Acknowledge and Move On

One of my best friends, Valerie, called me tonight. She has suffered a heartbreak. Twice. At the hands of the same man. I did the part of the faithful friend. I reminded her that she will feel better eventually. I agreed that he's an asshole. I told her listen to the heartbreak playlist (the one we all can put together in our heads at any given moment) all the way through. Cry, cry, cry. And then I reminded her to acknowledge and move on.

Acknowledge and move on. This was some of the best advice ever given me by a guy I went to high school with.

We often move on. We move on from all kinds of things: jobs, houses, schools, friends, loves, cities, restaurants. We less often acknowledge. Acknowledge what we take from what we leave behind.

I'm feeling nostalgic tonight (due, in at least some small part, to the fact that I'm premenstrual). And after I reminded Val that She Will Survive and hung up, I started thinking of the people, places, and things that I've left behind (willingly or not).

I got political awareness from Ben. From Charlie, romance. The Weakerthans and lots of other music came from Juan. I got advice from Mike. Ray helped me appreciate that there was more to beverages than diet Coke. Ryan gave me Raymond Carver. Vic handed me confidence at a time when I really needed it.

Rose got me into knitting. Annie helped me be patient. Michelle was my partner in adolescent, illicit nighttime shenanigans that helped me start to become independent.

Texas showed me the terror of flash floods and tornadoes. Ohio helped me understand that just because the sun doesn't shine for 9 or 10 months doesn't mean it's gone out - it also gave me some of my best friends. California gave me something to strive for. Massachusetts gave me a reason to get on with my life.

All of these things are put away. They are part of what was, not what is, or what will be. And at the same time they are and will be. All of these things have helped make me who I am. They have allowed me to grow and explore, to be careful and reckless, to love and let go. I am grateful for all of it. For the friendship, support, love, loss. Even the heartbreak - both that I caused and felt. I'm also glad to have moved on.



hannahjustbreathe said...

Oooo, I got goosebumps reading this. Nostalgia is a close friend of mine, too; we walk hand and hand, probably too often.

I agree with you, though. It's one thing to simply remember; it's a whole other thing to pause and acknowledge what's past, what we've learned, how far we've come, who gave us what. That's the beauty of my journals---they kind of do that for me. They document all those acknowledgments I made along the way, even the ones I don't fully recollect.

Beautiful post.

Dorothy said...

I kept journals - volumes and volumes - for years and then I just stopped - at least as far as things concerning my emotional state. I recently got rid of all of them. I was dwelling in the past too much. It's a hard balance to strike - for me anyway.

Thanks for reading!