No Retreat

No Retreat

There are times for me,
as I suspect there are for everyone,
when I wonder about returning to earlier years…

I wonder about making different choices,
following different paths,
somehow creating a different me –
a different past and present and future…

But, if you want the truth,
I have zero desire to relive all of those days.

Yes, there were wonderful, amazing experiences

Living in Mobile, Alabama with 8 total strangers made for
some interesting times –
and hey, not everyone can say she’s visited Graceland and found it
to be less tacky than she expected!

Doing an alternative spring break in college was totally eye-opening.
There was that retreat during my senior year at LeMoyne –
I can still envision the big old shabbily comfortable house,
surrounded by deep piles of white snow and a view of the frozen lake
in Cazenovia.

My birthday in high school when the limo picked me up
carrying all of my girlfriends –
all of us wearing our school uniforms –
and then, after school, heading in the same limo
to Brennan’s for desserts and fake champagne with huge
juicy strawberries on each rim.

The years – so many lost now – the years
when my Granny and Granddad were still alive
and we drove to Rhode Island and then
Connecticut a couple of times a year to see them.
Or my godparents, Etta and Arnold – visiting them
on Demarest Parkway – Etta’s little birds chirping away in the
back office; her amazing freshly baked cream puffs;
Arnold’s stories… I wish I had talked to all of them more,
asked more, learned more…

Even the time when I was married –
cutting our Christmas tree every year,
having Halloween parties,
Mookie the 3-legged cat, Audrey and George our adopted
pups, my vegetable garden…

But, there is no return,
and no retreat.

I am moving forward –
making choices for my Self that will help me
to make a difference, make a life, leave a legacy…

This Self of mine – I’ve been working on it, on her,
for so many years now – and it’s not been easy, though it’s also
not been all hard –
and I refuse to give up ANY of that hard won
ground I’ve gained
just to relive being a size 12,
more dates,
a lost love…
fewer bills
less responsibility
a higher tolerance for alcohol and working all hours…

I will give up nothing
for where I am now –
because I love
where I’m headed.

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