I may have forgotten my wedding anniversary this year, which is its own kind of victory. But this day I have seen coming for a while, looming darkly on the horizon. And now it is here.
One year ago today I experienced the worst day of my life when my entire world shattered into dust.
For the first time since that day, I took a deep breath and turned back the pages of my journal to read the words I wrote then. They are, unsurprisingly, heartbreaking. But on this day my eyes are dry, because one year ago feels so far away, in the best possible way.
One year later, my world looks completely different. I have a new job I am passionate about: I get to take people on adventures. I even won the “Rookie of the Year” award for it, which although it sounds cheesy was also incredibly validating and affirming of the path I’m on. I live in a city that feels like home surrounded by some of my oldest friends and some amazing new ones.
One year later, my heart looks completely different. From a scattered pile of dust, it is now well along the process of being rebuilt, and it grows stronger and fuller, sparkling more each day.
As I look back over the past year, I first realize that it is no longer scary to look back. Because this year has been filled with so many amazing experiences, the magical memories far outshine any of the darkness that came before.
I had been planning to return to Ottawa for this anniversary. Ostensibly, for practical reasons: to have my one-year check up for my laser eye surgery. Of course, to see my friends and community in Ottawa. But also I think a part of me wanted to face my past: one year later, to return to the epicentre of my life apocalypse, to see what I would feel if I looked him in the eyes again, to prove to myself – or maybe to him – how far I’d come.
But I decided, rather at the last minute, to instead celebrate how far I’d come by doing something completely different: based on the same feeling of intuition that led me to quit my job over Skype from Australia, pack up and move my things across the country, on little more than a whim…
One year later, I spontaneously cancelled my trip backwards to go forwards: on a new adventure, to explore a place I’ve never been, with someone new.