I spent my weekend in Sydney with Joel. It was good to get away for just a few days; not having to worry about work or school, and just getting to spend some much needed time together. I also learned a few important lessons along the way. Ones that I should have learned long ago, but there is no use regretting the past. Just taking from it what you can and moving on.
We went down to stay in Joel’s old town, the place where he spent his teenage years. I have always hated it there; while I look forward to our trips I loathe the place. Not because of the place itself, but because of all of the memories associated with it. All of the fights, cruel words, comparisons and jealousy are centred around this town and the people within in. And that feeling, the feeling the followed me around for years, that this place, the one that I am not a part of, is where Joel really wants to be. And not with me.
Yes it was childish. But I wasn’t wrong. For a few years, I wasn’t wrong. But people grow and people change. Joel certainly did. The town did as well. But I stayed stuck unhappily in the past, resenting something that didn’t exist anymore, and so, in turn, resenting myself for being unable to move on.
I hadn’t been there in ages. I hadn’t really thought about it for a long time, not until this weekend. And I was nervous. Nervous that I would revert back to who I was so many years ago, unable to move on or let go. That I would replay old memories that I just couldn’t shake no matter how hard I tried.
But when I got there, it was so apparent to me how different everything was. How different I was.I no longer hated the place, and I no longer hated the people. It was just another town, much like the one we live in now.
And after spending the evening exploring the city, drinking cider, watching street artists and playing arcade games, I could feel myself getting lighter. And as we made our way into the dim sweaty concert we had driven up to see, as we held hands while the music soared over us, as I watched everyone, dancing and laughing and having fun, I felt myself letting go completely. Of everything.
And that was the moment I grew up, because it was the moment I learned to forgive.