“Do you ever think about just walking away?”, she asked as we walked along the sandy shore.
Me: I’ve thought about it for years. . . but I’m not so sure. My heart says I should go, but my mind tells me to stay. Like I have unfinished business here.
Her: We could just fly off. . . Fly off into the sunset, and do what we dreamt of though.
Me: Of seeing the world. Of being free, I know. . . It’s not that easy though. It never is.
Her: What’s holding you back? Just tell me.
Me: Everything and everyone.
Her: Including me?
Me: No. You’re probably the only one who understands me at all.
Her: I don’t always, but I always knew you went your own way.
Me: Some may call it stubborn, but lately I’m not so sure this path is going anywhere. Friends, family, work, and everything else. Stagnant, complacent, exhausting at times. Yet I feel like I’m the one holding everything together, while everything pulls me apart.
Her: You’ve lost your way. . . You need change. Look where we are. When was the last time we’ve gone to the beach and had moments like these? You love the beach, the outdoors, your dreams. It hurts to watch you slip further from happiness.
Me: What am I supposed to do? Pack up and leave my job? How would I make money to live? Abandon my friends and family? Yes, sometimes they hold me back, but they hold me when I’m falling.
Her: But they are the ones causing you to fall right now. You have done all that you can for them at this time. You don’t owe these people anything anymore! It’s time to move on, and rediscover yourself. Maybe one day you’ll come back, but right now you need a fresh start. Follow your heart, darling. See what else is out there.
Me: (softly laughs) My cold, little heart. I guess sometimes you have to put yourself above others; even if it’s loved ones. After all these years, perhaps it is time. Walking away is never easy though, as I may never return. But if I do, I’ll be unrecognizable; hopefully in a positive way. The beach is nice. . . Thank you. For everything again.
And as I looked out into the breezy, cloudy horizon of the sea, she smiled as she walked away. Slowly fading was my mental construct as, once again, she was there for me when no one else could. . . And so finally began the next chapter.