By Alison Climes HOLY FIRE

Love Is A Place & This Place Is Mine

love defiant breakup



When I first moved back to Ann Arbor, it physically hurt my heart when I would walk up East U. and see your old house on Michigan. I then told myself to just not look — as if by physically not seeing the place where so many memories of you were, I wouldn’t think about you or feel that pain anymore.

It feels like I’m moving backward in a way — I moved to Tucson, then California, but now I’m back here. And this place holds so many memories that I thought I had moved on from.

What makes the pain worse is that I know you are in Tucson. A place that feels sacred to me, that represents so much beauty and pain and growth that I went through. And you’re stomping all over it.

You get to experience its harshness, its vastness, its prickliness. You get to feel the sun on your skin and the rocks scraping the skin off your fingers while climbing on Mt. Lemmon — a sport that also feels spiritual to me, something beloved, something that has saved my life on occasion. Something I introduced you to — you have and now I don’t. I want to kick and scream and sob the anger out of my body. It doesn’t seem to make it go away.

I know that I’m the one who ultimately ended our relationship. I tell myself that all the time to condemn these thoughts of you, the seemingly irrational anger and simultaneous longing. That I am now in a different relationship and I still think these things.

But yesterday, I tried shifting my language. Instead of telling myself I’m crazy for feeling resentful or for simply thinking about you, I said — it’s okay. I loved him. I loved him and I loved him here in Ann Arbor and so, of course, being back here is stirring up those feelings. Of course him being in Tucson, a place I deeply love, is stirring up these feelings. And maybe they will never go away, they will just fade over time.

This is what I want you to know: I’m mad at myself for not telling you when you asked my opinion of moving to Tucson — no. This place is mine. And although it’s your decision, my opinion is no — I don’t want you to move here.

But I didn’t. And so you did.

And now I have to live with that. Now I use it to remind myself to protect my boundaries. That I’m allowed to have an opinion. And I’m allowed to share it even if it’s not what someone wants to hear.

I loved you and that’s why it hurts that you are now in love with my place. And I’m back in ours.



Photo by Gabriel Brandt on Unsplash

For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends The Inner Voice of Love: A Journey Through Anguish to Freedom.

Sip a little more:

The Wild Helps You To Break Out, To Feel Beauty & To Remember Who You Are

Kindness Is A Currency — Make Healthy Boundaries & Spend It On You

Never Envy The Gift That’s Not Yours — It’s A Waste Of The One You Already Have


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Alison Climes

Alison is a curious spirit who loves to travel to unfamiliar places and meet new people. She believes that everyone has a story and appreciates hearing people speak their truths as she continues on her own journey to discover her voice. As an educator, she aims to help students identify their own strengths and develop a strong sense of self while also working to become active citizens engaged in their communities and working towards social justice. She has a deep love for the Great Lakes in her home state of Michigan, but she often longs for the vast, unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert.

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