Dearest reader, I am standing in a house that I built with my husband looking at all of my things packed into U-Haul boxes. The events of the last year, an insane whirlwind of emotions that I know I can only fully understand once I have put them here on the screen. A ten year marriage came to a close last year, and no matter how much I feel like that was the right decision or the best decision for me and my kids, as I stand here looking at a yard that directly reflects my life as of late, I can’t help but feel the hurt and love violently rush through my very core. We built this house, came and walked through it and daydreamed together. Planted the roses, wisteria, and blackberries. I would watch you fishing at the lake behind the house as I gardened on gorgeous June nights. The last several months have been a constant smack of all the bad moments attacking my heart that I haven’t had much time to stop and close out all the good moments too. Dealing with financial nightmares, devestated kids, working to fill the void that your Master’s Degree always covered with ease. I’ve been in survival mode for almost a year. Getting through the day was quite an accomplishment. I took a giant leap and decided to move back to Florida where I was raised. I’m quite looking forward to sliding my feet into the white sand, and drinking a case of Corona, and waking to the sunrise the next morning from my spot where I passed out. I have wonderful memories of Florida, it has a calm to it that I need in my soul now more than ever. It’s where I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life. It’s where my favorite church is, that I have never been able to replace. It’s where my grandparents are. But although I was raised in Florida, sweet home Alabama made me an adult. I’ve raised my children here, I’ve watched the sun set over the cotton fields and dilapidated barns and felt the hands of God on me. Quiet still moments, watching a giant bass jump for a morning bite to eat. I’ve worked on Missile Defense Programs and for NASA, I did adult things. I got married here. Buried dogs here. It’s in me. The clay held my feet firm to become an adult in all the same uniqueness that the shifting sands of my Florida youth helped build me. It’s a gorgeous March day as I look acrossed the back yard. My honeysuckle is on the verge of gorgeous. Once a tiny little plant from Lowe’s it has eaten up the whole back corner of fence now. It kept growing while we fought. It kept growing while you were being arrested. It kept growing when our sweet son graduated. It’s had soccer ball after soccer ball kicked into it, it never minded. Things are a little out of control in the yard right now, because to be honest since we split up, I haven’t cared to do anything with anything here, at our house. My mind moves forward to my new apartment that I sign the lease on tomorrow. There’s a gym and two swimming pools and it’s a mile from the beach. I look at the roses about to bloom. My heart aches. I failed. My heart swells. I am moving forward. Our names are scratched into the concrete on the back porch, because I happened to stop by during my lunch break when they were pouring the concrete. I close the boxes. It is time. I seal another one with clear plastic tape. I put extra on to make sure nothing escapes just for good measure. Knowing that your decisions are right, never seems to make them any easier. I’m waiting for a guy out of Birmingham to come pick up our pool table. He found it on Craigslist. Because that’s a thing. I want to light the house on fire. I think of the apartment, the interviews I have next week for work. The love that is in my life now. The happiness. How do you manage being happy with a heart full of unanswered hurt? Layers and layers and layers, just one cut off in traffic away from flipping shit upside down. Dry my eyes. Check my makeup. Dust myself off, again. It’s what I do. I am moving to Florida, tomorrow. It’s time for the next chapter. I should take that rose bush with me though. Reminder of how I am always falling up.