Three years ago, I stumbled upon a sinking houseboat on the river a few miles from my childhood home in Maumelle, AR. The houseboat was halfway underwater, but the bridge was still standing strong. This area became the spot I went when life was the hardest. This is where I processed love, grief and everything in between. The last year has been tough, and I've only returned to AR a few times. I haven't made it back to my little spot since Sumer of 2016. This past week has been tough, and I returned to my spot looking for a little bit of clarity.
As I walked down to the river, I realized my peaceful spot was gone. It has become a dump. Trash litters the grass, torn and mildewed mattresses
The peace of my little hole is gone. The houseboat has been submerged, and the bridge where I used to sit and dip my toes in the water has broken down so badly that it too is no longer usable.
The space I believed I needed is gone.
This isn't some blog post on the purpose of recycling and how we need to take better care of the earth (though that is true). This is more on the purpose of cultivating relationships.
It's been a disaster of a year. It's been filled with growing pains, political disaster, life transitions and open eyes. For the first time in my life, I'm finally seeing the world for what it is.
My entire life, I've believed that you could save relationships with people you love and that love was enough to do that. It isn't. Love isn't enough. What an awful epiphany, to know that human love is not enough to keep a friendship alive.
My dad used to discuss this idea with me of people being 'zaps' and 'saps'. Zaps energize you, whereas saps steal the life from you. To be filled as a human being, you need a healthy balance of those who give to you and those who take from you when it comes to your emotional well-being.
This year has been the first where I've learned to actively remove toxic situations and people from my life, and it has absolutely sucked.
I learned to give up the things I clung to, and in the process, I lost a lot of who I used to be. Not the good parts, the bad parts. And without those parts, things felt open and free to become something else, something filled with hope and light. I look forward to the new year, not because it gives me a chance to reinvent myself, but because it gives me the opportunity to continue the growth I need and leave the rest behind.