“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust
I absolutely adore spring! It is a time of hope and a time of renewal. It’s a time of excitement and a chance to start over. All things are new. I especially love the warmth of the sun. It makes my body relax and my soul feel good all over.
As I was walking home from work this evening, I realized it has been a long time since I have really had the opportunity to enjoy something. The past 20 years have been so difficult. Somehow my light within got snuffed out, and it has been difficult to get it burning again.
A few things have happened over the past few months, though, that have stoked the embers and fanned the flame, at least to the point where there are flickers of possibility filled with promises of something exciting to come.
Probably the most drastic thing that has happened is I’ve become a bit of an empty nester with all of my kids in college and away from home now. I’ve gone back to school myself to work on my Master’s in Strategic Communication. I’m succeeding in a completely new area of learning, which is allowing me to use my God-given abilities and get my creative juices flowing again. That in and of itself is wonderful. I’ve so missed the freedom to be creative!
On a more somber note, the second thing that has happened is that I have lost a friend. This has been the most devastating thing ever. My friend didn’t die; he just chose to no longer be my friend. He may as well have died. The result in my heart is the same.
The thing is, I wasted 20 years of my life over this man. I never gave up on him. I loved him deeply. I fell in love with him in my 20s and thought he was “the one.” (I still do.) Unfortunately, apparently he didn’t feel the same. Too bad I didn’t learn that 20 years sooner. Things might have been so much easier.
For a long time, I decided to ignore my feelings for him. I was married. I had children. Then, I eventually realized my marriage was over. I had given it my best shot for 20 years and couldn’t do it anymore. Then the pendulum swung to the opposite extreme, and my feelings took over. I had been lonely and miserable for so long that I wanted to rekindle my relationship with the man from my past. He never married, and I was now divorced. It seemed logical to me.
Unfortunately, lonely and miserable people do not think clearly. They act strangely. They do stupid stuff. I was no exception. I wanted to believe he never married because he couldn’t get over me. Friends told me to forget him; he had obviously moved on. I thought, “But they don’t know him like I do.”
When we met (in a Dale Carnegie class), we started a four-year relationship that blossomed into something incredibly special. We discovered we had so much in common. We had both lived in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, Boston and New York about the same time. We had the same political beliefs. We enjoyed just being in each other’s company. We brought out the best in each other and became better people because of it. Unfortunately, we also had a lot of baggage; and life got in the way.
In retrospect, I guess it wasn’t so much that this man couldn’t get over me; it was the demons from his past that kept him bound as a bachelor. He is an adult child of (very high-functioning) alcoholic parents. I don’t know a whole lot about alcoholism, but I do know that it can result in rejection and abandonment issues that never quite go away. My friend lost all trust in me and refused to communicate. I had abandoned him in my 20s, and he took that to mean I no longer loved him. Therefore, I could no longer be trusted.
After years of attempting to make things right, I have finally reached the point where I can honestly say, “I have done all that I can. There is nothing more I can do.” I never gave up on him (and at least I didn’t go down without a fight), but it is time to move on. We can’t make people love us.
So, with spring in the air, I am looking forward to moving forward, starting over and seeing life blossom anew. Next year at this time, God willing, I will be close to finishing up my master’s program. I am hoping to start over in a new career. Virginia or North Carolina are calling my name. I may not get there next year, but I’m hoping to head that way within the next five years. Maybe God is preparing a new love for me there. I can’t wait to meet him! 🙂
Dear LORD … thank you for all things new. Thank you for the chance to start over. Even though our hearts may always feel sadness over a lost or broken friendship, we trust that You will either redeem it or have a new friend cross our path. Help us to remember that You sent Your Son, Jesus, to be our closest Friend. Amen.