I was reminded of a time in my life today that I thought I had let go of. I guess I haven't yet.
Being a very emotional person - I tend to hold onto feelings and can sometimes remember a time so vividly that a smell, a taste -- even a sound will set me off.
I used to wear vanilla perfume. I was known for the smell -- candles, shampoo, lotions....vanilla was everywhere. Now, because of one time in my life I can't even bring myself to sniff the smell I use to be synonymous with.
Just before I lost the love for Vanilla perfume - I lost the little girl I thought I'd be forever.
I was 19 and I just found out that I was pregnant. I lived 5 hours away from home - and 3 hours away from my boyfriend. I lived with a family I didn't know, 3 male borders and 1 female border that was the definition of a snob. I was in the middle of college....and very alone.
I remember sitting on my bed. I remember the cold November day outside and not feeling much else but the ice. I stared for hours. Sometimes the pain was so much that it even hurt to cry.
I walked around the next few weeks in a trance - telling a few people but mostly being alone in my thoughts. I remember fear and excitement, I remember pain and euphoria. Pregnancy is such an amazing and wonderful thing - but so scary when you're an unmarried christian girl and it's unplanned.
I decided to move cities, transfer schools and be with my boyfriend. We were going to raise our baby. In my innocence and naivity I cancelled the phone line at my borders (that was under my name) and left the bill divided evenly (like we did each month), with my portion paid - and trusted them to pay theirs.
I got married. Changed my name, moved, forgot about the little phone bill that could.
6 years later I get a call looking for me (my maiden name) -- it's been in collections for all this time. Luckily, it's such a small amount that it hasn't affected my credit badly. But it's still a hassle right now.
And like I mentioned, it brought me back to that time in my life. Painful time, but a time that was due for revisiting. I can see that at such a hopeless time in my life -- I never would have seen where I was headed. I could never have seen how things would turn out. What an amazing blessing and meaning that 'pregnancy' would give my life. How the deep loneliness and emptiness would bring clarity to 'friends' true colours...no matter how ugly. I can see now how the deepest, darkest moments of our lives are needed in order to see the lighted ones. How the strength we gain, and pain we endure give us what we need to keep putting the one foot in front - and living our lives.
I can see now how a love for Vanilla, and the innocence of childhood may not last. But time stamps in us scars of honour that change us...forever. And although we may be forced to go back and visit those times, relive those memories and embrace what we've learned -- we never have to be there again.
And then at some point, when it's right, when all debts are paid and the pain has healed -- we can let go.