Its really funny how often you pop up in my life at times when I'm not even thinking of you. Last night while cleaning up my desk I found the receipt for the all-in-one printer. I saw the date and realized it was just a few days past the anniversary of buying the printer -- the one you and I went to Best Buy to purchase.
Remember how I agonized over the purchase? Remember going to Frisch's for coffee afterward? Those memories flooded my brain from out of nowhere ... how can such non-events be so crystal clear when I can't remember my mother's birthday? (I've never forgotten yours, no matter how hard I try)
But in the past couple of months, something has changed. In a private blog, I wrote a lengthy journal entry that looking back, was a declaration of my independence from you. Of course, we aren't together, but my heart has been attached to you -- and in some ways it remains that way. But even that has changed. I can only say that I have taken reclaimed control of that part of my heart I gave to you those years ago. It was the part you stomped the shit out of and kicked to the curb; you didn't want it, and given my actions at the time I deserved what I got.
I know, I know, "perception is reality." But what I have struggled with is the fact the assumptions you made, and the perceptions on which you based them, were not based on reality. That's been the basis of depression and sadness that's been my constant partner in my life since you left. But in my declaration, I accepted my actions, took responsiblity for them, and vowed to quick making excuses.
And I also had to finally realize that you are outside my circle of control; I have no ability to conrtol a single thing beyond my own actions. And I also realized that since you left I have mostly lived my life trying to make decisions based on what I thought you would want to do. It was as though my brain never accepted you walking out on us, and that I lived a life believing you were bound to return.
Cognitively, I know better. I accepted you were gone. I have mourned your loss since the hour you left. My love has never faultered, never wavered -- and also never let you leave. Hope springs eternal, they say.
But writing my declaration, I understood in heart for the first time that I was responsible for the heartache I have lived with, and it had to be my choice to allow the heartache to heal. I think the truth is I wanted to hold onto the pain as a sort of penance for what happened, my actions and my loss of you. I told myself the day you left I didn't want to live a life without you in it; that statement is a declaration, a choice that I made. And now, living a full and complete life without you in it is my latest declaration.
Its been a long time coming. And of course, none of this is in any way a statement of anger directed toward you. This is all mine and I own this.
I love you; I always have and always will. I am a better person for having loved you too. Even my actions that hurt you so horribly -- and your decision to leave -- had helped me become a better person. I'm not the man I was then .. I know that's an easy statement to say, but its the challenge I face every morning when I look in the mirror. I consciously decide each morning to be an honorable man, to treat others in my life with the courtesy, love and respect they deserve -- and even if in my estimation they do not deserve it.
So what's changed? My love for you? No. My hundreds of photos of you and I together? No. The change isn't a visible one, but an internal one. I'm happy with the change, and as crazy as this sounds, I feel like this was the next much-needed step in the change in me I have worked to achieve.
You are still with me, but I no longer cede control of my happiness to another person, memory or emotion. For the first time since you left, I can think of you without feeling loss and hearache. You still make me smile.