Weightless in the afterglow

The best part of the holiday season this year, I am realizing, is that the afterglow — the dying of the tree; the saran wrap you put over your Christmas feast as your last guest is leaving; that moment when snow stops being this magical substance, but just frozen water — is actually the part I relished the most.

I came back home, fresh from the icy biome of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and I realized, my pain is gone. There is a weight that has been lifted that somehow got flushed away by the cold winds. I realized the last few weeks that my angst over  my past is gone, and what’s left in its place is an acceptance of what happened to me.

For most of my thinking life, I have grasped my pain close to me, like a blanket. I was desperate to retain my anger, thinking it would shield me from this thing called positivity, which was this evil, smug, smiling light that would take my blanket away from me. But in doing this, what I was denying myself was the grace and strength that comes from truly letting things go.

I don’t need to be a sulking martyr who is constantly blaming my past transgressors for my current faults. I am a human, some things have happened to me, but things happen to everybody. What is the point behind letting old wounds fester? All of a sudden, self-acceptance is feeling more natural to me.

As I sat in my morning commute, watching people board and un-board, I felt this innate sense of content; I realize my story is just one in millions. My pain is valid; but it is also heavy. Why did I carry it all with me all these years? By some perfect storm of happenings—all the tears, the unrest, the gut-churning conversations—I feel freer.

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