It’s the little things that get to me: driving past my kids’ old school, the craft store where I used to buy presents for them and supplies for the yearly birthday parties, the bookstore where I did so many book signings, the library where I did research for my books, the mall I walked for hours when I was so unhappy.
Friends have stayed in touch. We still see each other sometimes and we communicate all the time via email. These places...are no longer part of my life and it will hit me suddenly, the tears, as I go by or walk through them.
This is a bittersweet trip. I love my new home and look forward to going back there. I’m saying good-bye to what was part of my life for a very long time. I’m seeing the friends I can see and grieving other relationships that either ended or have changed in profound ways.
Last night I went back to my old Toastmasters club. It was so good to see old friends from the club and I even ended up giving a speech. I hadn’t planned on that but it says something about how my confidence has grown over the past couple of years that I didn’t hesitate when they asked if I wanted to do so.
It is the little things that fill our lives and hearts with emotion. The big things we somehow brace for but the little things get under our guard. I’m not complaining though. Tears are part of life and connect me to the past. They remind me that no matter how much hurt I have had in my life, I have always been able to still love, still hope, still dream, still go on. They remind me that I am creating new memories in my new life, too.
I am saying good-bye. Not just to a place, but to who I once was, as well. I am no longer the person who needs so much to be loved and is so terrified of being abandoned that she will tolerate things other people would not. I know now that I want and will have kindness and respect from people with whom I am close. I know now that I do not have to settle for less. I tell my daughter, too, that these are the bottom line defining characteristics of truly loving relationships—kindness and respect. Without those, it is only an illusion of love and one not worth having.
It’s the little things that get to me here as I close one chapter of my life, once and for all, so that I am ready to begin the next.