Planting the Past (1)

A few weeks ago the Universe did what it is wont to do and gave me a sign that it was time to plant.

My routine changed that morning. I was driving in the opposite direction I usually go to run an errand before work.  I was at the light waiting for a break in the cars so I could turn. My eyes drifted to the random people walking down sidewalks and then I caught sight of a familiar frame. He was walking across the street, sipping a coffee drink, in shorts and a baseball cap. I wasn’t sure at first but you don’t date someone for a year and a half and not recognize their gait.

He was with her, his new live in girlfriend. I know this because we have mutual friends and news like that travels. When I heard, sure, there was a bit of a tug at the corner of my heart he used to occupy. Not because I wished that had happened for us but because we used to talk like it could have and I’m a sentimental fool prone to melancholy. But the tug was fleeting because my heart has a full-time tenant named Mr. Darcy. Besides that, I’m long since passed the what ifs where this person is concerned. The clarity with which I know that we are not for each other is crisp and undeniable.

For a long stretch of time I was bitter and angry. I used his toothbrush to clean the grout of my kitchen counter. I threw away things that reminded me of him. His name would come up in conversation and a dark place inside me would bubble with righteous indignation. How dare he exist! How laughable, really. How ego-centric of me. And yet the thoughts persisted and the bitterness lingered. I knew it did not serve me. I knew I wanted to be over it, free from it. But you can’t force the moment when you are struck with readiness to forgive and forget.

Like on a bright summer morning when you take an alternate route to work and run into your ex with his new love on the street that divides your shared neighborhood like an equator. Because in a city of 563,374 people you are bound to run into him. The Universe has a sense of humor, after all. And the Universe, ultimately, wants you to feel free, wants you to be your best self, and you can’t be your best when you are twisted up inside with old anger and hurt.

I watched him cross one street then turn to cross headed directly into my gaze. My eyes darted from her then to him. I wondered how this was going to play out. I didn’t turn even though there was an opening. I held my breath and watched it unfold like a scene from a movie or a music video except there was no soundtrack playing.

He was looking around and that was when he saw me seeing him. It’d all be projection if I were to say what he felt, what emotions crossed that face I used to know every detail of. He looked at me looking at him and then reached to take his new girlfriend’s hand as they kept walking and he kept looking at me. I smiled mostly to myself to see that not that much had changed and then finally turned my car away from him and that moment hanging on Broadway and E. Thomas between traffic lights.

I let The Fella go a long time ago but that day, I planted what used to be, what could have been, all the hurt and the disappointment. Because we tried and we weren’t right for each other. Because I’m not angry anymore. Because I hope he’s happy. Not in spite of how he hurt me but because we once loved each other and I’m grateful for whatever brought me to where I am now. Because now is exactly where I want to be.

This is how I tend to the garden of my heart. I till. I plant. And something beautiful grows from what once caused me pain.

“There was no pot of gold, hardly a rainbow lighting my way/But I will be true to the red, black and blues that colored those days./I owe my soul to each fork in the road, each misleading sign./’Cause even in solitude, no bitter attitude can dissolve my sweetest find/Thanksgiving for every wrong move that made it right.” -Thanksgiving, Poi Dog Pondering

Advertisements

27 thoughts on “Planting the Past (1)

  1. “I hope he’s happy. Not in spite of how he hurt me but because we once loved each other and I’m grateful for whatever brought me to where I am now. Because now is exactly where I want to be.” YES. Love this. Love you. Love.

  2. “The Universe has a sense of humor, after all. And the Universe, ultimately, wants you to feel free, wants you to be your best self, and you can’t be your best when you are twisted up inside with old anger and hurt.” So true. I am also “a sentimental fool prone to melancholy”, so even when thoughts of exs pop in my head I have to vanish them quickly, if I don’t want to go down memory lane and risk potential sadness. It isn’t until I’m ready to forgive, and maybe even forget a little, that I can remember them with kindness and wish them well. It takes times, it just does.

  3. Has anyone ever told you lately that you are an exceptional writer? Because you are. This post is a prime example of your talent to say exactly what you mean in the most articulate and interesting ways.

  4. This is the best post you have written in the last 5 years or so.

    For the first time ever, since I’ve been reading your blog, I feel like I have witnessed all that turmoil, heartache, and suffering of the past finally be left in the past.

    There is so much growth and contentment in your voice. You finally sound beyond happy. You have acquired such grace and peacefulness.

    I am so happy for you at this time in your life. The true joy is just beginning for you. You and Mr. Darcy are destined to grow old together.

    Now you know that you had to go through all those challenges of your past life to get to this point. Without all that, this moment in time would not mean nearly as much as it does.

    It’s nice to finally meet you Sizz. You still have some challenges ahead of you, but know this, you no longer have the past disappointments holding you back.

    That is worth all the stars in the sky.

  5. “But you can’t force the moment when you are struck with readiness to forgive and forget”

    How true is this statement….I couldn’t go without commenting. You are an amazing writer, as others have stated, and you speak with such honesty. I can relate so much to the road you have traveled, as so many others have. We just can’t express it as beautifully as you have!!!! Thank you!
    And yes, happiness has a way of taking its time, but so definitely worth waiting for!!!

  6. You are such an incredible writer with a gift for words. And so enlightened as to your emotions. I hope to one day grow up and be as mature as you.

  7. OH gees, you are in a way better place than me. I call these sightings Man Mines. It happens to me a lot sometimes I’m totally cool like you and other times not so much. I wish that some day I can be cool with all my Man Mines. 🙂

  8. Pingback: Tweets that mention Planting the Past (1) « Sizzle Says -- Topsy.com

  9. Wow, what a heartfelt post! Just your honesty alone is admirable (of course, it’s not a surprised base on your other posts, but still). I am so happy that you found that place in your heart to balance off whatever negative energy you have for The Fella. Sometimes it’s really just a slight change in the heart isn’t it? That sudden realization or “enlightenment” can change your reaction towards a situation, in turns changes the whole course of your path afterwards.

    You might say that the universe arranged that, but ultimately it was you who choose to let go and smile. That was from the power within you.

  10. It was certainly a great post, beautifully written.
    and though I don’t think this is THE best post ever, I will put it in the ‘my best posts by sizzle’ category.

  11. This is so powerful, Sizz. You are on the right path, I just know it. Sometimes I expect moments like these and they never happen. I think that is my universe’s joke.

  12. It took me about 10 years to move on after one break-up. I was married, for christ’s sake, before I moved on. Moved on in the sense of seeing him again and for the first time not wishing him ill or dragging out the what ifs. So glad you’re there now. It just takes time.

  13. Beautiful. — and I LOVE what you said, about irony, and the Universe having a sense of humor! So true. Well-done, Sizzle. Well-met.

Comments are closed.