It was 9 years ago today that I packed my Toyota Corolla and headed west to Colorado.  I stopped by my mom’s to tell her goodbye, then got in my car and just started driving. 

My reason for leaving on February 13th was calculated:  I didn’t want to spend another Valentine’s Day with someone who didn’t know how to love me, or couldn’t commit to me not just in front of witnesses, but on a day-to-day basis.

I drove 3 days to start this new life.  It’s kind of ironic that I went from living in a brand new home with a queen-sized bed and a steady job and my friends and family around me, but lived in misery because of my marriage.  3 days later, I slept on a poorly-inflated air mattress in a cold 2-room basement sublet with no job and no local friends/family and yet I had never been so giddy.   I was finally free.

Tomorrow will be the first time in 5 years that I won’t have a Valentine or special someone to call my own.  I’d be lying if I wasn’t sometimes sad about it.  Not the loss of the person himself – because why be with someone who doesn’t want you as his forever girl? But just the concept, the emptiness of that space in my heart.

However, in reality? It’s okay.  Just like 9 years ago, I recognize the start of a new life.  In the past 4 months I’ve been able to better appreciate the great friendships, good job, and happy world I can create for myself.  I’ve got things I’m passionate about, things that make me happy, and a way to give back to others.

Finally, I’m a better person than I ever was.  I’m strong enough to love the right way.  And I’m ready to blaze a new trail.

“Two roads diverged in a yellowed and I?  I took the one less travelled by and that has made all the difference . . .” (Robert Frost)