The dogs waited patiently in the way back, tuckered out from a trip to the park, while we sat in the parked car and talked. It was a shared routine that had been absent from our lives for most of the past six months. But last Sunday, as the early evening sun shined a bit longer and the temperature released its chilly grip, lingering just felt right. We had stories, thoughts, and insights to share, so we held this moment for one another—a volley of talking and listening—as the sky changed from blue to grey.
And then he said it.
“I miss this, you know.”
And I nodded in agreement.
This being the camaraderie of and conversation with someone who knows you so incredibly well, who was by your side through two formative decades of your life. Someone with whom you made big life decisions; who had your back through cycles of flourish and struggle; who knows your health, your wealth, your dreams, and your fears. Who laughed with you, cried with you, ate cookies with you . . .
Having a friend to talk to—and who will listen to you—about all the big and little, brilliant and mundane things in your life is a gift. What makes it priceless is its dependability. I don’t take that responsibility lightly—or for granted. I’m still figuring out how to gracefully move forward while carrying with me the healthy and vital pieces of my past. It’s a lot to juggle—and no small feat. But I’m committed to seeing it through. It’s what I do.
The season is changing, both literally and figuratively. Boston’s long winter has finally come to an end. It’s time to shed those protective layers. Like the crocuses and daffodils that are poking their heads up from the earth, I, too, have been in a gestation period.
These last six months have been abundant ones with their life lessons and experiences. I’ve gotten to know myself—and voice my feelings, opinions, hopes, and desires. I’m traveling, striking up conversations, connecting with people, and smiling more. My heart has been reawakened and my spirits are sky high. I see nothing but possibility and potential. I’ve found my way through those dark, challenging times and am better—wiser, stronger, more comfortable in my own skin—than ever before. Simply put: life is good.
As time has passed, I’ve welcomed new people into my heart: a dear friend; a charming boyfriend, too. I’ve strengthened existing friendships and gained a more conscious respect and admiration for all of the people who’ve played a part in my life, including—and especially—my ex.
In the days following our split, a coworker had suggested that I put a six-month reminder on my Outlook calendar. She wanted to be sure I’d remember to pause and reflect on how much has changed—how much I’ve grown and how much I’ve learned—since then. I stumbled across that reminder a couple of weeks ago. In the notes section of that calendar reminder, I wrote:
“Celebrate how far you’ve come and how exciting these times are that lie ahead. Just love. Just joy. Just truth and trust.”
Indeed, I’ve noticed the incremental changes in my life. But the big, sweeping differences? Quite simply, they astound me. How did I do it? No doubt, with a little help from my friends—and a whole lot of deep-dive introspection, too. A whole, whole lot.
I am excited for the times that lie ahead. I’ve learned to step into uncertainty. I’ve learned to see the silver linings. I’ve learned how liberating it feels to speak—and act—from the heart. And most of all, I’ve learned that there is no finish line. The journey is—and has always been—the destination.