I was talking with a friend today, about my early blog postings. Stuff that’s floating around on a blog somewhere that I’ve lost track of. My posts from a few years ago I cringe at. I was so sure after Chris and I split that I had everything figured out. I learned what I need to learn. Blah blah blah. I was so enlightened. Had my shit so together. If I’ve learned anything. It’s that you never quit learning so don’t get too high and mighty about lifes lessons.
Tomorrow marks the last day of my last long term viable relationship. Not that I haven’t fallen in love. Learned wonderful things from wonderful people since… but that was the last time I thought my life path was directed toward a certain trajectory with some length to it. We were together for a bit over 5 years. I did learn so much from Chris. I learned a lot of my faults. I learned about my weak points. I learned about my strengths. I learned I was capable of a lot more than anyone ever asked of me. I learned to love from a distance. I learned about trust . . and what breaks it. I learned how handy I could be. I learned how to fix things and build things and run a chain saw. I learned how to be softer. I learned how to say what I mean, and mean what I say and how to expect that from someone else. Sorta. I learned what it meant to love someone elses children. I learned to let him love mine. I never learned how to let him parent mine . . and I don’t apologize for that. I learned that I’m awfully independent and that how that can shut people out. I learned how to let my boys be boys. He tried to show me a better way to mom my daughter, but it took me awhile to get it. And I learned that I needed to be alone.
The best thing Chris ever did for me was let me go. Sometimes people need to hurt you in that way. I think often about all of the life experiences I’ve had in the last 5 years that I wouldn’t have had if we were still living the life we did. I would not have the friends I have. I would probably not have the job I do. I would have had someone to lean on through some really hard times, but I learned how to get through those times crawling into bed alone night after night after night. I wouldn’t have learned how to lay claim to my personal time. To make time for me, and for my kids. I wouldn’t have taken so many trips, explored so many places. I wouldn’t be the person I am today. And I really like that person.
11 months after we split I recall we had a four hour conversation before the holidays and he said “I made a huge mistake”. And I recall that moment so clearly. I was standing in the kitchen, in front of the microwave with tears streaming down my face and I said “Babe. No you didn’t. i know the kids hurt. I know we still hurt. But we are both so much happier.” He knew that to be true.
Two years ago, on the eve of Caseys death anniversary (and come to pass, the eve of my mothers death), he told me he didn’t want to hear from me anymore. Our cordial friendship that we had maintained was no longer conducive to the life he was trying to lead. It hurt. I was pretty angry. Not only for the fact that he had effectively abandoned my children but that he took that five years and tossed it out as inconsequential to his current life. But there is nothing else you can do when someone needs that break. I sent an email that was probably part kind and probably less so. And let it go. There is no point in holding on to someone who feels they need to be released of your acquaintance. I’m thankful for the friends I still hold dear, who I loved once. But I also am ok with the ones who have disappeared into the ether. Make space.
We made some fantastic memories. With our kids. On our no kid weekends. Our road trips and adventures. Pushing each other to be the best people we could be, for as long as it lasted. I will forever and always hope that he is happy and healthy and smiling. I’m thankful for him loving me. For thinking I was a fucking rock star and teaching me to smile and nursing me back to emotional health when I was a far more broken human being.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn more lessons. Live more life. Love new people.
I’ll trade that any day for a 25th anniversary plate.