July 12, 2013

I call them life-i-versaries. Days, moments that are relatively benign to others, but deeply significant to you. I’ve been thinking about this day, four years ago. The day my little four-year trip into Wonderland began to end. It wasn’t a quick end – it took another two years to reach the final chapter. Today, I might still be in the Epilogue. Or, perhaps I’m really at the end.

That day was very similar to this July 12th. A typical, beautiful, yet bordering on a little too warm, midsummer day in the Pacific Northwest. Bright blue sky and golden sun, with soft evening breezes. (Fast forward four years… I now have a set of beautiful, melodic wind chimes hanging on the front porch. Life-transforming, I must say. They would have brought me comfort on that day four years ago.)

I had a long, hectic workday today, just as I did in 2013. Only, I’m at a different job now. You see, life-i-versaries or not, life does go on. Always. You might stop for a while, cuddling up with your memories. However, mighty life keeps trudging forward. The future is always there.

One of the biggest differences between then and now is how I feel. Back then, I was sad. Resigned to the reality of his departure, and hopeful he’d return at the same time. It wasn’t a dramatic goodbye – we’d had those before. It was simple and sweet, and I didn’t look back as I walked out the door, headed back into the world of me, myself, and I. He promised to write, which he did. A lot. I felt good about our future for once.

And then, it all fell apart. Even with an ocean between us, we couldn’t get past our usual implosions. Arguing via email and IM. So 21st century. Here I am today, a bit numb, a bit wistful, a bit bitter, yet a lot happy that I don’t have to deal with the stress of our implosions. I never wanted him to hate me, however, which he does – vehemently. Oh, and he returned. Just not to me.

As I continue to try to make sense of it all, I find myself moving backward down Memory Lane. I want to remember us when we hardly knew each other, twenty or so years ago. I’m always nostalgic for the 90s, but have become even more so as of late. That’s when we met, when I still believed in love, when he still had hair. Well, I guess I still believe in love. I know now that it’s much more complicated than a fairy tale would suggest, and not for everyone.

These days, my focus has shifted from my relationships to the places I want to see. As I said, life keeps barreling ahead at a rapid clip. Time to start seeing those far-off lands, or revisiting the near ones. I went to Seattle for a short trip a couple of weeks ago. I hadn’t been there in eight years! Life had just been too busy, too much upheaval and subsequent introspection. Seeing Puget Sound was like visiting an old friend again.

Back to July 12th. I’m starting to see that I’ve truly moved on. Four years of hard work, a few ups, but many, many more downs. I was, for all intents and purposes, forced to move on. Now I see that’s just fine, whatever it takes. July 12th will never be just another day. However, I’m hoping I’ll reach the point where I give it maybe five minutes thought – tops. Life speeds ahead to the next July 12th, and the one after that, and the following year.

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