I was sitting in the Chinese Buffett when it came on the radio.
It’s a song I used to listen to on repeat, sing along with in my car, mascara running down my face.
“I keep going right back to the one thing I need to walk away from.”
At the time Christina Aguilera released her raw, soulful album “Stripped,” I was in an unhappy relationship, being cheated on.
Looking back, I was just as much at fault for accepting it. How could I stay with someone and degrade myself like that?
Nothing happens by coincidence, and I was given the CD as a gift the week before I left on a solo trip to London. I listen to the album religiously, her words piercing to my soul, her beautiful voice lingering with me in my dreams.
When I heard “Walk Away” I didn’t know why it touched me so deep. I was barely 20 years old, brimming with blind optimism and hope. I knew nothing about relationships, let alone what it felt like to be in a healthy one.
But listening to those lyrics for the three weeks I was in London, something clicked.
I got back and the boyfriend picked me up. We drove around and he stopped the car. He said he had something to tell me. I said that’s great because I had something to tell him too.
He went first.
“I don’t think this is working…” Blah, blah, blah, break up speech, you can imagine the rest.
“What were you going to say?”
“Oh nothing,” I said. “Just that I think I love you.”
We drove back to my dorm without a word and I closed the door.
Pause. Can we reflect on how pathetic this is?!
All those weeks listening to the Walk Away song and what did I take from it? Don’t walk away, give yourself more.
I have been thinking a lot about what it means to walk away.
It’s something many people struggle accepting (myself included).
At home, I have a deck of Fairy Cards by Doreen Virtue. One of the cards is “Walk Away.” A few weeks ago my friend was going through a rough patch with a guy she was dating and she asked me to do the cards for her. The first one, clear as day was “walk away.”
She knew what it meant. I knew what it meant. And yet we both tried to come up with another logical conclusion as to what “walk away” could mean.
A few weeks later and she came to find out that the guy was sleeping around with everyone he could.
But walking away doesn’t always have to do with relationships. I worked at a company once in which the atmosphere was toxic. High stress, lots of yelling, and constant anxiety. I knew in my heart I had to walk away, but it took me a while to find the right footing.
Sometimes you have to get on that stable foot and make the first step.
Right around that time, I came across this quote and it was just so perfect:
The words rang almost as true as that Christina Aguilera song. It was the final push to get me out the door and into a better job.
I think walking away can be one of the bravest things you will ever do.
But looking back at all those times you’ve walked away from something, how many brilliant doors have opened as a result?
When I was sitting in that car with my (soon to be ex) boyfriend, I was holding on to every last straw I had. I knew it was done and I knew it was over.
It was why that song touched me the way it did.
But out of fear, I held on. And out of fear, I accepted that which was wrong in my heart.
I’ve come a long way from those days, but walking away is still never easy.
I hope you will heed this advice with me and walk away from that which no longer serves you, grows you, or makes you happy.
Don’t accept what is below you like I did, blubbering Christina Aguilera in the front seat of your car.