Lessons from My Twenties

Packing up my home to move, I reflect on the education it gave me

Garbage bags and boxes stage the swooshing of swampy air in the home I’ve built for my late-twenties.

Overwhelming nausea triggered by the bits of me I’ve already give away.

My books aren’t even mine anymore.

They belong to a poet, two years spent looking through them for passages that might make certain our genius, spontaneously sending them to one another or reading them on an early morning over cigarettes and stale beer. When he left, I stopped reading.

I won’t miss this couch, stolen by a coffee machine repair man who I didn’t say No to because his personality was so big, it pinned me to the wall. On this couch, he hit my dog. And I said nothing.

I won’t miss the window where the soldier and I smoked cigarettes as he explained how special he felt around me two weeks before leaving and never speaking to me again.

And with me I take

I now know I need and can apologetically have:

  1. Confidence
  2. Relaxed shoulders
  3. The will to pay attention
  4. Clothing that moves with me
  5. A library card
  6. A packed day
  7. Naps
  8. My own dramas
  9. Aspirations to change the way things are
  10. Hope

I was a cynic with a ruinous heart.

Now I think, there’s more to the ruin than just heartache. There’s lessons and friendships and rescues and rebuilds. There’s solutions even if they take time and money.

In my twenties, I was afraid of people.

Now, 32: I ask for help and offer help.

It makes a huge difference.

2 thoughts on “Lessons from My Twenties

  1. This is absolutely fantastic! I was faced with a similar situation; I was in a toxic relationship for some 18 years, and on the day of my 41st birthday, the situation finally reached its peak, and I left. For a few months, I was in contact with my ex-girlfriend via phone, as I worked out the little details. Once everything was worked out, and whatever strings which were attached had been broken, I called to say goodbye, and haven’t heard from her since.

    I’ve since moved to another state (Vermont), bought a house, started a new life, and married an absolutely wonderful woman, a writer in fact, like me. I knew someday after suffering through the abuse, that one day I would have a beautiful life. And now, I can honestly say, that I do.

    Liked by 1 person

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