This past month, I’ve been visiting places that I likely won’t see for a while. Camera in hand, as I document and record the places I roamed for over a decade; places I might never see for quite a long time, if ever again. I believe that there is truth to the notion that one does not truly know what they have until one loses it all again. In my case, I’m giving up on a life in which I was never truly happy, to pursue my hopes and dreams in a place where nobody knows me. The worst part about leaving it all behind is letting go of the memories, specifically the better times in my life when I felt happy, even if those times were, in reality, few and far between. The one thing that will always be near and dear to my heart, of which I will truly miss is seeing Pickles, and if she dies, even of natural causes, I will forever feel as if I abandoned her.

Whenever I am faced with adversities that I cannot overcome, my solution has always been to vanish. There have been several times in my life when I simply had no other option than to leave, as evidenced by my current situation and now, past relationship.

I made a list of all the things that I might never get to do simply because my life has suddenly taken a new course. The list, which was intended to provide closure only made moving on even more troublesome and emotional. It is almost as if these experiences I might never experience have become the detailed published books about my life for which I’ll never read, replaced only with maps of the pathways I will tread instead. It’s times like these that I need the sheltering arms of my dreaming tree, as lately, in my head, it’s been raining more than ever, and my tree is no longer there to provide me with the emotional comfort from the storm.

I decided to leave my previous relationship with Angie and move on with my own life, rather than rat trap out, only to be stuck in a relationship that is toxic. In doing so, I left my universe behind, holding the hand of my niece and now best friend, realizing in the end that there’s no way to bargain on a barter. I have finally found solace in my life by paying off all my debts in full and starting from zero with nothing to lose. I purchased a new house in the Green Mountains of Vermont and started a new relationship with a woman named Amelia. It took me exactly 18 years, 1 month, and 17 days to ultimately determine with absolute conviction, that Angie was not the one for me. It was my undeniable loyalty that kept me in that relationship for the duration, despite the warning signs that were, abounding. I was a lost man in a lost world, though it was undeniably necessary to be lost, in order to eventually find myself at just the right time.

On September 4, 2020, I went to visit an old friend in Buffalo, New York. We agreed to meet at a park about a mile up the road from my old high school. I haven’t been back to my old high school since I graduated, and my need to stay as far away as possible was nothing short of purely obvious and intentional. As soon as my eyes settled upon the front entrance to the school, my pulse began to race, I began to hyperventilate, and for the very first time in recent memory, I experienced a panic attack.

In my life, I have experienced an enormous amount of trauma. Emotional trauma is a very curious and yet disturbing thing, that often forces us into complacency. It is the fear that draws us near, and then psychologically traps us in paralytic situations that are, oftentimes unhealthy. My father once told me that one day I would change the world through my gifts, but what my father often failed to realize is that people generally never change the world, instead, the world is what changes people. The person I am today is undoubtedly a direct result of my life experiences, my daydreams often take me back to very specific moments in my life, and although the details are crystal clear, the locations and dates always seem to escape to the very fringes of my mind where they are elusive, fleeting, and almost completely inaccessible.

I’ve always been a little different; my friends undoubtedly labeled me as an alternative person, as I have always believed in things unseen. I’m not religious, and I’ve never been lucky in love. I asked heaven above to send me an angel, and shortly thereafter, I met Amelia on August 18th, 2020. I have tried to resist falling in love with her, though it was inevitable. Losing love is like having one’s broken heart on display to the world; my apprehension about falling in love all over again was fear of experiencing the pain of having my heart broken once more. Subsequently finding oneself in love with another is like a beacon of warning from the pain of past relationships that ended. Being in love is a very special feeling, and this time around, a unique and different feeling that I have never felt before.

Colophon
I had to keep my plans a secret; only the very closest of friends knew where I planned to go. I waited to publish this article till long after everything was settled, and I had essentially tied up all my loose ends. And with the days still left, I plan to live in Vermont and start a new life with the lovely Amelia.

Asides
The Companies That Help People Vanish | My Visit To The Buffalo Central Terminal | A Little Ghost For The Offering | Maybe Someday I Will Understand Why | A Week At Camp | It’s Been Awhile Since I’ve Dreamed This Much | The Fear I Cannot Hide | A Typical Friday’s Child | It Came Without Warning | Belong | Addicted To A Certain Kind Of Sadness | Keyframe | The Changes That I Need | Always On The Outside Looking In

23 thoughts on “There’s No Way To Bargain On A Barter

  1. And so it begins… the new life in so many ways. I am so happy for you… in so many ways. I look forward to seeing you again soon! Love and a hug. Dick

  2. Well, for me Whenever I am faced with adversities that I cannot overcome, my solution has always been to faced it squarely

  3. I really enjoy reading your writing. Especially regarding love, I can imagine how the life I had been through that time when I had failed in love.

  4. Sometimes is not eassy to leave and start a new chaptle in a different place, that feeling is very familiar to me.

  5. I feel very connected to your story because I have come to feel that way where I had to abandon everything I wanted to adapt to a new life.

  6. You carry away my thoughts by your superb writings. I say, all the very best to people who pursue their dreams and their own passion.

  7. I can feel the strong emotions as you described them. I definitely agree with that it was necessary to be lost, so that you can find yourself once again. Isn’t it beautiful after all the pain you find solitude in things that were meant for you all along? Sometimes I think why do we have to go through all the struggle and mistakes, inflicting so much pain on ourselves emotionally… Like is it a requirement before good things are meant to happen to us? I have not found the exact answer yet but I somehow realized we would not appreciate the beautiful and good things in life if we did not know the bad. Anyhow, wishing you the best on your lovely and budding relationship! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  8. There is power in letting go, dear friend. I believe you have found that power when you thought you’ve realized that you were truly not happy with the life you once knew. But do know you can reinvent yourself many times over. Buddy, you still have a full life ahead of you. Just keep at it.

  9. Not totally related but I actually found the title like a tongue twister, haha! I think perhaps you enjoyed that phase in life and you outgrew them? Like you thought it was a good thing in that time and you continuously learn about yourself some more and you figured this is not who I am anymore. That is okay! You got this.

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