Last year in the middle of summer I visited Chicago with my whole team for work. At Berghoff’s I saw something that reminded me of my best friend. I bought two. One for me, and one for you. At a souviner store they had the cutest knick-knacks with names imprinted. I bought two, one for me, and one for you…

They deliberated. It took all of two minutes. Not even long enough to finish a quick prayer. I wiped the tears from my face (I didn’t cry at all in the meeting, all though at one point the tears lined my eyes), and came in. He cracked a joke -“See why we didn’t want you to go outside, we didn’t need long”…

So Thursday I get my life back. I’m kind of scared. Who will be there to greet me, to welcome me back into their lives? …And who won’t? Who’s lives have moved on, married, and not interested, and who is still there to be a friend?

I thought that I would start to live again when I was reinstated. Then I learned you don’t stop living. You can’t stop having a life. What happens to the life I’ve lived the past year? What place does it have in my new/real one?

I feel like a totally different person now – I notice it in even the subtlest of ways… I can’t speak in public now. I lose my thoughts, my voice wabbles and wavers, and I sound terrifed. I’m not as certain and confident as I used to be. I’m a little more quiet, a little more cautious. I’m a little more alone.

What does my future hold? I don’t know. But I’m determined that nothing will stand in my way, that nothing will take my life away from me again.

Here’s to me.


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