When X and I first started dating, we spent a LOT of our free time at a nearby state park. It was a very popular bouldering spot and since he was a climber, that’s where we went. I loved it. I loved watching him climb, I loved being in the woods, I was content to sit and hike and read. I also loved these particular woods – large boulders in the shade of pine trees with a small brook trickling through. It was magic.
Since returning to NH, I’ve wanted to go back to these woods as a way to reclaim them for myself. This past weekend I finally was able to go. My dear cousin went with me, which turned out to be really helpful. Of all the places I’ve returned this one was the hardest for me. Driving up, I had physical memories, of the feeling of being in the car with him, us, together, and how much I felt like I belonged to someone.
I had more memories in the woods. The woods felt familiar, though somehow smaller. What was so wonderful was that my cousin was there with me. I got to share memories at each spot along the way. I got to talk through things. It was healing and helped soften the memories. It helped them not feel so strong.
I don’t miss X. He really was a selfish partner. But that memory of belonging hurt.
I don’t know if I’ll go back, honestly. I thought I wanted to reclaim these woods. But I don’t know if I can. It’s possible that they just need to stay a memory that I leave behind. I didn’t belong with X. It was all lies. I need to go find my own woods.