Sunday, May 22, 2022

Left Behind

The title of this post could easily describe me during the darkest years of my grief. 

I felt left behind. My friends and family were getting pregnant, having babies, and raising toddlers. I was left behind. Sure, my friends and family were nice people and they loved me. I was welcome to join them in the new season of their lives. But it always felt like I was entering and exiting a different world. I would have a hangover of feelings for days after hanging out.

Then there were my friends who didn't have kids. I was left behind there too. I was stuck in grief.

Elaine wrote about her six year blogging anniversary. Part of her post read, "Six years. Wow. There is so much gratitude. For everything I was able to overcome, leave behind, and learn."

For everything I was able to... leave behind.

That really stuck out to me. 

What if I wasn't left behind? What if it was me that was doing the leaving?

We all know I didn't have kids. That I went back to school to change careers. That I uprooted my life and moved 1200 miles across the country. That I left my marriage and got divorced. 

I left behind old hopes and dreams, dysfunctional relationships, and a life that didn't fit anymore.

Left behind.

One little phrase can mean so much. 
One little phrase can be turned around with a change in perspective.


  1. Dear Phoenix,

    Oh, this is good :-)! Because of course I've felt the same. I felt left behind, too. I STILL didn't have kids, I STILL couldn't join the mommy club... it was hard.

    But then, as you've said, I left. Not geographically. But I said no to invitations with mainly young mothers who would only have one topic of conversation. It was pure self-protection. Like you, I went back to school and found new goals in life. That was crucial for my healing.

    I am so glad you feel like you were able to leave some things behind, too.

    Much love!

  2. I love that you turned the phrase "left behind" on its head. There's so much agency in being like I LEFT THAT BEHIND. As opposed to I *was* left behind. Powerful!

  3. I love this take on it - leaving behind, rather than being left behind. It's all about perspective, isn't it?

    I've written quite a bit about being left behind - or rather, not being left behind, just taking a different path. They might have been posts before your time - the first and my favourite was in 2011! and some others ...

  4. What a great way to reframe the situation! I love it -- now you have me thinking about what *I* left behind, rather than how I got left behind by others...