This Used To Be My Wal-Mart, Part 2

Just to show you I’m not all doom and gloom here is the second thing I took away from my recent trip to my former town.

This used to be my playground

This used to be my childhood dream

This used to be the place I ran to

Whenever I was in need

Of a friend

Why did it have to end

And why do they always say

Don’t look back

Keep your head held high

Don’t ask them why

Because life is short

And before you know

You’re feeling old

And your heart is breaking

Don’t hold on to the past

Well that’s too much to ask

Memories aren’t always a horrible thing. I can’t say I personally have a lot of wonderful memories from my time in Harrisonburg. Picasso was beginning to settle in and find his footing. Rock Star was rocking it. I think what I miss most is my children’s security. And I do miss my house. I lovingly decorated it. I hand picked every piece of furniture. I made it a home.

What I took away from the song is what Madonna sings in the first verse. You don’t look back. You keep your head held high. You don’t hold on to the past.

It was a whirlwind two years. I could probably go so far as to say it was a move that never should have happened. Yet it did and it’s now a part of my past.

The secret, I think, is to take the memories, learn from the experience, and be thankful for the good parts, but to not dwell on the past.

It’s over. Done. You can question, “Why?” all you’d like but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s finished. Better to ask yourself where you go from here. What does the future hold? What do you want it to look like?

The mobster frequently asks, “What if?” What if our ex’s hadn’t done this to us? What if we never got divorced? What if our lives played out perfectly like we had hoped when we first got married so many years ago? He will then go on to say he doesn’t want to start over at age 50. It’s not right; it’s not fair.

I finally had to tell him that whenever he says things like that it makes me a little sad because if they had done the right thing then we never would have met. Some of you may be wondering, “Why is that such a bad thing? Wouldn’t you like to have your big house and your beautiful pool once again?” Well, sure. But in the months that I’ve been with the mobster I have come to realize he is a much better partner for me than the ex ever was. I would like to think he would say the same thing about me.

When I finally told him that he was quick to reassure me that’s not what he meant at all. He simply wishes that he was in a better situation. He wishes that his kids didn’t have to deal with the mess their mom has created. He wonders what he could have accomplished if he had had an encouraging, supportive partner instead of basically raising a fifth child. It basically comes down to him feeling like he has nothing to show for all his years of hard work.

We could sit around discussing what happened and what we could have done differently forever. We could spend years talking about the injustices. We could lose ourselves in memories and romanticize the past. Or, we can choose to focus on what is yet to be.

I’m trying very hard to leave the past behind. I’m looking towards the future. That may have been my Wal-Mart but I’ve moved on.

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