It snowed in So Cal tonight … I spent a good long while standing there watching it, reluctant to go inside, reluctant to leave the silence and the beauty of the white blanketing the street. My heart churned in my chest and I fought the urge to cry. Seeing the flakes fall brought back so many memories of the last 7 years; of days spent camped on the couch enjoying good company and bad movies, of afternoons spent snowball fighting outside of Albertson’s just because we could, of evenings spent curled up with a good book, a snoring dog and a hot cup of spiked cider. Then the friends fade away and fresher memories bombard my thoughts. Memories of late night video games, laughter, cuddling, the feeling of his skin against mine as he held me to him while he slept, of lazing the mornings away cuddling and laughing and swearing never to go outside again.
The best way to describe this feeling is homesick. I miss the place where I became me, where I learned who I am and what I stand for. I miss my friends, my Montana family, my tribe of crazies. Do you know what it’s like to miss a metal chair stationed outside a downtown coffee shop? Or to long for the sweet stench of river mud in the spring? To pine for the auditory delight that is the crunch of road salt beneath your boots? I do. I miss all these things and more.
I left him a year ago tomorrow. I do not regret my decision, but I regret the way we handled it. We were two very hurt people who lashed out at each other. There are things I have left unsaid, because once voiced I could not get them back. In my darkest hours, a sickness creeps into my heart and whispers to me that I shouldn’t have let the words expire in my throat, I should have rained them down on him. ‘Hurt him like he hurt us,’ it cries. I don’t let those thoughts out often and I usually end up flushing them out with a tear(or several). I know now that he was hurting just as much as I was, that’s why it ended so explosively; it’s why he said what he did; it’s why he acted the way he did up until I moved away. He’s probably still hurting, just as I still hurt in ways, but at least I know that the healing I seek will not be found at the bottom of a bottle. I wish the best for him, I hope he’s healthy and safe … and I am sorry. Sorry that we couldn’t be what either of us imagined, sorry that I wasn’t the right woman for him or he the right man for me, because after all the hurt and the pain, through all the time and the miles, I still love him.
It is hard for me to separate my decision to close my chapter with him from the ‘beginning of the end of everything’. Perhaps they don’t require separating. Perhaps they are linked in a way that I will never know because I don’t know the Creator’s plans for me. After starting the year single, I unexpectedly lost my job less than a month later. A month after that, I packed everything I owned into a Uhaul trailer and headed south to move back in with my parents. After 4 months of being unemployed, I took a job as a cook–not my chosen profession and most definitely not using my degree. A month after that, I was injured on the job. Three months after the injury, which I have still not recovered from, I was fired because I can’t perform my employment duties. So here I am: single, unemployed, physically broken, mentally exhausted, emotionally numb, racking up debt to my parents, accruing interest on my massive student loans and fighting like hell to get some sort of health insurance.
And yet, I have so many things to be thankful for: Sushi and I have food in our bellies, a roof over our heads, we want for no necessities and we are showered in unconditional love from my parents daily (Sushi is more into the belly rubs, I prefer high fives). This year has been tough from every angle and I feel like I’m free-falling, waiting when I’m going to hit rock bottom because every time I find purchase, the ground gives way beneath my feet. This year has been a test of will and a test of faith and I am under no illusions that that test is anywhere near done yet.
I am still standing, with Sushi at my side and my six shooter on my hip; I’m ready for 2015 and all it has to throw at me.