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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lessons Learned

This is going to be my last post on this blog. If you are reading this for the first time, I recommend that you start at the beginning to read things as they occurred.

I’m leaving Provo and beginning a new life in a new city, so I thought it fitting to begin a new blog, one where I don’t have to hide behind pseudonyms. My new blog is

So much has changed since I returned to Provo three years ago. I certainly could not have predicted all that has happened, and I would never have guessed I’d be where I am today. But I am grateful for how things have turned out.

I went to dinner with Alex last week. I think we both wanted another chance to sit and talk, and to say goodbye. When he walked in I looked up, and my immediate internal reaction was “Oh, there you are. Where have you been these past months?”

We sat down and ate, and our old dynamic fell into place effortlessly. We talked, laughed, and teared up a bit. It was so wonderful to sit with him and just be with him. I was reminded of how much he drove me crazy, and how much I loved being with him. I really did love that boy. I miss him. I miss having someone who knows my soul so intimately, and who is always there, even if just in the back of my mind. Most of all, I just felt grateful to have loved this boy, and to be at a point where I can love him again, albeit in a different way.

Outside the restaurant we embraced, and I held him tightly. All of him is so familiar. It’s difficult sometimes to tell myself that he doesn’t belong to me anymore. But I did let go, we said goodbye, and drove away.

I packed up my room on Saturday, and I found myself packing away all the memories that went along with it, the most potent being memories of Alex. I took pictures, then left, keeping every beautiful moment with him deep in my heart, then moving on.

Last night I went to my friend’s house and we split a bottle of red wine. We sat outside on her porch in the cool summer night and talked of the love and loss we’d experienced in the last year. She and I became true Breakup Buddies, and I marveled at how much we’d grown with each other. How many times had we wept in each other’s arms? How many times had we laughed together? How many times had we walked into the coffee pod to see the other sitting there, and rushed up to say, “so, there’s this boy I met…” We’ve shared stories of love and heartbreak, of crushes and being crushed. We’ve talked of inner strength and living deliberately. She was the one who pulled up to my house mere minutes after Alex walked out my door, and she has been there for me every step of the way. I love that girl with all my heart.

She talked about the boy who ended things with her recently. And several glasses of wine revealed that Vegas boy is still on my mind beneath the surface. I read her pieces from the last post, and she agreed with everything I wrote about him. She knows Vegas boy, and understands how he caught me so fast.

She didn’t have answers for me. She didn’t try to fix the longing. But that was never her intention. We sat there, recalling our experiences with these boys, feeling the bitter and the sweet of life enwrap us. Time for a moment slowed, and there in the summer darkness we found ourselves a bit closer than normal to the meaning of it all. In moments like this all the fickle and unimportant fall away, and I felt so incredibly grateful to have the chance to experience this life. Both the joy and the sorrow hold such beauty. How lucky we are to be able to feel them both, and to be a part of the miraculous journey of this life. 

And so I end the current chapter of my life. The events of the last few years have irrevocably changed me. I have been beaten down and built up. I have traversed a crisis of faith and emerged on the other side. I have felt love, true, honest to God love, and I will never be the same because of it.

As I drive off to my new home and new life, the words from Carrie Underwood’s “Lessons Learned” will be resonating within me:

And every tear that had to fall from my eyes,
Every day I wondered how I'd get through the night,
Every change life has thrown me,
I'm thankful for every break in my heart,
I'm grateful for every scar,
Some pages turned,
Some bridges burned,
But there were lessons learned.


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