Sometimes our smallest decisions hold the greatest power. Unbeknownst to us, they can change our own lives or the lives of someone else forever. Sometimes these are unconscious decisions, and other times they are thought through. Sometimes we under or overestimate their impact and other times we’re hastily indifferent, even careless.
One seemingly simple thing could have saved me from months and years of pain and aching. It could have saved a bridge from being burnt and softened a heartbreaking blow. This one decision could have left a friendship intact, could have made me believe I was someone worth dignity, worth loving, worth time, truth and honesty instead of months of questioning whether or not I was. Maybe then I wouldn’t have these waves of restlessness and anxiety where every now and again I feel a crushing weight of hurt out of nowhere that leaves a pressing heaviness in my chest and in my back.
Albany. I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. But one small choice could have changed that. I want to believe I was worth an in-person break-up, a closure. I never for a second believed she would think I wasn’t. I will never comprehend how it didn’t hurt her to drive away and leave me there to never again see me. And if it did hurt her to do it that way, then why didn’t she change it? I want to know if she feels the twisting knots in her stomach or the piercing knives in her sides that I feel every time my brain wanders up highway 87 and descends back into that bleak parking lot. Did she even for a second hesitate or glance at me in the rear-view mirror? It’s just something that I’d like to know, but I’d still love her if she told me that she just drove away.
People will say I’m dramatic or an overly sensitive tormented soul, but I’ll tell them this is just how it left me feeling, and there is nothing I can do to change that. I will write about what I love and what I fear; saying the things that burn inside me. Vulnerability takes courage and gives power. Whatever is not born out of the deepest longing and most aching truth is not worth writing, anyway.
Before I met her, I spent years trying hard to convince myself that I could be loved, and then fate blew her into my life like a hurricane, full of chaos and magnificence, and I finally believed that love could be for me, too. At last I gave my heart over to the idea that not everyone I love is going to leave, that there would be a difference. And for a beautiful time, despite being in the midst of a really challenging season in my life, love really was mine. But before I knew it, the truth appeared and I found myself trying to swim in my tears. To miss someone like that, someone who had the power to make it so the ending didn’t have to feel so much like a sudden death, is an absolute hell only a real love can send you. I was never one in my life to burn bridges or hold grudges. I like to be on good terms with everyone. Nothing would have stopped the heartbreak, but just one small decision would have made me feel appreciated and worthy of having been loved. And best of all, it would have kept a peace, even if we did not communicate much any more.
For her it must be such a joy to quickly move on and forget about me, finding someone new and better, and not feeling so alone. She may have been able to experience that most years of her life but for me and my 28 years, it’s only happened twice. I got a taste of it, and it meant more to me than she will ever know or understand. I remember how she struggled with feelings those two separate weekends in Vermont, thinking about memories of her ex-boyfriend. Now I have to wonder if there was even a shred of emotion for me, even a second thought.
I don’t know how to love without using my whole heart. I don’t know what it’s like to love someone ‘half way.’ I practice giving love in the same way I’d like to receive it. All or nothing. I want to believe there exists someone in this world who will put as much effort into a relationship as I will, who will also choose me every day.
But if it weren’t for the trials of 2015, I wouldn’t be where I am today in my life, career, place of living, matured persona, and growing character. I wouldn’t be as thankful and grateful as I am now. It took me the pain and desperation of that year to reach the glory of this year. If things hadn’t fallen apart, they would have never come together. So if I really do believe all things work together, that nothing is wasted, someday, March 6 might not be such a dreadful day in retrospect. The older I get the more I’m always steered back to childlike faith. I feel like God turned around my feelings of abandonment and heartbreak and gave me hope and a future, and pulled me out of a really dark place. I still lack determination and patience (mostly the later). But I believe in the power of things turning around and bad being used for good. I know firsthand the experience of redemption stories in my own life and the lives of countless others. If I have learned anything in this life, it’s to never write someone off as beyond redemption. It is so ridiculously hard to wrap my mind around what I’m about to write, but I think I might actually believe in it enough to think that perhaps someday that cold Albany parking lot will turn from a broken place of abandonment to a sacred place of thankfulness. Have I matured to be foolish enough to have that kind of childlike faith yet?