Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Breaks are for the Weak!

Well...I used to think breaks were for the weak. To be clear, I mean breaks from romantic relationships. Because, really, who doesn't love a good Spring Break in Cancun? Or a bathroom break at school or the office where you actually call your friend really fast because you're dying to tell them something!

But when it comes to love...I used to think "taking a break" was for people who were too afraid to do what they knew they had to do. But I'm beginning to realize that "taking a break" simply means admitting, hey, I don't KNOW what to do.
It's ok--great, liberating, actually!--to admit you don't know the answers to everything.

I've broken up with a good deal of guys in my day. I thought that made me strong--deciding on the spot that this one was no good. I KNEW the answer...did I though? Or are we simply terrified of grey areas?

Something I'm learning recently, there are a LOT of grey areas. It's actually quite possible that the colors black and white don't even exist. Second thing I'm learning--I am scared as hell of grey areas!

I used to believe movement--constant movement, capacity for change--was strength.
What if sometimes staying is strength? This probably varies for everyone. In my case, I'm great at breaking things off with a guy, moving schools (I've been to 3 universities!) even deciding a friend is no good because they mess up once.
And my friends and family have always told me "you're so strong for making the changes you need to."
I could only smile and nod at this for as long as I needed to lie to myself. I knew deep inside that...I was weak for considering change and movement as my only option.

Some people of course (and we all know them) go on thirty "breaks" within the same relationship, stay at the job they come home crying from daily, continue to have lunch with the friend that puts them get the point. Some people are terrified of change and are willing to live constantly in the grey area.
And i'll say it again--the grey area is something that MUST be acknowledged. But then it must be worked through. And it's a job that I can imagine never really ends. It's a constant struggle but one that, I think (and hope!) brings a constant source of gratification.
Not necessarily gratification because everything turns out just the way you wanted--but gratification actually, from knowing you were able to consider all sides, able to consider the possibility of you being wrong...or, for some people, able to consider that the other person is wrong and hey, you're right about this one!

Just taking the time to consider, which can be a scary thing to do, is gratifying. Because it's brave.


  1. Great personal observation and insight!

  2. Interesting...Sometimes a break is just that and other times its a prelude to break up. A very grey zone indeed. Yet sometimes you need time to realise what you've always taken for granted and lost before reclaiming it.

    Like you, I'm still uncertain whether it is stronger to stay and fight or to just move on and restart something and I'm twice you're age.

    Guess I'm a propoquerian myself... truth is, this is a rather propoquerian world we live in.

    Hmmmm...nice word AND blog. Take care.

  3. I have spent much of my life knowing I don't know very much at all. Being in the grey area is O.k but eventually you do have to move into the black or the white or you can get stuck in grey indecision.

  4. Oh yeah, plenty of grey areas in life and in all fields... I am much older and only NOW strat to appreciate these grey areas as they are my treasures, learning about myself, reflecting and growing. We always will be work in progress.