I said goodbye to an old love today. My heart squeezes in my chest every time I allow myself to think about it. The pain is still fresh and the memories hit me uninvited as they slam into my unsuspecting mind and pin me down, holding me hostage until I have to catch my breath and take the journey. It wasn’t all heartbreak and these glimpses of what it once was often bring a bittersweet smile with them though I fight the pull with every tiny movement of the over twenty muscles it takes to smile, or so they say.
It’s often easier to pretend that chapter of my life was never written, though I have the story imprinted into my very being. You see, when you envision your future, painting color into a world you create, one in which past, present and future find a landscape in which they will thrive as they grow stronger with each ray of sunshine, you come to expect your dream will one day become your reality.
I tell myself I won’t live in the past. I will live in the present and paint a new future one in which I also see happiness even if the landscape has changed.
And yet, I unwillingly take the trip, bags packed, boarding pass in hand time and time again.
I hear the strings of an old guitar, lyrics of country songs I had never heard in my eighteen years of melody. Of course, I fought it but the words found a way into my unsuspecting heart, the twang becoming more of a familiar sound and less of a foreign language.
I raised my Margarita glass for the first time with someone I admired and respected and still love and toasted to a future I hadn’t even begun to live. I can feel each grain of salt as my tongued cleared the evidence from my lips sip after delicious sip.
I can still feel the rush of hitting the road in my new to me car, windows down, hair blowing as I clocked miles to destinations which slyly hid among mundane chores, labeled as school, work, shopping but held life changing moments I would have sped up for had I known what awaited but looking back now would have slowed to a crawl if it meant I could savor it a bit longer.
How was I to know those destinations would include hospital stays which ended with my first born, a sweet baby girl, whom we gently carried into our first home? How was I to know the journey I was oblivious to would allow me to walk along my son, gripping his tiny finger as he took his first steps?
Now, my fingers curl over the cold metal, not wanting to let go yet knowing in my heart the rest of my story needs to be written. My mind knows it is time to let go, time to move on…but my heart squeezes again, it’s own grip on the past as tight as the one my hands refuse to release. New memories await the privilege of becoming old memories together creating a story I will forever treasure…my story.
It is time to let go of the past, unpack my bags and settle in…place those dusty mementos in a box to be remembered always but not allow them to take up too much space in the present. There are new chapters to be written, words and events swirling around me waiting to find a home.
Texas, sweet Texas you made a home in my young and unsuspicous heart and will forever be a part of me. For this, I will be forever grateful. Goodbye old love!