After fifty years, like everyone, I have amassed a number of stories. Some good, and some not so good. My forties found me embroiled in a neverending series of stories of the not so good variety. Depression. Anxiety. Divorce. Breast cancer. The end of significant relationships. The deaths of loved ones. It was definitely not the best decade, which is why I could not wait to turn fifty. It also is why I was apprehensive about turning fifty.
Part of my apprehension came from the stories themselves. The final year of my forties kicked off with what felt like a kick to the stomach and heart when an on again off again relationship was turned off permanently. It truly was for the best, but it felt the worst at that time. It also left me alone with my stories and not sure that anyone would ever want to hear them. They felt big. Too big. But someone proved to be bigger than my stories and was all ears. John.
John is part of the stories from one of the happiest periods of my life. College. We met during our sophomore year, and he was part of a group of guys who befriended me. Back then, I was one of the guys. Fast forward to today, and I am no longer just one of the guys. Neither is John.
As I was picking up the pieces from the shattered relationship, John was trying to keep his relationship glued together. When we reconnected, we were at different points in our lives, but we still were the same two college kids at heart. When we both had dealt with our respective heartaches, we found our way back to each other and began to tell each other our stories. This process terrified me.
Each time that I told John one of my not so good stories, I braced myself, and each time, he embraced the story for what it was and is. It’s part of who I am, but it is not who I am. Instead of holding my past against me, he put the past in the past and demonstrated through his words and actions that he loves and accepts me unconditionally. Not so good stories and all.
Now, John is part of my story, and I am part of his. I have learned that life really does does begin at fifty, and it can be even better than imagined, if only you try one more time.
That’s another story. . .
Categories: That's Another Story