You’re Not Who I Thought You Were.

“When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.” ― Maya Angelou

Update: Post-election and post-inauguration. This is only getting harder, sadder, and scarier.

Dr. Maya Angelou is/was one of the most influential teachers in my life. I use her words to chart my course when I feel stuck. I reflect on her talks on love when I feel hopeless. I believe she was a divine human and a gift to the world. However, the above lesson in believing someone the first time has always been the hardest for me. I want to like everyone.

Last night, I was visited by a dear friend. The theme seemed to center around wishing things and people were different. I think I struggle with this a lot. I recently had the painful realization that someone I thought I knew well was not the person I thought they were. It’s been heartbreaking to realize that I don’t think it’s healthy to share time with this person anymore. I don’t know what to do with this feeling of loss and grief.

When I reflect back on the relationship, there were things I looked past and ignored in an effort to maintain the connection. However, as this goes, those things became harder and harder to ignore. I had to deal with the fact that we did not fit together like I thought we did. This has been a painful realization for me.

This is not to say that this person is bad and I am good. It’s simply that what I thought was a healthy connection is no longer healthy. This person does not bring out the best in me and I am certain that I do not bring out the best in them. I could maintain the connection but I would be resentful when this person showed me who they were. That’s not healthy for either of us. It’s also not fair or healthy of me to sit in judgement of this person. We’re all built differently and this allows for all kinds of people in the world.

This is how it goes sometimes. We lose connections that we thought would last forever. We understand ourselves better and learn that some connections no longer fit who we’ve become. So, I’ve been letting go of the connection and it seems to be naturally fading into the distance. This is a deeply painful experience for me. It is a form of grief to lose a connection even if it is the healthiest thing for both people.

I am grateful for the conversation with my dear friend last night. I hope she is able to work through this process, too.

I am reminded of a song that another friend shared with me more than a decade ago:

“I want to be a good woman
And I want for you to be a good man.
This is why I will be leaving
And this is why I can’t see you no more.
I will miss your heart so tender
And I will love this love forever.

I don’t want be a bad woman
And I can’t stand to see you be a bad man.
I will miss your heart so tender
And I will love this love forever.

And this is why I am leaving
And this is why I can’t see you no more.
This is why I am lying when I say
That I don’t love you no more.

Cause I want (to) be a good woman
And I want for you to be a good man.” – Good Woman, Cat Power

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