Years ago, when we met, you were that new revelation, the ray of sunshine in a voice and a smile, and I was excited to become your friend.

Kindred spirits, we said. Soul sisters. And that introduction felt new and wonderful and all of the things that a person walking into your life for the first time has to offer.

Autumn-forest-rays-of-light-road-000058720686_LargeThat was at the beginning of another phase. My life has had so many segments to it, so many times that I’ve moved through. All of the people I was and became evolved through the necessary relationships to come to today.

A reason, a season, or a lifetime, someone once told me.

That someone was a different new person who has long since left. I’m the one who waved goodbye, knowing the season had ended.

Still, I have a hard time letting go of what has already let me go. The memories, the journeys, the conversations, the low-lit soft-music evenings of soul connection, what we thought it was then.

There are people who move in and out of our lives as we move toward becoming our full self. Those people feel like forever friends, but they rarely stick around to meet forever.

The ones who do, the ones who go deeper than the surface conversations or the momentary common connections, those are the ones we call friends. They transcend the moment, they endure evolution.

I see your face sometimes. It’s a beautiful face, and sometimes I want to reach out and stroke the side of your cheek and remind you that I did love you.

The severance was quick and painless. You just walked away, disappeared like fog evaporating into the day. Truth be told, I made you walk away. I couldn’t trust you anymore. And you knew it.

You stayed with that world I had stepped into. It has become your everything, your raison d’être, and that’s ok. I wish you well. And everything around you.

Girls with bags It’s not where I need to live.

I miss the soft wood floor of that familiar room, the etchings on your wall. I never liked your teachings; I just saw the beauty of your heart beneath all the trying to find yourself. I hope you’ve settled on something. I hope you are content.

And so, dear reader, I ask you this: do you ever miss your former self, even though you know that where you stand today is the better place for you to be?

Do you ever think back on earlier variations of you and wonder which shards remain in the mosaic that is now?

Do you have any regrets?

It’s not worth it, you know, to regret. Every full experience was so worth the moment.

I’ve walked down crowded, trash-filled Indian roads and loved the frenetic noise. I’ve walked along Balinese sidewalks, peered across rice paddies, sipped an avocado smoothie as if it were the very best taste ever.

Rice terraces in Bali, a perfect metaphor for the layers of a life well-lived
Rice terraces in Bali, a perfect metaphor for the layers of a life well-lived

I’ve been far and wide, and I’ve embraced so many nuances of being. It has been wonderful.

And now it’s time to step into me. To know the path that I walk instead of shadowing the paths of others.

I tell stories that help other people figure out who they are. I knew at some point it would be my turn to stand up and be counted, my turn to shine, my story to attach to.

You can only go so long cheering from the sidelines as other people take the stage. At some point, it’s your turn. If you’re brave enough to ascend.

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