Today was my ex's birthday. I hadn't thought about it all day and then before going out tonight I remembered and sent him a text message to wish him happy birthday.
The story of my ex and I is a long one. Not because of its up and downs, not because it was complicated and drawn out. I call it that, simply because it was a long relationship. We were together for 6 and a half years. It wasn't my first love but it was my first long, serious relationship.
Our parents knew each other, we are of the same religious faith and we thought we'd end up together for the rest of our lives.
I don't think back to that time of my life with regret or with nostalgia. It was an important time of my life. I have a lot to be thankful for. Those years with him formed me, we grew up together. I am the woman I am today also because of him, and I think the same can safely be said for him.
We barely knew each other when we started dating. I was only 21, he was 23. We were in our first years of college. We were young and life was still a game. Though different, we were attracted to one another. We had nothing in common, yet him being so different from me attracted me. In time, of course, our attraction matured and developed into something else. We became very close to one another. I was living away from home and in his family I found a second home.
We continued to see each other and spend all the holidays together. We were working hard to finish school and we were becoming young adults. I was finding myself interested in certain things, while he was interested in others. While he was growing more and more attatched to his religion, I was enjoying my social life.
Inevitably we started drifting. Our love, in time, started to fade and often we butted heads on anything and everything. We had started to fall apart. Towards the last year of our relationship, being together just seemed to be an automatism... it seemed like one of those automatic mechanisms you have or do without even thinking, like brushing your teeth or breathing.
Somewhere within those almost seven years we had lost one another. We had lost the meaning of our relationship or what being together was all about, and whatever we first saw in one another seemed long gone.
I am able to say this now
, reflecting on it, but when I was actually living this, it never hit me. Sometimes I felt like I was someone else looking in. If I stood back and took a glimpse at my life from the outside... deep down inside I knew that things were different, that we didn't love each other anymore. It was, however, a deep hidden feeling, almost sub-conscious. If it had been so obvious I would have taken steps to maybe end the relationship, or at least confront D. with these issues. But for some reason I never spoke about it. I never mentioned it... never willingly admitted it, not even to myself.
I have no regrets or remorse on how our relationship ended. We didn't have a big fight, or say mean things to one another. We simply just one day confronted each other and said that things couldn't go on with the way they were. In all honesty, it was D. who came to me. He told that our difference in opinions on how to live our lives, from a religious point of view, couldn't possibly be promising for a future together. I was faced with a choice... change and adapt to his way of life or.....Or????
At first this hit me hard. I was devastated. How could I
give up my beliefs for someone? How could I
live my lfe pretending to be something I wasn't? Mostly, why was I
faced with the choice?
We took a breather. We decided to think things through. I cried. I talked it out with my parents, with my best friend and suddenly it hit me. This is who I am now. I can never be what I'm not. I can't change and give up what I believe in, or adopt beliefs which aren't mine. But mostly, I want to think about me
, about my
life. Me me me
.... no where in my thoughts was there ever the notion of losing him
. It was clear. "It" was gone. The love that we'd shared for so long, somewhere somehow, had ended.
In those 20 some days apart, I had made my choice. By the end of the first week I knew that our relationship had been over for almost a year now. The hard part was finding a way to tell him.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I had no idea if he felt the same, if he'd be glad to see this end too or if he'd be hurt. I didn't know how he felt about me. We had grown so apart I no longer knew who I was getting ready to confront.
It was a very hard, trying time. Never have I felt so alone. Not alone in it's usual sense, but alone in the sense that, I realised that in the last few months I had been with someone, a partner, but I felt like I was sitting next to a stranger. I didn't recognise him anymore. Wehen I told him how I felt, and that I was ready to end it all and walk on without him, he told me that he too felt the same and had felt this way for some time now. How could we just not have noticed? We had been looking the other way for months. What were we so busy doing to not notice that somewhere we had lost one another?
I don't know why I am sitting here telling you all this. It's not like I look back with sadness. I have never been happier. It was the best decision I have ever made. Sometimes things just come to an end and then you move on. For some reason though, tonight, as I remembered his birthday, for one instant it was as if I was looking back in time and seeing what my life used to be.
I don't miss him, nor what my life was like back then. I am glad to have lived those moments, shared my past with someone. If I had to go back, I'd do it all again. I can however say that sometimes remembering a time so far away makes you nostalgic. Not neccessarily nostagic for the times itself, but I guess thinking that so much has changed in so many years just can't help to make you think about it. It makes you realsie that life has gone forward. Whether we want to or not, times passes.
I see myself now, such a different person, yet still the same. My life now is completely different. I am engaged and hoping to get married by the summer. I am with a man that in some respects is completely opposite to D. I have moved forward, grown up so much. I don't miss anything from my past. For so many reasons I am thankful for what I experienced back then. I now know what I want in life and what I seek in a partner also because of what life and what being with D. taught me.
They say you learn from your mistakes. I don't concider D. a mistake. It was great while it lasted. He was my first love and as such will always stay in my heart. However, I now know that I can look forward and only wish that what I have with Michael today will always stay special and never ever be taken for granted. I want to marry him and share our life together, our dreams and always have him by my side, no matter where our lifes takes us. No matter where the road leads us, I pray we'll always be together, happy, respectful of one another and thankful that we found each other.
As for D... to him tonight I dedicate my post. I was sad to see our friendship end. We rarely see each other these days. It hurt me to realise that we'd never be able to friends. We shared so much, seeing him just vanish from my life was a shame. Not my choice, but for some reason his life has changed completely since we broke up. He's changed crowds. He no longer comes out with us anymore. His path has led him further away. I can't blame him for it. We each have to follow our own paths. I did however manage to see him in october. We had a long talk, shared our lives for a few minutes. We talked about what we were up to, what we did over the summer. I finally was able to see him for who he has become today
. He is independant, happy; a grown man. He has several times said, but mostly implied, that he also owes this partly to me. It feels good to know that even though you're no longer together, somehow you've made an impact or left a mark. How horrific otherwise, if after six and a half years, all that's left is nothing.
If the woman I am today is partially due to D. and to being with him I know that life's experience are worthwhile, even when they end.
We broke up over two and a half years ago... finally we have come to understand that we will always be a part of each other's identities. It's only inevitable that a person who has meant so much to you for so long will always hold a place in your heart. Don't get me wrong, I care for him as a friend, almost as a brother. This may seem strange, but I say this with the best intentions.
We have accepted this and moved on. He is in my past. Though I don't think of him anymore, if not perhaps once or twice a year, he will never be forgotten. I think back with a smile. I'm glad to be able to say that. Not everyone is so fortunate to look back on their past with a smile.
Now, I wait for the future to unfold before me. I'll marry Michael. He is my future.
I'm waiting patiently. It's hard. Patience sees to be wearing thin these days. Nonetheless, I'm waiting. I welcome it.
When the time is right, when it's in the cards, I'll be here.... with arms wide open.