How Do You Walk Away?

As re-booters, we have come to understand that life changes all the time; the sand continually shifts beneath our feet. This is simply part and parcel of life and requires that we be fleet of foot. Of course, there are constants in the midst of continual change and for that we are grateful because they provide compass stars. We are able to orient ourselves (at least somewhat) on the basis of these steady elements in our lives.


But, sometimes, these constants change. These things or people we have grown to rely on, change, too. For innumerable reasons. It is then we can get ourselves in trouble when we fight to keep these things in a “fixed” manner when they are no longer that way. We knew him as “sunny Tom,” but the years have passed and he is now “unyielding Thomas.” Why this has happened, we can only suspect, but more often than not, we won’t get an explanation for it. We’ll never fully understand. But sunny Tom has faded away…


Trying to recapture a person or situation who is no longer in evidence is a misguided exercise. If you’re anything like me, hope can feed you for a long, long, long time but we often base hope on things that have nothing to do with reality. And, what makes it harder, we base our hopes on fantasy projections of other’s behavior that we will never control. We can’t control how they think about us today. We can’t control what their motivations or concerns are. We can’t do anything other than deal with who they are with us today.


Is the person you’re thinking of, how they behave right now, somebody you would choose if you first met them today?


For me, that’s a painful question because more often than not, I am inclined to answer, “not so much.” And I say this knowing how much I cared for these people in the past—and admire them today. A person can still be a good person, a career can still be lucrative, and no longer be right for us–or we for them.


Letting go of old ideas and preconceptions of who people are is tough. We can still like so much about them, but they aren’t who we thought they are, aren’t who we hoped they would be. Investing in a relationship where you hope they’ll change is a fruitless pursuit, and I say that as someone who’s passionately pursued that golden ring more than once.


Who is someone in your life who is no longer the person they were? Who, at this point, is no longer a source of comfort or support to you?


All of this is painful for me to write because I consider myself to be one of the most loyal people around. But, I’ve also seen what a waste of time and how painful it is to be Don Quixote running around chasing phantom windmills.


Acceptance of how things are versus pinning hopes on how things were or how they might be again is a lesson of supreme importance for re-booters. But, it isn’t all grim! Remember, such acceptance makes us more fully present in our lives today, helps lessen the level of frustration or disappointment we may otherwise incur, and makes room for new experiences, new professions, new people who are better suited to who we are today to enter our lives.


It’s ok to walk away. Doing so frees them up, as well as yourself.







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