Lately I have been hanging out with a new friend, as I have mentioned a couple of times, and he recently asked me how I got James out of my head. I couldn't give him the answer in terms of the context of how he meant the question because I haven't gotten James out of my head. He, along with my dad, have pretty much taken up residence in the back of my head. I have moments now where they aren't always on the forefront, but they are definitely always lingering in the background.
But our conversation put me on the path of coming to a new realization that I have tried to explain to a couple of people but just can't seem to convey what I am trying to say correctly. First, I need to start by saying I still love James. That hasn't changed and I don't think it ever will. He has a permanent lock on part of my heart. The love I feel for him, however, seems to be changing from being in love with him to a love of gratitude for the role he played in my life and who I am today in large part because of his love and encouragement.
The part that is so hard to get right is this: James and I were homebodies. And I was okay with that. Yes, I got restless a time or two, but I was happy with our life. I was happy with him and it was enough. But what I have come to realize is that if he walked through the door right now, that life would no longer be enough for me. I have changed and grown and have had my eyes opened to so many things this city I live in has to offer that I never really cared to experience before-because I had everything I wanted and needed right in front of me. I would love nothing more for James to still be alive, but I couldn't give up my new life and go back to the one we had and be happy as a homebody. I couldn't walk away from my Meetup groups or my new friends. I don't think he would ask me to since he'd want me to be happy but I don't know that he'd want to be as social as I have become. Which is kind of ironic because he was the social butterfly and I was the wallflower.
On one hand, I know this is a good thing. It means I am growing. It means I am moving forward. It means I am surviving and even though I still have days that knock me on my ass, it means I can do this. I really can. On the other hand, it is another thing to process-another part of my old life I am letting go of and that is never easy. Especially when I can't get the words right to help me through that process.