As Time Goes By

Happy long weekend to my Canadian readers! As I write this, I am enjoying the sunshine on my condo balcony after having spent almost the entire weekend doing spring cleaning. Or should I call it, ‘spring purging’. Every year or two, I find myself going cleaning out my closet(s), ridding myself of old clothes and things that I was sure I was going to need again at some point (and inevitably, never do). As much as I sometimes dread this tedious and monotonous task, I get pretty into it once I get going, The only problem is that I end up getting distracted as I start to go through all of my keepsakes and mementos from way back – the ones I keep year over year. I stop and start, looking at pictures I forgot I had, reading old notes between me and my high school friends, birthday cards with special messages  – from old friends with whom I never thought I would lose touch. It’s amazing how going through things like that can make you realize how much you’ve changed, even over such a short time. And you remember exactly where you were in some of those moments, wondering where you’d find yourself 5 years, even 10 years down the road.

I can say that I didn’t think at that time I’d still be single at 27. Not even that I’d be married at this point, but that I’d at least have a few more relationships under my belt. Then again, I wasn’t sure I pictured other things for myself either – like owning my own place, or being in a job I love with a company that I like being a part of, that I’d have developed such an amazing and close-knit group of friends or that I’d have traveled around Europe. So yes – one piece is missing. But I think I underestimated (and continue to do so, although I’m getting better) at how much more important all of these other things are. I’m consciously working on trying to remind myself of that, and I think that taking a break from dating (or even thinking about dating – WAY harder than it sounds) in the process, is helping….

One of the things I came across when I was cleaning/purging, was an old bag full of mementos from my relationship with X. Movie stubs from our first date, the piece of paper he first wrote his phone number down on, and all of these birthday and Valentine’s Day cards that he had written me over the course of our relationship. For the first time in a really long time, I actually looked back on our relationship with happiness, and kind of missed it. Given the somewhat complicated mess of our relationship that has materialized over the last few years since we’ve broken up, I’d forgotten about how we’d even got here – and all the great stuff that came before.  Our relationship was far from perfect, of course – but we loved each other and I have some really happy memories from that period in my life. And reading those old cards reminded me of that other side of X that a lot of people didn’t see and brought back some really great memories. They also reminded me that at one point, someone did fall in love with me. And if it happened once, I have to believe that it will happen again.

It made me a little sad too – knowing how happy I was then, and that it’s been so long since I’ve felt that;  knowing that my relationship with X will never exist like that again. But, it doesn’t change the fact that X and I are not right for each other, and that I feel like I’ve grown leaps and bounds since our relationship ended, and am a completely different person who is much more clear on what she wants in a relationship. However, I think it’s also reminded me to stop associating X with all of the bad/complicated things that have happened between us over the last few years. I’d much rather associate him with the good things he brought to my life – life’s too short to hang onto that kind of anger, and to keep resenting him for just being who he is. It’s definitely not X that I want, but he’ll always have a place in my heart as someone who has shown me that I can love and be loved – and when I never thought someone would come along before, X did. I have to believe someone else will again.


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