I’ll leave. It’s what I do.
I am often praised for my ability to recognize when a situation is no longer working and having the so-called strength to leave.
“Better to cut your losses,” they say.
I left a small town where many were content.
I left a fiance.
I left the first law firm that hired me.
I left the state of New York, where all my friends and family resided.
I left the law firm that took a chance on a NY lawyer and helped me study for the California Bar Exam.
I left the practice of law altogether.
Sometimes, leaving is the right thing to do.
For me, it’s just a reflex.
Only once in my life was it glaringly obvious that I shouldn’t leave.
Not that I didn’t try. I had papers ready to be filed. I had cried to my parents. I had shared with my friends. Because, too insecure to decide on my own, I always test the waters before jumping ship. Like every other time, it appeared no one would hate me if I did it. Except my future ex-husband I suppose.
I couldn’t leave. Not this time. My typical ‘fight or flight’ response was stalled. This time I had to fight for my marriage. This time I had to say goodbye to my flight urge.
That was five years ago. Since then we’ve shared so much love, life, growth and acceptance. There has been adventure and comedy; forgiveness and compromise. We’ve shared dreams. We’ve watched them come true. We’ve cried when they didn’t.
Strength isn’t leaving. Strength isn’t staying. It’s not an action at all.
Strength is knowing. Strength is facing yourself head on. Strength is daring to act consciously.
“I want to stay,” I begged.
Alone, I could have flown; but together we soar.
It’s been a beautiful journey.