how to move on from toxic events
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Moments Turned to Rubble: A Glimpse Inside The Struggle Of Moving On

I no longer have the option to look back.

Isaiah Vazquez / BGSU Marketing and Communications
*Disclaimer: This is a slightly more emotional post, but there is still a take away for everyone! Also if by any means this comes off to anyone as sob story seeming to seek attention, that was not my intention whatsoever; I only wanted to share my thoughts.

I don't usually get this vulnerable, or at least I try not to. I don't really talk about this much with people I don't know well, and most of all I try not to talk about this because I am afraid that someone will misinterpret my past and current feelings with how I am trying to help myself cope and move past my own mental roadblocks I've created.

If you would have asked me eight months ago if I was truly ready to enter a new relationship, if I had fully moved on, I would have told you no. Six months, no. Four, no. Two… yes. Finally – if I had to approximate – two months ago is when I had realized that I no longer looked back at the past like I had tried so hard not to do for a very long time. I'm not going to dive into the details, because they will always be very private for myself; however, I did want to share something with you.

We all have our different formulas for subscriptions on YouTube. Some of us are makeup, video games, travel adventures, life chats, news, gossip, and the list goes on and on. One of the channels I'm subscribed to, Kalyn Nicholson, a lifestyle channel, had much to say about moving on in her latest video "How To Let Go Of Toxic Things." Although, I believe the point I'm going to elaborate on can be applied to moving on in general, whether it was toxic or not.

With my internship this summer, I drive by the desolate campus day by day and watch as small changes occur. I believe it was several years ago that a large dorm complex on campus was closed partially due to mold, although the other half of the dorm not mold infested was kept open. This past year it was finally fully shut down, and they have spent the last several weeks demolishing it.

They began by tearing down the mold infested portion of the building, and driving past I was so glad to finally see the building being torn down. I foresaw the physical place that had some of my most emotional memories disappearing before my very own eyes. Today when I drove past, I realized that the entire building was finally torn apart, including a room I had known. It was then that I grasped how "gone" it all really was.

Kalyn Nicholson talked about in one of her steps of "How To Let Go Of Toxic Things" how to tangibly rid yourself of the memories. That may mean a new bedspread from the one you once shared, significant photos, or a stuffed animal they had given you. It's different for everyone. Looking over the crumpled bones of the building out my Nissan window, I realized that although we can easily rid ourselves of the objects (and yes, I am very aware that that is still easier said than done) it is rare that the place will disappear. The Waffle House where you ate at 4 am. The pond where you laid out in the sun before being thrown in the water. The dorm where you hid under the covers when everything was still your little secret.

When the light turned green and I continued on my way, I remembered back to earlier this week when I had been meditating on my front porch with my journal open. It was at night, and there was a good breeze. I heard pages beginning to ruffle, and I looked down to see that letters and a photo that had been stuck in the journal way back were flittering across the yard. I jumped up and ran to pick them up but when coming back to my towel on the concrete had realized the photograph was missing because it always made a noticeable gap in the pages. I searched the ground that night and again the next morning but never found the photo.

Maybe it was some uncontrollable force trying to tell me that although it had known I had finally been through it all that it wouldn't allow me to look back even if I tried. The past is never fully erased because the most passionate and impactful memories can never be forgotten; however perhaps by letting go of the tangible memories can we make room for new ones. We may no longer have their blue button-down, but it can make room for our pastel blouse that will always be our own.

The one thing I hope this concept does not do is to close you off from sharing your own special belongings and places. It is a very vulnerable state to share the objects and places that hold a high importance and safety net in your life, but if we never open up those gaps and spaces then we will never truly connect with someone else as deeply as we want to and as much as required to truly love without the fear of them someday walking away.

You can never erase the ground you've walked on, but if you are unable to walk away from it you can always bring a new memory to it of your own. Although the room may be gone, the ground where it stood still remains. Although I may no longer listen to an album, it will always exist. There are always circumstances and occurrences that I cannot control, but for the ones that I can, I can help myself walk down my own road of recovery into a new happiness with someone else. I finally think I'm ready for that.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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