Making Peace

We were together just four and a half days ago.

Like the times before, it was hard being in your presence. I wanted to enjoy everything about you since our time with each other would be so brief, but I don’t know why I’d expect things to be any different this time around.

I met you about 10 years ago. I was in town for a work trip, and you had me so captivated and smitten that I stayed an extra two days for you. That’s just like me, by the way – to stick around without a direct invitation to do so, just because I want to see if it could work. At the time, I’d moved twice for relationships…and I wanted to make you lucky number three. After all, third time’s a charm. Maybe I’d finally find what I was looking for.

Unbeknownst to me, I was about to make the grave mistake of writing the last chapter of a beautiful romance before the first one even had a chance to find its natural direction, the course it’s meant to take; my beautiful chapter never came to be. I used to not be so guarded, but maybe I should’ve been. I should’ve been more cautious from the get-go, the way I eventually became after dating someone who liked to tell me I was stupid for believing in God, and another whose anger management issues made me question my own sanity. Then again, if my walls had been up when we met, I would never have been with you. And you taught me so much.

These days, I’m back to being guarded. It’s not something I like about myself, but it’s safe. And after you, safety feels good. It takes a lot for me to take even the smallest of steps. Most of the time, I stumble. But I’ll keep taking them. I hope.

Because of you, I know myself a little better – finally. I know that your energy makes me nervous and puts me on edge; you lack the humanity and warmth that I need. You’re abrupt, and I know you’ll never give me the time I need to progress at a sane pace and feel secure. I know that we’ll never be a good match, even though I’ve tried to find something salvageable in you since day one. I think the key to my relationship with you rests in the knowledge that the most I can do is simply make peace with your ways – not try to understand them, not try to change them, and not try to shoehorn myself into your world. I used to try to do all three. I can’t anymore. It’s tiring, and it makes me question myself. You are the way you are because of everything you’ve been through. Me too.

The first time I saw you after our breakup six years ago, I got a migraine. Now, I’m somewhat numb when we meet up, but at least we are able to coexist – not necessarily peacefully, but it’s a start. Right?

***

I’ve always wanted to write a letter to New York City, but I don’t think things would’ve been as clear to me until today….not that I knew today would be the day. I used to think I’d eventually be a good fit for NYC, but even after living back there, a mere Metro North train ride away, it was always like oil and water.

Since visiting again last week for work, however, there’s a new calm that I’ve not felt until now – not peace, not happiness…just calm. Maybe what they say about time healing all wounds really is true – and for that I am thankful. It can’t take away the scars, but I’m going to look at them as a reminder of how far I’ve come and all that I’ve learned.

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