Brand new me. Brand new free.

“It took a long, long time to get here. It took a brave, brave girl to try.” ~Alicia Keys

I’ve loved and I’ve lost. You all remember. I was crushed, the pieces scattered everywhere. I did not know where to begin in picking them all up and what life would look like going forward. Jamaica, India and Ottawa became my sacred healing ground. It was a slow, long, excruciating process of rebuilding, redefining and reevaluation.

But I have arrived. And I am able to declare this because I was truly tested. I saw him.

Two years have passed since I laid eyes on his face. The face that was once so familiar and the face that was my everything.

Admittedly, I was nervous. Would I regret this? Would I collapse? Would the pain (or worse, hope) all come flooding back? This was the ultimate test. I was facing my greatest opponent: him. Him, along with all that was lost and all that never was. Honestly, I thought this day would never come.

I looked down at my tattoo. Love.

Self-talk: “I love you and am so, so proud of you. This is all that matters.”

I am the hero of the story. I would not be swayed by his words.

Self-affirmation: “You got this.”

Indeed, I did not fall apart. I was calm, gathered and purposeful. I was witness to my own growth in those moments of being in the same space as him. It was like he had to get to know me all over again. Brand new me. And I like this new person. A lot.

I was real. Sitting in a park, sun shining bright, he asked about how I felt things were left between us. I was taken aback because I had left this story behind many months ago. Stuck, I did not have an answer for him as the script of the past two years flashed before me. Was once I disappointed? Hurt? Lost? Angry? Sure. But not anymore.

Not anymore.



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