I am sure it is difficult to say the words I’ve thought this through, played it out in my head. I’ve tried to imagine life with you forever . . . and I have reservations. . . It ‘s not going to work. I believe saying those words took courage. I do. I’ll bet it’s even harder to say when the person you are telling is doing her damnedest to prove otherwise.
Being on the receiving end of those words was difficult to say the least, a big punch in the gut. As my head was spinning I tried to maintain a sense of calm, to respond in some very adult, Zen, evolved woman, kind of way. I was convinced that if I said the right words, in just the right way, I could salvage the discussion, reverse the feelings in his mind and his heart, and turn this whole thing around in my favor. Instead, his words got louder and clearer . . . and his heart farther and farther away. I felt desperate and said desperate things. I wanted to be sure I told every truth, put every feeling on the table. In the end, my truths didn’t matter. Only I cared. I wanted to vomit.
I sat for a moment, silent and still in my blue chair and took stock of my feelings. In a flash, my hope was sucked right out of me, shot back into the universe, and replaced with every painful truth that I had ignored along the way. The truth was persistent. Once revealed it could not be ignored. I was so pissed, angry with myself. I felt foolish.
In the days that followed I did what most people do, replayed that last conversation over and over in my head, painfully reliving it. I wished he saw what I saw. . . . felt how I felt . . . Crap . . . I wish I had been gracious in letting go. Instead I was weak and sad. I hate that image, really, really hate it. Wishing was a waste of time. There wasn’t going to be a do over. It was done. I begged the Universe to make time pass quickly, fast forward, please. Let a year flash by in a minute so that this experience, the images and the words would lose their sting.
But the Universe was smarter than me and had a better plan. She wanted me to learn every lesson I could from this experience and it would take a lot of time. Wanting time to pass quickly was a shortsighted wish. In my drama induced mental state, I hyper focused on passing time, counting the hours and days that moved me farther from my broken heart. I was ignoring all the beautiful gifts that time had to offer, the endless opportunities to enjoy life, my good health and my job, to love my family and my friends, to experience the joy of watching my grandson grow, and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds me every day. It’s hard for me to admit, but I needed to use my time more wisely to heal, to grow and to gain wisdom. Why would I rob myself of the gifts that time had to offer? Why would I pass on opportunities to learn and grow and become a better human being? I’m an educator for God’s sake, a life long learner. Learning and growing is in my DNA. I guess I got a little derailed. In the weeks that have followed, honestly, I have never worked so hard and so earnestly to change myself, to change my life and the way the world responds to me. I’m proud of what I have accomplished so far.
I admit I still have moments of wishing and wanting what is not mine and what is not meant to be. I have to be okay with that, and for the most part I am. I do think about him every day. At first I tried to stop the thoughts. I sent him away and cursed his presence. I was embarrassed and angered by the hold he had on my heart and the space in my head. But now I’m stronger, and when he appears, I let him stay. You see, the last thing I would ever want is for him to visit my thoughts and find me exactly as he left me, sad and settling for less than what I want or deserve, or angry and hurt. Every now and then, I write a story in my head about bumping into him at some random place. In the story I am fearless and strong, funny and beautiful, creative and smart. I have found my way. I am moving forward and not looking back. I tell the truth about what I need and want and I don’t settle. I’m not waiting for my life to happen. I am making it happen. I can tell him I love him, and mean it, without being sad or wishing for something more . . . I feel close to this story . . . it is becoming more truth than fiction.
Of course I’m not looking to be found, to gloat, to say ha, ha I’m better now, you blew it. Really and truly that’s not the point. The point is that when I visit old memories and experiences, or those times I have been left, I want to be able to smile and think wow . . . look how far I have come. I won’t let the past arrive in the present and find me the same way it left me.
However . . . if I do find myself found in a book store or coffee shop on some random afternoon, of course I’ll get immense pleasure from knowing that in that moment I am my absolute personal best, a vast improvement from the person who was left.
Come on, admit it . . . that feels amazing.