There is something to be said about memory lane. It's like re-reading a chapter out of your own story. Sometimes the story is good, sometimes the story is sad, but that never matters. It's part of you. I had the chance to take a stroll down memory lane last weekend. I wasn't planning on it, but walking on my college campus, lined with autunm leaves, I couldn't resist. I had to re-read this chapter of my life.
Not much as changed on campus. The leaves look incredibly the same. The air is decidedly as crisp, as it was on those fall days. The campus today looks almost identical to the one I left twelve years ago. Yes, twelve years ago. But I'm completely different.
The last fall I spent on campus, under a canopy of leaves, I was sad and heartbroken. I spent that last fall in a haze of booze and boys. Drowning my sorrows and my broken heart. It was the biggest breakup the Hubbs and I had gone through. What I like to call the final one, before we actually committed. I spent that fall trying to hold on to every last bit of our relationship. And I failed miserably.
I'll never forget walking that campus and knowing that he wouldn't call. That I wouldn't call. That I probably would call, later in a boozy haze, just to have my heart broken again. I'd do stupid things that broken hearted girls do, like stay out too late, smoke too many cigarettes, call just to hear his voice mail. I'm not proud of any of these.
Yet during my walk down memory lane, I was thankful for every one of those cigarettes. Every single drunk dial. Every friend that guided me through my boozy haze. Because as I took my short stroll under that canopy of leaves, I was headed to a life that seemed impossible twelve years prior.
Waiting at that tailgate was the Hubbs. The one who broke my heart, the one I thought was gone, the one I thought would never commit. What seemed impossible to me so many years ago, is now reality. It's not unicorns and flowers, now way. This marriage thing is hard work. We are still working on this life, twelve years later. I still do stupid things, but now they are things like overdraw the checking account at Target. Instead of cigarettes it's too many Starbucks. I no longer drunk dial, I stress dial, and yell at him because our girls are driving me nuts. The heartache, the fights, the drunk girl stupidity all seem like someone else. Almost forgotten, unless we are talking about our love story. Was that really happening that last fall under the leaves?
My friends were there on Saturday too. The friends that saw me through that fall. Who picked me up when I was a mess. The ones who thought I was crazy for loving "that guy". Now we can walk down memory lane together and laugh. How could we have ever known it would one day be this way? I think it's better that we couldn't.
Saturday was a beautiful fall day, perfect for a trip down memory lane. The campus looks the same. I look the same. Yet, life has happened around me. Life has happened to me. My story started out one way, but is living another. I'd never go back and rewrite chapters, but I'm always game to reread them. Our stories will never end, as long as we keep writing, or walking down memory lane.
Because your story can start out one way:
One upon a time, there was a girl, under a canopy of leaves...
But you can keep writing another:
...Currently she is living her happily ever after...