Katie. Kansas Native. 22 years old. Free spirit. Activist. Advocate. Firm believer in karma and hot coffee. change the way you look at things, live your dreams.
Someone asked me if I was going to attend my high school reunions…
Oh great. One more thing that is entirely awkward. I never even thought about high school reunions, and the fact that the person I spent all of high school with isn’t here. Do I even go?
Life without Mike is hard, and I’ve realized that it’s not just hard on me. I’m glad to know that he’s not only on my mind…
We hear so much about letting go of the past, a person, a relationship, a job or whatever. And we don’t want to let go.
Letting go is a poor choice of words. We shouldn’t let go.
We need to develop the skill to integrate our feelings and our learnings and move forward.
I shared an article the other day titled “23 things to do instead of getting engaged before you’re 23” and I had a lot of backlash over my support of the post (Google it, if you haven’t read it)… I even had a few people say that the way I was living my life was selfish, and that life with someone else is the only life to have.
Well first, if you think I’m living selfishly than you obviously don’t know how I’m living… I spend countless hours each month volunteering, helping my friends and family and giving back to the world in so many other ways…
Now with that out of the way, we can get to the best part: Finding yourself. I was with Mike for eight years, we met when we were 12, talked on the phone every single day until we had cars and did everything from photography to homework together. I didn’t pick a class schedule until we had the time to sit down and look at the classes together… I had 50% of the pull in our decisions, what we ate for lunch, where we went on dates, etc.
One decision that we didn’t make together was when Mike died nineteen months ago. I woke up, calling him, as usual - and within a thirty second phone call, my entire life changed. After all of the shock wore off, I woke up in the middle of the night thinking “I’m single as fuck …” and that was not a point in my life I ever wanted to get to. I was ready to be married, I was ready to get an apartment and a puppy and pick out matching towels for our bathroom. I know the beauty of relationships, and young relationships at that. All three of my siblings married young, and so did my parents - and my dad STILL pinches my moms butt… Love is such a beautiful thing, being loved is a beautiful thing. But, having to figure out who I am without Mike, that is not a beautiful thing.
Not only am I dealing with what feels like a break-up, but I’m also grieving the loss of my best friend. This May will mark two years without him and it feels like an eternity. But, the emotional and spiritual journey I’ve been on in the last nineteen months is something that I think everyone should experience on their own. I don’t regret a single second spent with Mike, he was everything that I could have ever imagined him to be. As for me, I was no one without him. And here I am, lost in this great big world without the person I told everything to.
I couldn’t imagine if we had kids together, or if we had a house that I had to return to every single day without him. That is why I think it is SO important to find out who you are before being with anyone else, because in the off chance that you’re in my position, you will have old hobbies to return to that won’t make you cry… Most of my growing years were defined by the person I was with, and now that he isn’t here I am defining my life on my own.
I thought I knew exactly who I was and exactly what I wanted two years ago.. But, I don’t. And, that is the beauty of life. Everyone needs to go out and experience things the best way they know how, and if that includes getting married and having kids - so be it. But, before settling down, find yourself. You don’t have to go out to a bar and have a one night stand or go get a crazy tattoo… Finding yourself is a personal experience, and only you will know when you get there. It could be tomorrow, or next year or when you turn 33, but the point here is that you can’t let anyone or anything define you and your life before you define it on your own.
Although Mike doesn’t define my life anymore, I will always follow one saying he always stuck by, “live your dreams.” I will continue to do that in an effort to find myself and honor Mikes life. Everything truly happens for a reason, and you have to rest easy knowing that.