and hungrier.  When their gut tells them they’re not good enough, the worker in them knows they will GET good enough.  The time, the effort, and the wanting are all carved out and planned.

Still, no one wants to be told they’re not good enough.

There’s something about these words coming from other people that makes them igniting.  We can accept our own judgements, but not those from the outside who have no idea who we really are and how much work we’ve put in.

And we’ve put in the hours.  If not the studied 10,000 then pretty damn close.

No way all that effort was spent in vain.

The dream must be kept alive.  Resuscitated.  Even if keeping the breath coming is killing you.

You work and you try, you work and you try, but nothing anybody says seems to be helpful or encouraging.  It’s what they don’t say that you’re terrified of.  No one will tell me I’m not good enough.

You fall out of love with the game that once defined you, and yet you go home to it every night, watch TV alone on the couch, and sleep in the same bed, not touching.

You’ll never tell it you’re unhappy.  You’ll never ask what more it wants from you.  You’ll just stop talking, and build resentment.

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It will make you think you’re a coward.  All you did was slink away, silent.  It will make you believe it gave you everything.  All you did was take every opportunity it afforded you.  It will make you question who you are and if there’s anything else you can amount to in life.  All you did was believe that this is what you wanted from the beginning.

In the end there will be a divorce, and amicable or not, it will break your heart.

You didn’t fail, your relationship did.  You stopped wooing her because, as it turns out, she wasn’t worth it.  She wasn’t enough.  There was too much unrest and discomfort and legitimate, literal pain.

Like all breakups, in hindsight, you’ll find you’re shockingly better without it.  The misstep came in not ending it sooner, when you might have ended up friends.

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