life lessons...they're hard y'all.

oh my, what i have been learning about life the last few weeks.
my heart literally just might explode.
i've been feeling these things in bits and pieces for a while, but somehow tonight i managed to put them into words when chatting with my brother.
it was a total "aha" moment.
and so tonight, i'm setting myself free.

unless you were to know the layers and layers of my family story, me trying to put it all out here would be a bit difficult.
but i'm going to share the major parts because i think it's important, and hopefully y'all can relate.

i have a serious problem with perception.
not necessarily how i see others, but how i think others see me.
my family.
my friends.
my coworkers.
complete strangers.
like i get serious anxiety about it...always have.

part of this stems from not knowing my dad while growing up. those emotions are for a totally different day, but it's true. somehow i always felt guilty for that, all the while fully knowing that it was out of my control.
moving to texas was a big deal for me. i felt that i was the outsider and somehow it was my fault that my relationship with my family here was not like a normal family should have been. i feel like i have to be perfect for everyone to love me, and in doing that, i've been very surface level. i don't know how to let down the walls. maybe i'm afraid subconsciously that if i let them in, they won't like me.

through my brief life in texas, i have finally come to the realization that my relationship with my dad will never ever be what i desire it to be, and it's really no one's fault.
we had no father/daughter bonding time as a child. i came into the picture after everyone was grown....after i was grown. there's a 19 year gap in the beginning of my life with no father. and sadly, that means that we will always be somewhat disconnected.
that paired with the illusions i have of a father/daughter relationship have kind of held me captive in my own head for many years.
being here, these last 9 months, has helped me to just let go of all i "dreamed" our relationship would be and to accept it for what it is. and that's not a negative thing at all.
we can still have a great relationship without it falling into the parameters of my childhood imagination.

while part of letting go is a sad time, and grieving for what never was...it's also very freeing. because keeping it all inside is a very lonely place to be. and the comparison eats you alive. and frankly, i'm kind of sick of being lonely and eaten alive by my own thoughts.

so i'm ready to try a different approach....with fewer expectations.
i tend to have high expectations that i never communicate.
how can people meet them if i've never put them out there?

today, i'm letting go.
letting go of the guilt that's not mine to bear and moving forward.
when i pull out of here in two weeks, i pray that i'm able to leave some of this heavy, heavy baggage behind.
i'm tired of carrying it.