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Take a Load Off Your Shoulders

Smothered by this world, its fabrications and necessities, I contemplated upon a different horizon and an often repeated phrase, “take a load off your shoulders.”

The clock had stopped for me just over a year, 9 months, and eleven moons ago. She had said goodbye. The love of my life. She took with her everything she had ever given me and I was left a simple wanderer in this world. I felt as if I were a rock tossed to the side of the road.

She took off and within a month she was kissing another set of lips even as I was trying to win her back. She was calling him the sweet names she had once given me. My body, my love still warm, had been buried and grieved even as she was moving on. A year went by and I still had flashes and visions of her in my head. Her gasping for breath, leaving scratches on my back. Me, loving her the way I’d never loved anyone before. I still needed her. I still craved her. Even as I kissed another, I found myself wishing and longing after her.

Those kisses with another woman felt empty, not just because I didn’t have her, but because there was something else missing. I took a shovel and I dug deep. I dug to the core of who I am. I went on a journey to a time long before I met her. I made a decision to set out to become the best version of myself and also, to become the finest actor I could possibly be. I stood by a tall green streetlight, and I contemplated two roads; one direction led to the light, the other one, to darkness and a question; What do I want?

It came upon me like a tidal wave. I decided that I wanted to live! I wanted to make my life count even in this altered state of loneliness.

As time distanced me from the heartache, I saw and understood that I had given so much of myself to someone else, I had taken so much of another person into me, that even if she didn’t have anything of me left inside of her, I would always have some of her inside me forever. For better or worse, she will always be a part of my life, and a part of my heart.

Like ten bags of bricks within the luggage of my life, I will carry her inside my heart whether I travel another hundred miles to the road, or another thousand. But, my decision on how to carry that load has made it as light as a feather. I don’t know if I will ever fall in love again. Sometimes, I wish I could. Some days, I wish I would. Some days, I hope I will. And, yes, sometimes I wish I hadn’t met her at all. That’s life. We meet. We yank, and pull, and push away ourselves and each other until we break.

However, we’re still here; and that on its own is kind of amazing, isn’t it? We’re still here and not one of us really knows why. It’s because we’re all here to make our lives count. Because, when the final bell is rung we’ll all arrive with our own stories. We’ll all arrive with a pile of baggage that we get to set down once and for all.

Even so, why wait until that day to take a load off your shoulders? Either set the weight down or learn to carry it differently so that it’s a little lighter on your shoulders. The difference it will make in your life is a difference that you will never regret.

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