Living in a small town provides the opportunity for constant reflection; go to the grocery store, shopping centre, bicycle path or the largest park and you are likely to run into someone you know that reminds you of a different time and place, or better yet, gets you thinking of what might have been had you only made different choices.
The weight of my choices can be too much to carry sometimes. There are days that I feel like it is impossible burden to take another step with my packsack full of regrets – my packsack full of the dreams I didn’t realize and the opportunities I didn’t take advantage of. Damn, I get angry at myself sometimes.
When I was coaxed into holding the hand of my past in the park the other day, for a brief moment, my synapses sprang back to life…remembering what it had felt like to be in that time and place…what it felt like to dream of the future with my lover and the swarm of our little children playing in the park around our feet. It was a nice dream. I miss the lovers I loved, children I haven’t had and the man I have yet to love.
And at the grocery store, when I am just trying to buy my damn apples and people ask me what’s new and my answer is consistantly, ‘Oh, you know – same ole’, I take another heavy rock out of my pack and stare at the desire to live in a bustling city where nobody knows my name and the potential I didn’t live up to – the dreams I was too afraid to acknowledge. Most days I just want to throw that rock through a double-pane window so the sound of the shattering glass will awaken something inside of me telling me to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I miss the life I haven’t led yet and the places I have yet to see.
When I sit on my favorite hill overlooking the city, I seek relief by digging deep down to the bottom of my pack and pull out the biggest boulder – the one that causes the straps of my pack to chafe my shoulders. The boulder is beside me now, and particles of it shine in the sunlight – glittering morsels of regret and misunderstandings, poorly made choices, professions of love and beautiful things and my decision to decline something beautiful for something unrequited. It carries my choice to travel across the globe to delve further into understanding why I do the things I do and don’t do, but returning just as confused as when I left. Always seeking…never quite making an absolute decision or judgement. And when I sit there, I feel it. Tu me manques.
Every single day I want to drop-kick that boulder down the hill and watch it smash into a million pieces, hoping some clarity will fall out of the centre. I feel gratitude and regret and longing for so many things, I feel the weight of them and I know when I look at the pieces splayed out in front of me, it will be one of them; you will be one of them; he will be one of them; they will be some of them.