Last week the Littles and I took advantage of the warm for the Midwest in November weather, and went to do something fun while I’m in Ohio for the holiday. Since Little loves the ducks by our apartment, I set out to visit one of my other favorite duck ponds. A place I hadn’t set foot in for years. I tried to go up there by myself earlier this year, but they were doing some maintenance and it was closed.
I was glad to see it was open again last week. I think it actually helped having the path freshly redone, and improvements made. In a way the park itself had been reborn much like my purpose in going there.
I first discovered Lincoln Park one evening when my ex took me there. We went there a lot together during our relationship, but I also went there a lot by myself when he was off doing, whomever he was doing when he wasn’t with me. It was my solace, my little island of happiness when the weight of the world became too much.
When the relationship ended with my ex, I kind of avoided it because it was painful to remember those happy nights together; then when I moved to Indiana I just never made it back for a long time. I went there once with my Hubs right after my grandpa died, but it was so cold we didn’t even make it all the way around the pond before we got back in the car and left.
Having the warmish weather stick around for a while last week gave us the perfect opportunity, Littles and I, to go make new happy memories. It was very therapeutic to sit there on my favorite bench. Or well the new bench they put almost where my favorite bench used to be. The bench itself might be in the same place but they expanded the pond taking away much of the bank bringing it a lot closer to the water than it was before. ANYWAY… my favorite bench. Sitting there watching my Littles soak it all in, playing with leaves as big as their heads, tossing rocks in the pond and teasing the ducks.
Sitting there, also made me realize something else important: I was happy there because I was happy there. When I was with my ex it felt like I was happy because he was there, but now I’m beginning to see that he was more of a tag along to my own self discovery, more so than he being the cause of it. I mean, I loved him. Being together made me happy, yes. It’s just that the happiness I felt when I was with him was only an extension of the happiness I already had, lost within myself.
Which is primarily true of any human interaction. It sounds cliche but: you can only love another soul after you’ve learned to love yourself. You can only be happy with another person after you’ve learned to be happy with yourself. Everything else is fleeting. In my case, hidden. I was never taught how to express my own emotions. I was only taught how to mirror what others projected for me. It’s hard sometimes for me to figure out where Kelli stops and someone else begins in an emotional sense.
I’ve been having a really difficult time recently being so far away from my Hubs, acting as a single parent for the kids right now, trying to ride the waves of transition the past few months, but over all I am, at my very core, happy with my life. Being able to return and sort of reclaim some of the places I had abandoned, and in doing so being able to successfully separate the past from the present feels really good.
I really am getting better, even in the midst of my recent struggles. I needed that reminder as we head into the holiday season. I’m glad I had the opportunity to see it.