Lessons

I have been pretty MIA lately on my blog. The past four or so months I have been on a journey of self exploration. They always say the lesson comes when you’re ready. Evidently life decided I was ready and the lessons starting crashing down all around me. In fact I think they started beating me over the head. It is hard to believe that it has taken me so many years to see the light considering how intuitive and self aware I can be. However I guess I wasn’t ready until now. And now has been a rather productive time of growth.

Some of the realizations have been about myself and to tie it all together they brought me insight to the relationship I had with my one and only real ex and the state of limbo we’ve been in ever since our break up. While it has consumed my thoughts and my time, it’s been incredibly freeing as well. 

It started when I was driving to work one morning. I was suddenly hit with a longing for my ex, and for him and I to make things work once and for all. Ever since the ex and I broke up, he’s come in and out of my life, usually trying to convince me that things could work and I was convinced it wouldn’t. Somehow, I was now sure that it could work. I realized that some of the things I had doubts about were due to me assuming when reality was another. It had started to occur to me how similar my ex was to my dad and my sister. To people who were quieter than I, that operate in a way that is different from myself. 

I finally accepted that while I may have verbally agreed (numerous times) to try things again with him, I was not really open to it. I was passive aggressive and always setting him up to fail. When, of course, he did (self fulfilling prophecy and all) I would walk away confident that he didn’t deserve me. I was very self righteous and was putting 99.9999% of the blame on him. I was bitter.

Bitterness and being passive aggressive was preventing him and I from ever working. It was also preventing me from moving on with anyone else. I was still nursing old wounds. How could I not? I met a man, fell in love with him within days, was talking marriage within days of meeting, and then suddenly we broke up. In hindsight, and part of my growth has been to recognize that I was impulsive to break up with him. It was our first disagreement really and rather than calmly saying, “Let’s discuss this later,” I ended things. There were several reasons, reasons that were fair for me to be upset about. However the break up was impulsive. As impulsive as the start of our relationship. 

A few months after we broke up he married some other girl. Of course that was going to hurt. Especially when our disagreement had been over the fact he didn’t know if he ever wanted to get married again. All I could think was, “Why didn’t he want to marry me?” Granted this new marriage of his was a secret, one that to this day I’m not sure how much of his family even knows about. Big shock, it ended in divorce. Or maybe an annulment. I’m not sure which. Honestly, as painful as it was for me that he married this girl, I was sad for him when it ended. That was his second marriage to end. I’m sure that sucked for him. 

After that, I can honestly say when he would try to come back around part of me always punished him for the fact he had married her when he wouldn’t marry me. It was something I couldn’t let go of. It wasn’t fair to either of us. 

So when these realizations started to hit back in May or June, I reached out to him. I confessed where I was at and I started asking a lot of genuine questions about our past. I started getting my new suspicions confirmed. How much I had wrongly assumed of our interactions. It was freeing. Slowly the bitterness in my heart melted away. He was at fault. I was too. It always takes two. I was finally seeing the error of MY ways. Until we learn from the past we can’t move on from it. 

I tried for several months at that point to get us to reconcile. I just felt so sure that since we had cleared the air, things could work. I think part of me has held on to the idea we’d work out one day. Mainly because the night I met him I had an overpowering intuition that I had met the man I was going to spend my life with. I didn’t want to be wrong. So I’ve fought really hard to not be. That was usually the crux of why I kept going back or letting him back in. I believe in trusting my gut and that feeling that night was so powerful that it had to be true… Right?

The thing is, how many people are dead sure they met the person they are going to spend their life with, even get married, to have it end in a messy, painful, tragic divorce. I am finally accepting that that man I met that night was the one. One possibility of a man I could spend the rest of my life with. I fell for him completely in that week before he went back to California and then on to Iraq. I could see our whole lives together and when we broke up I had to let go of that dream. I had to mourn the death of a life imagined. 

So many times in the years since we broke up I felt like I was a place where I was over him, over us. Anytime we did try to reconcile I was struck by the fact we didn’t really have anything to talk about. He is obsessed with sports, I’m more philosophical or into reading. With him, it was the comfort of his presence. Somehow we just fit. It has always been natural and comfortable to be together, around each other. Yet, I’ve grown, I’ve changed. So has he. I want someone I can talk to, debate life with, etc. I want someone that will push me to be a better person. Don’t misunderstand, he is a good person. He’s served our country proudly, he’s almost done with college. He’s always been employed and takes care of himself and the people around him. 

However, the people we were when we met, that allowed us to fall in love, are long gone. We’ve grown up, we’ve changed. What worked then, doesn’t work now. I am confident, that the night I met him and had that intuition that I would spend my life with him was true. Except we changed. We both changed and the people we are now are not meant to be together in a romantic way. He is a friend and a source of comfort to me. That feels like enough.

I can’t promise that these feelings will stick. I am a firm believer in the never say never because Grams drilled that into me. I can say that I feel ready for my future though. I feel healed. In fact, I had recently been dating  a guy. I was actually into this guy. We went on three dates and had been chatting for a couple of months. While that sadly ended due to vastly different lifestyles, it ended on the merit that him and I wouldn’t work, not because of some lingering feelings for someone from my past. 

Yes, this summer I have learned a lot about myself. I’ve gotten better at communicating, at examining my own faults and challenges. I’ve let go of bitterness and accept where I was and where I am. And where I am now is a damn good feeling.

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