Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Opening a Closed Door

I think that sometimes it's good to really know.

I found out how I really felt recently. I had a relationship that had petered out and I felt a lot of different ways about it... a lot of conflicting ways.

I had been sad.
I had been mad.
I had been indignant.
I had taken responsibility.
I had felt regrets.
And sometimes confusion.

Mostly, I was able to chalk it up to a relationship that I had gotten to have -- but that was now in the past.  Most of the time, I was okay with that. I had healed. I was at peace.

But sometimes I wasn't... sometimes I was still confused and angry and hurt.

In a whimsical moment of nostalgia, I wrote to them. It wasn't a big thing... It was a "Hi, how are you?" sort of email. It opened a door if they wanted to answer it.

After I sent it, as soon as I sent it, I thought, "Was that really a door you wanted to knock on? Was that a door that you want to walk through or is it better if it stays closed?"

I sort of hoped that they wouldn't answer the email -- so that I wouldn't have to answer the question. If they didn't answer, it wasn't on me. I would be absolved of the choice.

But, they did.  So I had to really think about it. Is this what I wanted?

I thought. I talked to someone. But I realized that I really didn't need advice - at least not from someone else. What I needed was to listen to myself.  I needed to listen to my heart and decide if walking back through that door was where I wanted my path to go.

And, in the end... it wasn't. It was a relationship that I valued deeply while I was in it. But I had changed, and there were parts of it that I just didn't want back. I didn't want to feel the same way.

So, I closed the door. Politely, nicely, kindly. But, this time, I closed it with the knowledge that it wasn't meant to be part of my future... and I was deciding with my eyes open that I didn't want it to be.

And knowing that makes it possible for me to move on and leave behind the sad and the mad and the indignation and the regrets. I can finally let those go, and I can move into what the future holds without looking back and wishing.

I can move into the future with a head held high and be confident -- because now I know.

Belfast and a Castle

Well, I realized I never finished the Ireland trip here....  so the last day! (As I can remember it!)

SATURDAY - Belfast and Cabra Castle


So, on Saturday, we woke up and enjoyed our last breakfast in Ballycastle, and then got in the car and drove down to Belfast. I hadn't originally planned on going to Belfast, to be honest. I'd never quite felt pulled to it (for what reason, I don't know), so I'd left it out of my trip planning.

But, after reading the Rebels of Ireland shortly before our trip, I wondered if maybe we could drop it into the itinerary. A friend of mine encouraged us to go and just soak it up a little -- but I wanted to be in Kingscourt by the early afternoon -- so I decided to go, but we only had a few hours.

So... mostly, the plan was to walk around and see what struck our fancy.

Honestly, I really liked Belfast -- way more than I liked Derry, and if I could do that over again, I'd spend a lot less time in Derry and a lot more in Belfast. We went to St Georges Market and walked around a bit -- sort of an indoors Pike Place. There was a guy in the middle playing music and it made me laugh because I knew EVERY SINGLE SONG from Celtic Thunder et al.

After the market, we just sort of wandered toward the middle of town. I thought maybe we might take a Black Cab tour (which we never did) so we headed in the general direction of where I knew we could pick one up.  We walked by a little bakery that had the most delicious-looking treats in the window, so we stopped in for chocolate eclairs and coffee, and took them into the park.

Where we watched the Olympics on a giant TV.

It's probably a good thing I didn't get a chocolate eclair until our last day.  Because it was the bomb and, if I'd known they were that good, I probably would have had one every single day of the trip!

After that, we wandered a bit... stopped into Avoca to do some shopping. Well, I did some shopping.  Joel.... waited patiently.  I hemmed and hawed over this pretty delicate knit scarf from an artist in Wexford.  It was sort of expensive. I didn't really NEED another scarf. But, I remembered what my friend Diana had said to me about souvenirs, and gave myself permission to buy it.  :)

I wanted to give ourselves plenty of time at Cabra Castle (and it was starting to rain) so we said Goodbye to Belfast and headed back to our car.

A couple hours on the freeway (which was an actual freeway!!), and we arrived at our final night's lodging. A night at a castle! Happy me!

This was totally different from anywhere else we stayed.... and I thought it was definitely fun! I'm pretty sure they reserve most of the rooms in the ACTUAL castle for honeymooners and their wedding parties, (plus I'd snagged a reservation pretty late notice), so we were actually in the courtyard -- in what I think used to be the stable quarters.  But it was lovely and comfy and I was happy.

I talked Joel into going on a walk with me through the woods on the grounds...

Joel's never going to go for a walk with me in Ireland ever again. Once we got halfway into the woods, it started to pour... and I do mean pour.  We were totally soaked by the time we got back, and had to sprint across the golf course and parking areas to get back to our room.

We spent our final evening in the hotel pub... We drank at the bar for awhile (took awhile to snag a table) and then had a leisurely dinner. Pizza and lots of Guinness!

And then that was it!

Sunday, we got up early and drove to the Dublin airport.... and home we went. :)
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