I woke this crisp, cool, windy, sunny, fall day with you on my mind as I have done so many times over the years. I wonder if you remember what day it is and I wonder if you are thinking of me.
It is November 11th, Remembrance Day, an irony that has not yet left me. It was 5 years ago today that everything irreparably changed in my life. It was 5 years ago today that you walked out of my life leaving me stunned and shocked.
There are days that it feels like yesterday and there are days that seem like we were a lifetime ago. There are finally some days that I do not think of you but most days I still do.
So much has changed since that day 5 years ago when I bargained so hard for us to stay us. I did not think I could survive; I could not breathe for those first few months. I was so afraid a deep breath would somehow suck me into a vortex that I would never get out of. A deep breath would mean I would have to settle into a reality I knew I was not prepared for.
These past years have been really hard. I hated you for awhile but hated myself more. I fought to forgive you for what I felt was the ultimate betrayal, getting me to let my guard down, to let you love me, to let me think forever with you and then leave me without any answers. You shattered my whole foundation leaving me with demons that taunted me with ‘I told you so’.
I fought even harder to forgive myself for losing you. Over time, I have come to understand this was not about me. You needed to do this for you, so you could survive. While that does not lessen the pain, it softens it as all I ever wanted for you was for you to be happy.
I do hope you are happy and I want you to know I am although my definition of happiness is different than it was 5 years ago. I am not sure if it is more mature or if it is a denial of sorts. Maybe it is a happiness that comes from resignation or an acceptance of my life, I am not sure and that is ok.
You have been my most powerful teacher. Today, on this auspicious anniversary of sorts I thank you for breaking me open for you have given me life.
I have finally learnt to be an adult and I got to tell you, most days I do not care for it but it has been necessary work and I have risen to the challenge despite my self doubt.
I have wrestled more demons than I knew existed. Some jumped out from shadows scaring me half to death. I am at peace with them now; we hang out some days just listening to each other.
There have been two men since you left, neither were anything like you and I think maybe I liked that about them. I reverted back to my bad boy pattern convincing myself that was the way to go. I knew in my centre they were not for me but oh how I wanted to feel desired and loved. How I ached to be touched, held, and kissed, to just for a moment in time feel alive. These were painful but necessary diversions that brought even more growth.
I have finally learnt that I am worthy, that I am loveable and that I am good enough. I have learnt how to love me, even on the days that I question whether or not I am deserving.
Birthdays, holidays, anniversaries and deaths have come and gone without you and on each of them I have thought of you.
It is not all sad; these past 5 years have brought real growth, immense joy and some great adventures.
I lost 22lbs, finally made peace with my body, took dance classes and had nudes taken at 51. After all those years you tried to give me the gift of self acceptance and love it was your absence that made it possible.
I have travelled to exotic places.
Dad passed away shortly after you left and I faced a breast cancer scare.
I finally made peace with my mother and I love and accept her.
I have deeper friendships now that you are gone. Your leaving made me realize that there is truly only one thing in this life that matters, love. I love my friends hard and they love me – they have been with me every time I fell back into the desperate, broken trenches. They have listened, spoken honestly when needed, given me space and loved me unconditionally.
I am learning to let go of relationships that no longer work, like those that only remind me that we are no more.
I got a couple of promotions at work and then I finally made it. I got the management position I wanted. I cried the day I signed my letter of offer because I knew you would have been so proud of me! I have struggled to learn to be proud of myself and to encourage myself like you always did. I felt like I could do anything with you behind me. I often hear your voice in my head, gently reminding me of my power.
I spend a lot of time in nature now; it is where I talk to God. Yes, I said God; I have made peace with him too.
I have rekindled my love of cooking and entertaining. I did not realize until you were gone just how much I had limited my social activities.
I have learnt that it is necessary to go to the very depths of my pain in order to heal. I have learnt that even when I make choices that hurt me, like looking you up on facebook after three and half years, there are loving lessons hidden in pain just waiting to be unwrapped.
I have learnt the power of self forgiveness and it has set me free. It softens the hard days, the days of deep loneliness, sadness, uncertainty and fear. It has brought me deeper compassion and much needed grace.
I have learnt that even though I have said good bye to you a thousand times that you will never truly leave me, for you are a part of me and to be honest, I like that. I talk to you some days and smile at what I know you would say.
I have to admit, I have hoped for your happiness only to take it back. I have wanted you to hurt and then felt guilty about it, but mostly…..
Mostly I want you to be loved.
I have learnt that it is ok to miss you with every fibre of my being for it means that I loved you deeply. Some days I miss everything about you and wish for those simpler, uncomplicated times. I have learnt to be ok with sadness and that a good night’s sleep will make everything more manageable.
I have learnt not to be so impulsive and am working on my judgements.
Today, I am stronger than I have ever been for I have been broken in ways I did not know I could be.
I have learnt what it takes to heal wounds long ignored.
I have fallen into the holes in my soul and climbed out a more conscious, forgiving, compassionate being.
I have learnt that it is ok, no; I have learnt that it is essential to NEED people, some days I need hard. I now know that it is not weak as I had led myself to believe, it is all powerful to throw up my hands or get down on my knees and ask for help.
I have learnt there is power in words and great healing in sharing. Do you remember me talking about writing? Do you remember how I used to talk about writing a book? Well, I write now. I write a lot. I have had a couple dozen articles published and I am nearly done writing my first book. It is about my journey to here, to today and it would not be possible if not for you.
So today, on this 5th anniversary, I feel reborn, aware, enlightened and excited about life.
Today, I love and appreciate you like I should have when you were here.
Today, I can look back on all I have learnt by being broken wide open and feel tremendous gratitude.
Today, I THANK YOU for teaching me how to soar!