“There are times when the actual experience of leaving something makes you wish desperately that you could stay, and then there are times when the leaving reminds you a hundred times over why exactly you had to leave in the first place.” -Shauna Niequist
Leaving is bittersweet. Knowing when to leave is not always a simple equation. Even the departing itself is rarely an experience of simple relief; generally, it is weighted by what is lost, even if the loss is only lives in our imaginings of what was possible. Often when we leave, we lose not only our hopes for the relationship that has ended, but more deeply, for our concept of a future that defined us. I grew up amidst a long series of leaving and being left. I imagine that this has a lot to do with why I am now usually the last one to leave, hanging onto any vestige of hope that things can turn around. Being left so often as a child is qualitatively different than choosing to leave, and creates odd associations to most endings. Your history of relationship endings is the foundation of your tendency toward leaving or staying.