As I leave the embrace of his arms and pull my luggage up the escalator I look back just once. I remember a moment quite like this one just a few years back and goose bumps scatter my core. Literally trying to shake the fear from my body, I fidget until my breath becomes less sporadic. It’s my own history that triggers the anxiety not my reality. Unfortunately, most scars simply fade with time; rarely do they disappear forever.
Love can blind you, leaving lasting impressions from its incredible spark to its probable ash. It was early winter for you but, down in Argentina I was beginning to see the flowers bloom and the trees bud. 2009 was approaching its end and I was 5 months into my 6-month stint in Buenos Aires. I didn’t know then 6 months would take me home for good, I wish I could have seen what was coming but I blame it on the blindfold.
A highly anticipated visitor was staying with me for a few weeks, he whom placed the blindfold upon my eyes 2 years prior. I had spent a lonely 5 months by myself before his visit. I thought moving to South America was going to pose somewhat of a personal challenge but I never really expected what I was dealt. In those 5 months I became someone I didn’t recognize. My inability to quickly learn the language made it hard to establish a life in Buenos Aires. I became needy, depressed and negative. My lack of hobbies, friends and existence outside of work pushed me into a small dark box of which became comforting to stay inside. Transitioning from my independent and confident self into this girl I didn’t know was the hardest part. 5 months of separation whilst living very different lives forced a gap larger than the mileage that kept him and I apart. His visit had an all or nothing undertone and in my new skin I needed it to be an all.
Things had changed, I knew this. He knew this. But, we pushed through that last month trying to ride the peaks and coast the rest of it. I guess looking back I knew what was coming but my denial wouldn’t allow me to admit it. I remember the morning he left to come back to the states, back to his life. A novelist couldn’t have written it any better. We bid our farewells in my apartment and as he stepped into the elevator to meet his cab outside, I ran to my bay window to watch from above.
It was a sunny, breezy day in the city and the bustle of the workday was just beginning. My window sat 10 stories up and a concrete ledge allowed you to slightly sit outside the building frame. The warm sun hit my face as he opened the cab door. He looked up just once, smiled a sweet smile and waved goodbye. I looked down holding back tears and waved to him. He ducked his head into the car; the door shut and the taxi drove off. My storybook ending and I knew then, it was over.
Within days, happily ever after turned into something else completely. The end had come and the book was closed. It felt abrupt and blinding. I left Argentina 3 weeks later, arriving home just in time for Christmas. But, those last few weeks became a blur to me. The dark space I was already in had blackened even more. With no family or friends to turn to, I was forced to care for my broken self. My life as I knew it had changed by the matter of a phone call and for years after I wondered why. I questioned the path that led me to Argentina. Did I make the wrong decision to go, or was I simply following my fate? I felt like I had lost everything - my job, my home, my relationship and my future, simply whisked away in the matter of days. Yes, it was my decision to leave my job and home in Argentina but I had to in order to heal.
Love is grand, it can be addictive and blissful but it can also hurt and scar. It’s taken awhile, but when I look back I know I had to move to Argentina and I needed to go through each obstacle that followed my decision. The lessons learned and the person I became is only to thank because of the struggle endured.
Pain can build walls in a day that take years to break down. But, whether it's love or another emotion that hurts us, we must learn from it, take a positive away and use it to grow. The months and years that followed that farewell wave have changed me. My tattoo which reads evolve is a daily reminder of who I was, who I became and who I strive to be. It may be scary to go back, both mentally and physically but we must allow ourselves to jump into the saddle, this time stronger and wiser.
Scars appear as the years pass but they represent stories, they represent our own histories. I am proud of mine, some are visible and some are not but, each one built me. If you are scared to do it again, or to try something new, or to fall in love, to move states, to change jobs, to end relationships, say goodbye, whatever it may be – we must overcome the apprehension that resides and nudge ourselves to knowingly look fear in the face and take that leap of faith. If pain finds us again, we go in as warriors; for we know we can get through it and survive.
3 years & many soul-searching escapades later, I fell in love again. He calmly took each brick away and I slowly let him. I’ll have to admit; I keep a little fort around me still but, it's short and gradually falling. This time as I wave goodbye, it’s only for a short timeframe but my scar starts to tingle. I notice it, remember it, and love it because without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
It’s so very true that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all & better to have tried and failed than to have never tried. I can attest, in the end, it’s all a triumph.
Stephen Smyth APRIL 13, 2012 AT 12:42 PM Amanda, you write so well….this was really deep , I think they should put you to work on that damn boat. I cannot wait to hear your thoughts in 6 months time:) Have fun, as much as you possibly can, live every day these few weeks on the boat as if it is the last…and then go home to Joe and your business and take it head on :) Love x Stevie Wonderful Reply amandabonfiglio APRIL 30, 2012 AT 3:19 PM Thanks for the message, Steve. Always good to look back as a reminder to live each day fully. I’m home, and 100% head on!!!
Amber APRIL 13, 2012 AT 1:30 PM Love your blog it’s entriging and inspiring. Bon voyage friend! Keep us posted…. Love & Namste’ Amber ;) Reply amandabonfiglio APRIL 30, 2012 AT 3:20 PM Thanks for reading Amber!!
Andrea APRIL 13, 2012 AT 1:57 PM Im proud of you for re-visiting this emotional time-this was SO well written…and more importantly I am SO incredibly happy for where you are now in your life and the love you found! xxoo Reply amandabonfiglio APRIL 30, 2012 AT 3:20 PM We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t go there ;) xx
Vince Chough APRIL 13, 2012 AT 5:37 PM Very well written… and greetings from BsAs!
judy bonfiglio APRIL 13, 2012 AT 8:40 PM You wear your heart on your sleeve and for this I commend you. Through your writing you are able to touch on emotions when most people have to pay dearly to see a therapist. May your words always flow easily. I thoroughly enjoy each and every blog. You are truly an old soul. Love you and hope to see you soon Miles of Smiles AJ Reply amandabonfiglio APRIL 30, 2012 AT 3:21 PM Thank you for your post Aunt Judy, always means the world. xx
jenna APRIL 21, 2012 AT 4:11 PM Extremely well written…you made me tear up. I felt like I could physically feel your pain as I read it. You are an incredibly strong person and I am always so inspired by you. Reply amandabonfiglio APRIL 30, 2012 AT 3:23 PM :) made strong from the past & inspired by the future…. Thanks for reading and responding! xx