What I Have To Show

Since I broke up with you, I’ve been going through my house, removing all the piles, rearranging the furniture and everything else I own. I’ve made more progress in the month since I walked away from you, than I’ve made in years, moving the mountains inside myself and in my world, one shovel full at a time.

As I did this, I found things from you and I. Movie receipts and tickets, 2 cards, a few funny things you’d given me. I found some printouts that I wanted to accuse of being our destruction, and was about to throw them away. But in the end, I’ve kept them because it was the author to blame, not the artifacts; and I never want to forget your duplicity.

I wanted to think there wasn’t much to show for us. You weren’t all in, and you were cheating yourself, me, and others in more than one way. To do this, you kept “us” hidden and never left “evidence” that you cared.

I’m hiding you now, too. I’ve started two boxes for memorabilia. One of them is clear and has a bright blue and yellow cover, so I can see the contents from the outside. In it, I put cards I got from friends, silly fortunes that mean something, little notes from people who still matter in my life.

In the other, I put the remains of us. It’s a dark, ugly box, like that period of my life was. It’s brown and green, some of your favorite colors. But they aren’t my favorites; I like all the bright, brilliant colors. The box is cardboard and cheap, too. It isn’t worth much, and I enjoy that. It seems a fitting representation now that I’m nearly a month escaped from you.

There isn’t much in this box, as I said, which might lead one to think I didn’t have much to show for all that time and effort. But the truth is, I have everything to show. I learned more and grew stronger in that time because of the pain you caused me than I realized at first. I got clarity on the value of true friendship and now own a sparkling picture of everything love isn’t. Making my escape has given me a strength and nearly profound sense of freedom like I’ve never had in my life. And most of all, I’m bolstered by a new level of trust in the instincts that stuck by me all along despite what everyone else was saying.

I was right about nearly everything I felt.

And you were right about some things, too. I AM strong, I WILL find my way. And I am already flying. Making my escape, and now putting you in a box away from the rest of my life are powerful steps I’m taking to make sure what I have to show for the rest of my journey continues to be steps I’m proud I’ve taken, however difficult they are in the moment.

I take a last peek inside, then put the cover on and place it, without a label, anonymously under my modem. The flashy-blinky lights are a perfect reminder of how distracted I got. I want to keep the box visible for now, but it won’t get any kind of prominence in my life. Instead, it will serve as a quiet reminder to be grateful for how far I’ve come.

What I have to show is that no ugly brown and green box can contain what I learned from knowing you. And while that box may have a lid on some ugliness stored safely inside, I will never be covered up by, contained in, or controlled by something or someone like this again.

~ cj 2011.10.14

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2 Responses to What I Have To Show

  1. cindy mccaa says:

    This one writing says so much about how two people in the same relationship can be in such different places. You have taken big steps CJ by writing this, boxing up, and lifting yourself up, above his level. I think he will be happier in a box than in any relationship.

    Hugs, always grateful for what you share

    • cjromb says:

      I can’t believe the difference in such a short time. It’s like my life was saved. Finally. Thank you for being a part of that and a witness to it. You’re a special friend. Can’t wait to meet you!

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