|I got this picture from Pixabay. Nice, right?|
I've been thinking about this, and have come to the conclusion that I need to give myself a break. I'm not perfect. I can't be perfect. I can't make the correct decision all the time. I'm doing the best that I can now, and I did the best that I could at the time. I need to let it go. I need to forgive myself. I need to stop obsessing about things I cannot change. I cannot change who I was; I can only work on who I am and who I will become.
So I got fat. So what? I did it, there's no denying that I did it. I can't go back in time and not get fat, but I can work to lose weight now. I can work to get back in shape. Sure, it would have been easier if I'd changed my eating habits and started working out again back when I first started to gain weight, but that didn't happen. Instead I ignored it as much as I could, then I wallowed in grief and self pity, then, when I tried to change it, I'd grow frustrated with how difficult it was to do things I once found easy like run, or dance, or aerobics, or yoga, so I'd quit and go back to wallowing. It was incredibly self-indulgent, and it resulted in me gaining more weight.
I quit dating 15 years ago, give or take, and that was a mistake. It was a conscious decision on my part. Or, at least, it started that way. I needed time to get over both heartbreak and a bruised ego. Then heartbreak again, as my friends left with my lover. I needed a break, time to heal. I should've newly single time to better myself, to fix the things I wanted to fix about myself, like the aforementioned weight gain, but I didn't. Maybe I couldn't. I don't know. It would have been better, easier, if I hadn't lost all my friends at the same time. What can I say? They liked him better, and they weren't very good friends. But I lost them too, and so I withdrew and indulged and wallowed. I didn't know how to ask for help, or truly recognize that I needed it. I dealt with being abandoned by my friends by withdrawing further. I should have been braver and stronger. I should have said, "Fuck them!" and gone on to make new friends, have new lovers, but I dealt with it the way only way I could at the time. I survived.
Getting a Master's in Library Science was a terrible decision. It was, there's no denying that, but I didn't know it at the time. I thought it was . . . safe. It wasn't what I wanted to do, but I didn't have a clear picture of how I wanted my future to turn out. I knew it was something I'd be good at, and I'd had several people, including most of my family, telling me for several years that it was something that I should do, and I thought, Why not? I could be a librarian. And I could, except I can't. I didn't know that library jobs would dry up. I didn't know that a million other people had the same idea I did, many of whom have much more passion for the profession than I. I didn't realize how hemmed in I'd feel, how desperate, when I couldn't find a job. I didn't even think not finding a job was a possibility. I just wanted something steady, something professional, something wherein I'd be treated with more respect than retail. Who knew that it'd make me feel more miserable and more worthless than retail? Who knew that I'd spend years applying for every full time library position I heard about in the Northern United States, including Alaska, and that those ~1500 resumes and carefully crafted cover letters sent, and applications filled out would result in a grand total of three interviews, and zero offers? I didn't. I couldn't. So I did the best I could at the time. I really did. That it didn't work out is not my fault. Not really. It was just a conspiracy of bad timing. I really thought that I was making my life better.
I don't know where I go from here. I have no real vision of my future, but I've got to forgive myself for the mistakes in my past. Those mistakes make up the foundation of me that is my past. They can't be undone. I have to forgive myself. I have to, in order to heal and live.
I don't know where my life is going. I don't know what I'll do next. What I do know is that I need to stop being so angry with myself. I need to stop being so self-destructive. I need to forgive and grow and learn and heal. One foot in front of the other, these are the steps I need to live.