Walking across the threshold, I had no idea I’d be so overcome with emotions. I actually had to stop and compose myself before going any further. It had been about six years since I had stepped foot in a place that I used to frequent once a week. For me, it was a place of beauty and serenity and freedom. I could wander for hours just looking at the scenery. For the first time in far too many years, I looked around, took a deep breath, and gave a silent thanks to the universe for bringing me back.
It might seem strange that a trip to a plant nursery would affect me in such a way. The tears welled up behind my eyes as I walked amongst the plants. When I was married and we had just purchased our house, I came to this place to pick out plants for the yard. We had a completely blank slate to work with and I loved it. When we divorced, I gave up the house. I gave up the yard. I gave up all the roses and plants that I had picked out because their beauty made me smile. I then spent the next four years in a relationship and a life where there was no beauty. I lost my freedom. I lost my self. I lost my way.
I’ve been free again for a year and a half. I’m still finding that certain things trigger strong emotional reactions in me, not always positive. I find it strange how the simplest of tasks can bring up so much in me. I’ve been filled with anger when I remember all the weekends I spent running errands, cleaning, and cooking while the other three members of my household sat on their lazy asses. There were times when I didn’t do any of that because I wanted to make a point. Those times usually resulted in my ex having some sort of tantrum. To avoid all the verbal and emotional abuse, I just took on everything until I could find a way out. I’m out now, but the scars are still there. The triggers are there and they show no sign of going away soon. The only comfort I have is that it is much easier for me to control my reactions to those things.
I’ve had several friends tell me they’ve seen a huge change in my demeanor since extracting myself from my last relationship. Apparently I smile more and I stand taller. They are happy to see me out doing things again. I’m happy to be out and about too. You never really know what (or who) you’ll miss until it disappears from your life. That may be why I’m so adamant about appreciating life now.
Every morning, I wake up thankful that I have a chance to live a new life. I am not my old self. I can never be my old self, and that’s ok. None of us can be our old selves because every moment we live changes us, even if the change is so small that you don’t notice it. I can be a better self though. A self that doesn’t take my gifts and relationships for granted. A self that appreciates the freedom of mundane trips, like going to a nursery on a Saturday morning and walk amongst nature’s beauty. A self that tries to pass along that beauty in her words and actions. A self that loves, despite how fucking scary it is to open myself up to that kind of vulnerability.