Last week I visited a place so dear to my heart – and it was for the final time. I mentioned before that certain family members own a holiday home in a certain part of the country that I felt a deep connection with and that property has been sold. This place was where the ex and I had our first break away, our first time away from everyone else. It was the place we spent two weeks before I left her for university, it is just 40 miles from my university city.
It is also the place that I had my breakdown and contemplated suicide just 15 months ago so naturally I have some bad memories too. I remember the goodbye when I travelled away to uni. That was hard leaving my then girlfriend some 150 miles away but we survived to marriage and then divorce. I remember my first time down there without her. I thought then that it would be “business as usual” the following year. Yet by that time we had decided it was over and we’d filed for divorce.
Admittedly, though most of my memories there were good and I really fell in love with the place – it was somewhere I was always going to have an association with. Might I return soon? I don’t know and that’s why I felt a lump in my throat as I drove away for the final time – away from that place, the memories, everything I did there, the places I/we discovered, the things we did, the meals out, the long walks.
Memories are such powerful things, they can hurt us and they can inspire us, make us happy or sad but they remain the same even when we change.
But I have made new memories since my divorce – new friends, new places, new experiences and I am making memories of “us” into memories for “me”.
When I met Mirror Image last week, it was in my university city. I expected to feel weird meeting this new person in my life but I didn’t; it felt the most natural thing in the world. On my previous visit (the day before my suicidal thoughts), the power of the memories I shared with my ex hit me hard. Yet this visit, perhaps buoyed on by the Christmas spirit, gave me a warm fuzzy glow and a feeling of renewal. A new experience in an old place – someone new in my life who might soon become a big part of it.