You can’t go back

And honestly, most of the time, why would you? It’s never exactly as you’ve remembered it, for better or worse. And the people that you left in that pocket of time aren’t who they were when you left (or they left – whatever made that line of time with that/those people in that/those places end). 

A bunch of wilted, dying dahlia in white and lavender
Photo by Earl Wilcox on Unsplash

I had an errand to run this afternoon. I failed to get the thing I needed. Sigh. But I was mindful that I almost never need to drive my car and when I do it’s less than 5 miles and cars these days (yes, you should be imagining an old woman with dentures raising her fist in complaint) with all their electronics that suck the life right out of your battery unless you run it for a good while with relative frequency, so today was that day. I took a 30 minute driver on the freeways in the valley, sang at the top of my lungs and started noticing exits I used to talk all the time when I worked at x or lived at y or loved z. And I had that, hmmm, you know, in the next 4.5 weeks that I’ll be living here, I might never be down this way again. I wonder if I need to cruise by the old house, place, whatever? And each time I got close to an exit that could fit in on that, I thought, no, no, I’m really done.

It’s a hell of a thing to leave a place that somehow now represents my formers: misspent youth, my marriage, my religion, good jobs, crap jobs, good and bad relationships. So many of those things in a place I realize that  I’ve spent collectively just over 20 years in. It’s even more of a hell of a thing to realize, I have all the closure I’d ever need. No loose ends. No regrets tied up in “what iffing”. Just acceptance. That I loved through it. That I enjoyed things or hated things. That I thrived. That I almost didn’t make it. That I’m irrevocably changed – in the best ways and no one can take from me the lessons I learned or even the memories I choose to carry forward with me.

Image of scrabble letters spelling “Let it go”
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I have all the dates for the move now – at least phase 1 anyway. It’s a bit scary and exhausting to think about everything that has to be done between now and then. But it’s also exciting and helping me acknowledge that I’m ready.

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