Today was the last day of school before Christmas break. It was a day of fun activities, crafts, and parties. It was chaos getting the kids out the door at the end of the day. It was a lot of work cleaning up the mess and packing up my gifts and party supplies. It was three trips to the car before the final well wishes for a relaxing break and I could pull out of the parking lot.

On the drive home, I was feeling pretty good. The class recitation of “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening” went well. My crush said, “Merry Christmas, Kate” which obviously means he is in to me. And I was rocking out to Lizzo.

As I drove up over the ridge, the sunset over Loon Pond took my breath away. Lizzo was singing, “I’m my own soulmate.” And I burst into tears at the beauty of it all.

I cried for reaching this milestone – exactly one year since X told me he didn’t love me.

I cried for the knowledge that I am my own soulmate. That I have really grown to like me this last year, and that I feel good in my own skin, for the first time in I can’t remember how long.

I cried for the beauty of that sunset and the gift of seeing that view on this day at this exact moment.

There were so many moments over the past year when I thought I couldn’t make it through the day, let alone a year. When the sleepless nights couldn’t be over fast enough. But here I am – standing strong, moving forward, building my life for me.

I cried not because I was sad, but because I felt a rush of relief and pride. I did it. Heaven knows I didn’t do it alone. But I did it. I made it a year and I’m moving forward.

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