It was early in the morning when I left Seattle, and as the plane moved eastward, I watched the sun rise out the window to my right. During that flight, I listened to a lot of music, but the only albums I can remember were the soundtrack to Lost in Translation, and the Dark was the Night compilation. I'm not sure if I had even considered how perfectly they fit my situation when I put them on my iPhone, I just copied as much music as I thought would fit onto it, packed more clothes than I needed, and headed off to the airport.
There was a brief stop-over in Denver, and another hour and a half or so to the Midwest. By the time the plane landed, my heart was slamming through my chest with every beat. As I made my way to the baggage claim, I got a text message from the person who was supposed to pick me up. They said they were running late, and it would be a few minutes. I couldn't make myself sit down, so I paced. 10 minutes later, I was still pacing, when suddenly time seemed to slow, and the crowd of people parted exactly the way it does in the movies. My breath literally caught in my throat, and we locked eyes as he emerged from the throngs of travelers swirling around him.
It was freezing out, and his ears glowed bright red against his blonde hair and black leather motorcycle jacket; the same jacket he'd been wearing for as long as I'd known him. All at once, I knew everything was ok. That everything I thought I felt was real, good or bad, and that today I could start fresh, however I wanted to be from now on. With a running start, I leapt onto him so hard that he had no choice but to catch me or fall backward. Fortunately, he caught me, and I hugged him harder than I had hugged anyone in a long time.
And that was it. I will remember that weekend as one of the best weekends of my entire life until the day I die. In 3 days, I realized how to finally be honest with myself, reconnected with some of the best friends I could ever ask for, and discovered what needed to happen in order to truly be happy. Because of that, I consider January 7th to be an anniversary of sorts. Rather than mark the end of a relationship, or the start of a new one, I think of today as the day my entire life changed for the better.