I believe in signs. I always have.
The first time I went to Red Rocks to see Lyle Lovett a million years ago, my ex-boyfriend couldn’t make it to the show after we had purchased a summer’s worth of concert tickets together – and he suggested I invite a friend of his instead.
As I remember it, I thought to myself, “Message received.” I had been feeling like he wasn’t as interested in me as he once was and his suggestion seemed like the sign I needed. That he was trying to let me down in the nicest way possible by suggesting that I take a friend of his that he had just introduced me to.
I married that friend of his less than six months later.
After 25 years together, my ex-husband and I split up this past year, and this time, my trip to Red Rocks wasn’t planned – but it was just as fateful and full of signs.
My cousin was recently in town for a visit and on our way to show her a cute town not too far outside Denver, we decided to take an impromptu drive by Red Rocks, thinking it was iconic enough that she might be interested in seeing it.
What I didn’t anticipate were all the memories it would bring up.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre is in the town of Morrison, Colorado – which also happens to be where my ex-husband and I got married. Thankfully, we didn’t have to drive through the actual town itself, where we might have seen the bed & breakfast where the actual ceremony was held, or the restaurants on the main road through town where we shared our first few meals together as a married couple.
But we did drive right by the historic big-game restaurant, which is where we held our night-before-the-wedding dinner. (It’s interesting to note that I am now mostly vegetarian…and the irony/importance/coincidence of that fact is not lost on me. And also…I don’t believe in coincidences.)
As we drove past that restaurant, I was less wistful than I was somewhat detached. Ready to leave the past in the past.
But it was quickly forgotten as we approached Red Rocks and I realized how long it had been since I was there. I remember seeing UB40 and Harry Connick Jr. there also, but for all I remember, they could have been the same summer as Lyle Lovett.
As we approached the amphitheatre, we noticed that there were a lot of cars and people there already…even though it was only early afternoon and most concerts don’t start until evening. We wondered what was going on and why there were so many people already there so I asked The Google who was going to be performing at Red Rocks that night.
Lyle. Frickin’. Lovett.
Did I mention that I don’t believe in coincidences?
Well, I didn’t mention what happened with that first Lyle Lovett concert.
When I called my ex-boyfriend’s buddy to invite him, he turned me down. Something about softball playoffs.
So the memories that came flooding back in weren’t about my first date with my ex-husband. That first date happened a week or two later at Bennigan’s.
No, the memories that were popping up for me were more about a time in my life that seemed so simple.
And then finding out that those memories weren’t what they seemed.
I found out many years later that my ex-boyfriend didn’t remember those events happening the same way I did, insisting that I was the one who “cut him loose” and not the other way around. Funny how that happens.
Just like my ex-husband not remembering the way he grabbed my hand at the baseball game where we met and saying something about being the only one there without a date – and me jokingly telling him he could have my ex-boyfriend. And him responding sweetly saying, “I’d rather have you.” It was such a great story to tell about how we first met.
Except he has no memory of it whatsoever.
And what began as a funny story about the day we met started to make me sad over time. Especially when I realized that a lot of memories I had were not the same ones that the other people in my stories shared.
It makes me wonder if the ex-boyfriend remembers the Lyle Lovett song, “I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You” playing in the car as we said goodnight one night, right before he grabbed my face and kissed me outside his parents’ house. Or if we all just have completely different memories of each shared moment.
When I was at Red Rocks this time and found out Lyle Lovett was there, I chuckled outwardly at first. But I was much more overwhelmed by it on the inside than I let on. It’s safe to say that the Universe certainly got my attention. And made me a little bit sad.
But then…I felt a sense of peace.
It was like Red Rocks, Lyle Lovett, and the Universe all conspired to make us take this quick detour so they could give me a sign.
And a reminder.
That things aren’t always the way we remember them.
That some of us aren’t the same people we used to be.
That our feelings for people can change.
That while our memories of the same events might be different, we still share those memories. (At least if the other person remembers those moments at all.)
But most of all, I feel like Red Rocks, Lyle Lovett, and the Universe were offering me some cosmic confirmation that this season of my life has ended. It ended in much the same way that it began, but now that cycle is complete.
And these signs not only reminded me of good – and not-as-good – memories…they also reminded me of the me I used to be.
The me who hopes that if there is a next time, he will remember taking my hand and saying the sweet thing. And he will grab my face for a kiss after laughing at all my stories about signs from the Universe.
When we made it to Evergreen a little while after stopping at Red Rocks, there was a crystal shop right in the middle of town. Just like the crystal shop that was next door to the bed & breakfast where my ex-husband and I were married. (The owner of that original crystal shop? He was also the minister who married us.)
I spent a lot of time in the crystal shop after we left Red Rocks. And found a lovely green Aventurine crystal that I could use as a talisman to mark this special day…a day filled with signs and peace and completion.
And I also felt inexplicably drawn to a crystal pyramid, which the store clerk informed me was made of ruby and would help heal and open my heart, clear my heart chakra, and provide energy for transformation and a new path. He loved that I was drawn to it without knowing what kind of crystal it was or what it was for.
I loved it because I felt the completion after seeing the signs.
And because I am ready.
For transformation. And for a new path.
And maybe for more of those face-grabbing kisses, too.
Photo by Pxhere
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends 52 Ways to Live a Kick-Ass Life: BS-Free Wisdom to Ignite Your Inner Badass and Live the Life You Deserve.
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