Roanoke, you opened my eyes

I live about five minutes from the cutest little town, called Roanoke. It’s downtown boasts a number of privately owned shops, including a beer emporium, a yoga studio (shout out Valerie!), an adorable coffee spot, and a cute little bakery. Of course a local barber shop tops it off! It’s my favorite place, close to home. (It also helps that the local bar carries my favorite Pinot Noir!) 

The town holds a number of memories for me. In addition to it being the town where I worked out with my personal trainer and did yoga for the first time, it’s also the place where I got engaged and later married. It’s the place where I celebrated my first anniversary, and our first home purchase together. It holds the streets that held the memories I made as I transitioned from a girl who never had marriage on her radar, to  a girl who was looking at a man on one knee in a cute little corner courtyard. Roanoke, for me, held every single thing  that ‘love’ was.

Until today.

Today, one of my oldest friends took pictures of my family. She was coming from out of town so she asked for some recommendations for the location of the pictures. Instinctively, I said “Roanoke” and it hit me that day that I hadn’t taken a picture of Roanoke for probably three years. Because it hurt. A lot.

I pushed it out of my mind. Hadn’t thought anything of it.

Until today.

Standing on the exact same sidewalks that my wedding pictures were taken, today holding hands with my kids on either side of me, it hit me. I was ready. I was ready to make new memories in Roanoke. I was ready to see the beauty in the town that I fell in love with when I was falling in love. And it meant so much more to me today than it ever had before.

The two people on either side of me today were the two who would be there forever. They were the reason I was still standing. They were the reason I could see the beauty in this tiny little town.

Today I realized that I have moved so far beyond my divorce. I am so ready to make new memories and put the old ones to rest. I am thankful for the past. But I’m also really excited for the future, and today was key. It’s the realization that I’m back, and I’m better. I’m ready to love, and see the beauty in tiny towns with cute shops. I’m ready to embrace the beauty in simplicity and I’m ready to take pictures in a town that I am so in love with.

OF COURSE I am so excited to see the pictures that my friend took of my family, but more than that, I am thankful for the day- for it allowed me to realize how far I’ve come.

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