“How to Stop Missing Her” by Cydney Irby

This isn’t some love story. At least, not in the traditional sense. See, today I wanted to talk about something real, something taboo, something unspoken. Someone is going to disagree me. Someone is going to laugh at me. But, I guarantee there will plenty of people who relate. I have faith in that.

See, I’m trying to stop missing the old me. The FOMO on old me is strong these days. In this time of uncertainty, all I want to do is run back to my days of sleepless nights and the hustle. I want to feel the comfort of going back to college to be a veterinarian. I want my old friend group and easier days. I want the old me back who thought everything was a piece of cake. And, when it wasn’t, sacrificed it all to make it happen.

These are scary thoughts. This is the FOMO people should be warning you about. This is the make or break it point.

But, instead of breaking, I have been coasting.

I have been getting just uncomfortable enough to inspire people and to feel the glow. I have been dissing fear for brief moments of passionate enlightenment and then running right back to its bubble of safety. And then, it happened. I had a turning point.

I thought someone was breaking into my home. Here I am, typing these words to you and I hear what sounds like scratches at the door. Probably some animal so I ignore it. 10 minutes later, it happens again. It’s not scratches. It sounds like the locks. I pause everything I’m doing and tiptoe quickly to the kitchen to grab a rather large knife. I immediately start texting my best friends, my family, and the guy I’m dating. In fact, I text him first.

My parents and him suggest calling the police. Now, I’m making a phone call to 911. The first phone call I’ve ever had to make to that number. Here I am discussing my address is as hushed tones as possible and what’s going on. The guy on the other end of the phone is calm, cool, and collected. I don’t sound frantic but my thoughts are racing.

Yes, I want to speak to the police. No, this has been going on for 40 minutes, not 10. Yes, the last time I heard it was probably about 10 minutes ago.

What the guy can’t hear are my sobs. He doesn’t get to hear my prayers that I will make it out of this alive, if there is someone trying to break in. He doesn’t hear me pray for my cat to be alright over all the material things in my apartment. He doesn’t hear me vow and promise God to do better, to be better. My silent vow that I will stop coasting, that I will stop missing the old me, that I will stop doing the bare minimum to simply stay afloat.

That’s why I am still up writing this.

It’s not out of sympathy because the last thing I want you to feel is sorry for me. See, I have been on a roll these past two days with getting stuff done. This incident, this was the enemy working hard to stop me dead in my tracks. The enemy wanted me to curl up in a ball and hide and forget all the progress I’d made in a mere two days.

I want you to read this wake up call and realize it’s okay to reminisce. It’s okay to remember when days were a bit easier, when things were clearer. When all you had to worry about is what you were wearing to school and keeping your grades on point. It’s okay to let that thought cross your mind. But then, immediately fire back with “well, look what I’ve done now.” Rattle all of the accomplishments you’ve made. Like getting your own apartment without a co-signer. Being offered to guest posts for communities and people who bring your heart so much joy. Going five years strong with your community based organization. Moving up in a company to the point where they ask you to travel and the people you work with for only a short time ask you to stay.

There are so many things I’ve done. There are so many things old me would have never thought possible.

Last night, I found a polaroid I took before I left for my business trip to Daytona, FL. It was just a picture of me smiling. Yes, I took a selfie people. I know, I know. My first instinct wasn’t to pick myself apart or to hang it up. My first instinct was to pick up a pen and write one phrase. “Saying goodbye to the old me…”

And I’m so glad I did.

~ Cydney Irby

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