Reflections – Lily Melendez

If you don’t think life can look drastically different in the matter of a year, think again. Some people think that life proceeds in one, progressive direction: Singleness, dating, marriage, family, life, and then death. What I have learned between last year and this year, is that progress does not run in only a single direction.

This time last year, I was with him, in person, for the last time. I remember fingering the ring on my left hand as I set out to visit him with only two goals in mind: to make him feel loved and to avoid fighting. In a matter of hours, I had failed on both accounts. This time last year, I remember my chest tightening as I faced his confrontation. I remember my heart sinking as I saw the annoyance on his face. I remember feeling lost as I felt his disappointment. I remember wanting to speak, being asked to speak, being told to speak louder, and feeling as though producing any sound from my throat was impossible. I remember shaking. I remember tears meaning nothing. The effort to love feeling empty. And the future seemingly dark. Not alone, but lonely.

Then, a line in the sand was drawn. A door closed. The bolt turned. And healing followed.

This year, as I reflect on my present and my future, I’m filled with a sense of peace – and above all – hope. This year, I dined with warm hearts. I laughed until tears flowed with friends. And I spoke and heard love both near and afar. Alone, but not at all lonely.

If you think life is spiraling; if your heart feels heavy; do not despair. Change your direction.

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