so today marks the official 2 year anniversary of the break up. and i think from this point forward I’m going to try to quit referencing it as a milestone. i tend to look at my life in segments. my marriage. my life post steve/pre chris. my relationship with chris. my life post chris. its all simply my life and its so much more than that. peppered in that life, all across the board, are moments with friends, my kids, myself, and other men who have floated in and out of my world. BUT.
today, and last night i was thinking about the term “lost loves”. it floats across our collective vernacular, this concept of losing love. or holding ON to love. or fighting for love. choices made. there are a billion books, advice columns, industries built on advising you how to make relationships work, or how to let them go. how to hold on. or how to survive, losing.
i’ve done both. more than once. i believe in relationships. i believe in the magic of loving another person with all of your heart. i believe in fighting for love. i believe in working really really hard at relationships. i know i have. i know i have given my whole self, loved as hard as i could, invested readily, done everything that was suggested. you know those lists, of how to have a happy relationship? i’ve done those. and i’ve had really happy relationships, and sometimes they ended. and the ending is brutal.
but, i havent lost.
i had 5 years with a man i loved very much. and loved well. and sometimes we were so fucking happy. and a lot of times we had to work really hard at life. and in the end, he did what i didnt have the guts to do. he sat me down and said “i love you with all my heart. but i’m leaving. i will always love you. but i’m not going to be with you anymore”. and we cried and cried and cried.
i remember a conversation Chris and I had, just a few short weeks after the split. i was struggling, really really struggling with the loss of our family we had created. i was sorting through all our pictures. thousands of pictures. always in doubles. and i was putting together a box of pictures of our life for him to have and it made me so sad, to see all these happy moments captured and to have it all be OVER. and i gave him the photos and i asked him “how can you do this? how can you do this to us. how can you just move on as tho we never had a life?” and he said to me “i have this box of moments. and i have 5 years of moments in my heart. forever. it was a great 5 years. it existed. it will always exist. ”
and at the time it just pissed me off. but i get it now.
i’ve gone back and read my blog posts from two years ago. and that aching, crying, sad as hell individual is sitting here now with two years of life experiences i wouldn’t have had if we had stayed together. i have two years of living, loving, learning. i’m happier. i’m more relaxed. i’m way less stressed. i’ve had more focus on my children. more time to do the things that are really important to me. i’ve loved. i’ve danced and played. i’ve formed new relationships. some were brief, some were longer. i’ve made new friends. i’ve invested in people. and most importantly, i’ve invested in myself.
when i look at all of the relationships i’ve been in. the various men i’ve known and loved, i’m so thankful. several of those men are still part of my life. some are big parts, some are small parts. some i talk to almost daily. some i never talk to. but i don’t have anger at any of them. I’m not angry that our interactions didn’t result in traditionally defined parameters. because they all gave me some kind of gift, awareness, knowledge about myself, and even more than that. they loved me in some way that was important. they have taught me about myself, and more than that, they have taught me what i want out of a partner. i’ve learned to recognize patterns of behavior not only in myself, but in others. i’ve learned what to value and what to run from.
i havent lost anything. i’ve gained so much.
i don’t know what the rest of my life holds. some days i can see being married again. some days i can see myself staying single for a good long while. but i am most happy about the fact that i’m not afraid to love. to fall in love. and i’m not afraid to let go when its time either.
and letting go of an expectation of what my life is “supposed” to look like. my life IS what it’s supposed to look like. and while there are days i struggle. days i’m sad. days i’m frustrated. days i’m envious. most days. i’m really ok. and thats really not a bad place to be.