Thursday, February 5, 2015

Go-to-Gay: When it's Time to Change

Introduction by Tracey Meyers

Change happens.

Whether we like it or not, change is one of those “facts of life” we can’t control. Even more so because though we do have control over some of the changes in our life, there are many we don’t … and those are often the hardest types of change to manage.

Today, our Go-To-Gay, Gary Edwards, reflects on the idea of change and how it has played a role in his life. So please give a warm CLC welcome to Gary!

To Have and to Hold

That first childhood crush, someone breaking up with you right before prom, the end of your first long term relationship or divorce. No matter when, why or how it always makes your stomach drop and your heart break.  Falling or growing in love is such wonderful feeling and the end of a relationship is such a loss. That same person that gave us all of these wonderful feelings, the person that you were so attracted to is now no more. Your best friend, lover is gone and at the time, so is your future. The future you had mapped out in your head with that special someone.  The dreams and plans are changed, ruined, spoiled.

Wade and I have been together 18 years now and we have seen dear friends finish degrees, have children, adopt pets, buy homes & get married. It is so wonderful to share time with them and see all of the joy. In our 30’s that was our life: people building careers, starting their adult lives. I think in our 40’s is when we realize we are getting close to the half way point. We never plan or think about the fact that relationships end, death occurs, but it starts to happen.  In the past few years we have lost family & friends whose lives ended abruptly and tragically due to unknown health problems. We have been there for each person’s spouse, helping them grieve and move forward one step at a time.  As we were there for the good times, the happy times, we are there for the hard times.

Recently two of our best friends who had the honor of getting married split. This threw me for a loop, rocked my world. We double date with them, share holidays with them and feel like they are part of our family.  Wade and I care so much for them, they are dear friends to both of us. After much time they decided that their relationship of five years did not work for them. It is so hard for me to get it out of my head because “It works for me.” We always had a blast with them and I had it in my head we would all grow old together. I have been there for both of them, and both listened and learned about their feelings.  I have understood both sides and sometimes I may not agree with one or the other. During those times I tell myself that this is my opinion and not theirs, they are on their journey. The end of their relationship is not the end of my relationship with them. I am learning how to be supportive and also how to see them not as a  “we” but as an “I”. No sides need to be taken, what I can do is be there for both and watch them grown as individuals.  I have become Switzerland, letting them talk about their future and helping them heal. The thing I am not letting them do is to talk about each other.

Years & years ago, way, way before Wade or life before Wade as I call it, I was in my early 20’s and in my first long term relationship. I remember feeling so happy and also full of fear that it would end. I was so young and didn’t even know who I was yet. I went to a therapist, my first one ever. I remember him saying the following; “All relationships end, could be tomorrow, one of you could get hit by a bus. Could be when you are 75 and one of you passes before the other, that everything comes to an end; the important thing is that you have yourself. That you are able to love and take care of yourself.” After two years, that relationship did come to an end. I survived, learned and grew as a person. Each relationship I learned more about me and what I wanted. Taking that forward but also learning I have me and can be happy as an “I” and not always needing the “we”.  I think Wade and I allow each other to be individuals and respect each other.  I am blessed that we are a “We”. In yoga they say that we all need to learn to accept that change is constant and that all things will change. We fight change, either because we do not want change and like things just the way they are. The other side is that we want change and have an expectation of how that change will look and feel. When the change comes that we were waiting for it does not turn our exactly the way we were hoping. So accepting life as it is today and know that everything changes and that we are all growing and following our path. Sometimes our path just does not include people that were on it. They have their own path, their own life and we have to remember the time they were with us. That it was wonderful and send them blessings as they continue their journey.

So I am grateful for all of my relationships, family & friends.  I am so blessed to still be here and happy to have the wonderful memories and continue to look at a bright future with my friends. Learning to accept change each and every day.

What have you learned? What are you reluctant to change or accept? Share your stories, I would love to hear!

Gary Edwards is the marketing and events manager for bestselling author Wade Rouse. Edwards arranges Rouse’s tour schedule, speaking engagements as well as coordinates and facilitates his writing workshops and retreats.  Additionally, Edwards has helped market and promote all five of Rouse’s books. Edwards also has a background in hospitality, and sales as well as design.   With his vast professional background and a love to listen and help friends he is a perfect storm of love and nurture. Edwards is Martha Stewart meets Dear Abby with a dash of Mrs. Doubtfire.  For more, please friend him on Facebook and Twitter.


Janine said...

I have a hard time accepting changes. But it is a part of life and eventually, things do have to change. This was a very inspiring post today.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful and touching, Gary. Just like you.

Anonymous said...

My day has been made now that I've read this. Thank you, Gary, for being so awesome, so brave, and so honest! #LOVE

Randy Evans said...

Thank you, Gary. Life is a mysterious process of holding on and letting go,