Today was a great day. I went to an awesome lecture. I wrote a pretty darn fantastic paper. I hung out with T online, played Pokemon, and relaxed. It sounds incredibly cheesy, but I thought about life and where I’m at now; it occurred to me that I’ve come quite far.
Me three years ago. My ex and I were just starting to tell the general public we were expecting a baby. I was happy to be pregnant, but not happy to be with him. I was never happy. I was quiet; I followed along; I did whatever he told me to. Until our son died. And we fell apart. I left. Yes, I left. And I felt guilty about it for a long time. I felt guilty that Carter died. I felt guilty that I couldn’t keep him together, that I couldn’t keep our marriage together. I felt guilty that I wasn’t good enough, because that was what I heard from the people around me. It was all my fault. It was because of me. I was the one who was wrong.
Me this time last year. I remember the moment that it clicked, sitting in D’s class. The moment when I realized that my goodness was not determined by the people around me. Whether I am “good enough” or not comes from inside of me. I make my own choices. I’m my own person with my own ideas and my own thoughts. My failures are my own, yes, but so are my successes. And there were many successes I gave myself no credit for. I started to try. I spoke. I was me. I had the right answers, my own answers. I had my own path. I was myself.
Me last semester. I lost my grip. Like a cat on a screen door. I just stuck in with my claws and held on as best I could, because he was always there inside my head. All of the progress I had made was negated because of one thing. One. I stopped talking to people. I stopped being me. I let myself be the shell again because it was easier than trying to conquer what had happened. The tape played again: It’s all my fault. It’s because of me. I am so, so wrong. I became convinced I had never had the right answers and had never been myself. Or any of those things.
Me now. I realized today that I’m actually talking. I’m opening up to people on both a personal and academic level. I’m sharing little pieces of myself wherever I go, letting a select number of people in. I’m learning how to talk, how to be myself. I’m getting better at it every day. I’m shy, but it’s okay. I’m okay. I am making connections and doing more socially. Instead of just being the cat who hangs on the screen door, I’m legitimately climbing. Up and out.
And then I came to my room tonight to go to bed and I saw this. This memorial. This is all that I have. A couple hospital bracelets and some papers in a box. And underneath, on the shelf, all of the papers and ugliness of the last couple years. For one day, I didn’t think about him. I didn’t think about the past. I didn’t think about them.
This was a good day. But I’m forgetting him. I’m forgetting them.
I can’t forget when I’m the only one who remembers.
If moving on means forgetting, I’m not sure I want to play this game. I’m not sure I can.