We all get nostalgic every now and then, but nothing forces us to take a trip down memory lane like a move. After my divorce, I lived in the same condo for seven years, and I hate to admit it, but there are some boxes that never got opened during all that time. Meanwhile, I did not realize how much more I managed to accumulate over the last several years until this past month when I had to pack everything up for my move. Thankfully, I was not alone in this venture, and the new place is something my son and I are looking forward to enjoying.
The past few weeks have been exhausting, not just physically, but mentally. I actually remember the source of most gifts, and so with each item that gets unwrapped, a whole flurry of memories and emotions wash over me as I think about that connection when it was first made, how it developed, and where it is in its present state. I have been so fortunate to have generous friends throughout my life, not all of which are still in contact with me, but nonetheless the memories remain. That saying continues to ring true– some came into my life for a season, some for a reason, and very few became life-long friends. No matter what role they all played, however, I am eternally grateful for the love that they all showed me at some point along life’s journey.
Years ago, Dr. Robert Emery mentioned in a lecture that you know your client is done with the grief cycle when s/he can hold all three emotions (anger, sadness and love) simultaneously. At the time, I was not quite sure how that could be possible, and yet that is exactly where I find myself today. Thinking back at all the past relationships that are now gone, I can honestly say I am disappointed they did not work out, sad about the lost contact, and yet happy that we shared those moments, because I would not be who I am today, nor where I am today, without all those lessons.
Each failed relationship has indeed taught me volumes– not just about my wants and needs, but honestly about my own shortcomings. The fact is until recently I was not a very forgiving or patient person. When something ceased to be fun, that was my cue that it was time to move on, and yet, it is that precise attitude that kept me from letting anyone into my life the last seven years. Only once I recognized the flaw in my own logic was I able to switch the course of my path towards self destruction.
As much as I wasn’t planning on taking a trip down memory lane this past month, it’s been good for me– it’s a great reminder of where I came from and a good source to then measure if at 40, I really am where I want to be in life. Even though I may not know what lies ahead, one thing is for sure– I am grateful to all that helped me get this far.
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.