So on his actual birthday, I received a text from the birthday boy.
It was an expression of longing, and finally I realized it for what it was. If I had an analogy for it, it's like seeing a circus performance as a child and believing it's magic. At that age, there's wonderment and an overwhelming sense that these people are GODS. You're at the mercy of this spectacular show and if these performers shook your hand, you would be speechless. Fast forward a decade. You have seen things like Cirque de Soleil, the Olympic Winter games (OMG they're amazing), and you watch the same Barnum and Bailey's circus show. Yes, you're still impressed because there's still a respectable level of athleticism and entertainment, but you know it for what it is. The layers are peeled away and there's no magic.
The same way goes to the text message. It's 7 months removed from messges just like it, but at the same time, I can really see what's going on. What made it hard to step away last time, seemed so clear to me now. I thanked my open eyes and experiences. I smiled. I saw a juncture. I could choose the same choices I always have, and find myself in the roundabout of confusion, but instead I knew what I had to do to prevent that outcome. I choose my outcome. I choose my path. I realized where I stood before. I allowed my focus to move away from what was important. My focus now is straight as a laser beam and powerful.
I didn't respond. I moved forward. :)