Palata and I first met at the tender age of two and a half. Knowing nothing of my likes and dislikes, Palata quickly came into my life and set the tone for my distinct tastes for the next 29 years. Whether it was taking in a movie or going out to dinner, Palata was always there for me.
The fading winter of 2012 served up more change than season and temperature. I felt that the relationship that I had with Palata was holding me back. The unrelenting feeling that the grass was greener on the other side plagued me. It was time for a fundamental shift, and I knew it meant cutting out my relationship with Palata.
Leaving Palata meant coming into a world of new possibilities. Like the first time I met Kael. With a look unlike anything I had ever seen, and tastes that varied from strong to stronger, I was truly out of my comfort zone. Courting Kael was not easy, but ultimately I warmed to the distinct characteristics that others had told me about. As time passed, Kael and I became inseparable and soon Kael introduced me to Beetty, and Beetty to Keenoa, and Keenoa to the twins Bucky and Wheata. Within a matter of weeks my entire support network had changed. Although the break up with Palata was still fresh on my mind, I found the space Palata took up in my life had grown stale. I had things on my plate that I never thought I could handle, and soon I found that I had developed a new relationship, oddly with another Palata.
Things were going well until I was confronted by my ex-Palata at a family gathering. Palata wanted to connect over a plate of barbeque chicken or a tender steak the way we had done in the past. Denying my dear Palata was hard for me to swallow, and even harder still for Palata. Just being in this familiar environment evoked feelings of the past, but my relationship with my new Palata was stronger than the grip old habits had on me. I had moved on, and become something new, and it was time to share it with everyone around me. “No, thank you. I practice plant-based eating!”
That day, when I told others what I had done, the weight of my decision became cumbersome. They couldn’t believe that the break-up was real, but more importantly they didn’t want to believe it. I was patronized, attacked, belittled, disbelieved, and ultimately disregarded. People were not able to recognize me without the baggage that my dear ex-Palata brought to the table. They tried tirelessly to get me to give Palata a second chance. To serve up a second helping of the dysfunctional relationship that had been holding me back. They used reason and unfounded scientific evidence to convince me to get back together, but in the end their efforts only solidified my position and sharpened their doubt and insecurity.
Palata was gone, and alongside went the reality that I used to hold dear. All I had left were memories accented by pictures of a time past. My first Palata will always have a place in my heart, but no more space in my life.
Here are a few tips for keeping it together while breaking up with your Palata.
- Shock is inevitable. Breaking up means out with the old and in with the new. Expect to feel vulnerable and counter that vulnerability with a solid plan of action. Do not attempt a break up unless you have a reliable rebound.
- Anger will bring out the best in you and the worst in others. People don’t like change and they often get angry when confronted with it. Your growth move will make others feel that they need to do the same and that might make for some animosity. Soothe their insecurities by not pressuring them to take the same leap you did.
- Denial is a huge part of the grieving process, but its size doesn’t need to weigh you down. Denying yourself the opportunity to reach out to some of your old behaviors when the moment arises can limit your growth. It’s ok to call your ex, but bear in mind the reason why you broke up in the first place.
- Accept the new you and embrace your new view. A new outlook can bring about new intentions, and with new intentions comes purposeful actions. Let your new actions gain traction by inviting new people into your life.
Chris Falcon is founder of Reactive Performance Enhancement Center, and creator of the The Multi-Mode Method of Eating™. He is dedicated to helping people feel their best through healthy living on all levels.
Connect with Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org
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