I walk into chain stores like Target and Lowe’s, which look the same everywhere, and I feel like I’ve been transported to the Alexandria, Va., locations where we used to shop. I walk out, into an unfamiliar parking lot and am reminded that I no longer live in Arlington.
The only way I can describe how I’ve been feeling since the move is this: heartbroken.
And like I’ve been dumped.
So how can a woman who’s happily married – newly happily married – feel like she’s been dumped?
This feeling comes with a bit of guilt, because I have so much love in my life. I have friends and family whom I miss and an incredibly supportive husband who’s been so patient with me and has enough energy to support me in making my dreams come true.
This move reminds me of what it feels like to be dumped, because I long for how things used to be but know that, if things went back to how they used to be, they wouldn’t be the same.
I’m grieving a loss.
The heartbreak that my mother and father caused our family when they gave up on each other left the biggest, deepest mark on me: fear of abandonment. Rather than losing myself in unproductive coping mechanisms as I navigated adolescence, I found myself in academics.
Every time my heart was broken after that first, scarring experience, it motivated me to do something bigger and better for myself – from being voted president of my university’s student alumni association and Homecoming Queen to pursuing graduate school at Johns Hopkins University.
I’m convinced that my breakup with Arlington is also for the best and that it’ll lead me to bigger and better things in Augusta.