My ex-husband has been on my mind a lot lately. Something will happen and I’ll think, “I should text J to tell him about that!” Then I remember that he is dating another woman and has been for the past three and a half years.
I decided to stick it out with Z. There was a major shift in our relationship in early October, and I decided it was in my heart’s best interest to be a little softer. So here we are: I am with Z in the physical but spend a lot of time with J in my mind.
The biggest obstacle is my collection of memories. The negative are softened and the positive are exaggerated with the passage of time. January 7th was the fourth anniversary of our legal split. J is a very different person but I only know this through social media. I’m not sure if his intention was to remain friends or simply to keep tabs on me, but he started following me on Instagram and Twitter (which I don’t use much), and became my Facebook friend (again). He began a vegan lifestyle shortly after we went our separate ways. He grew his hair long – something I had begged him to do for several years. He started taking online classes to get a useful degree (I guess that film degree isn’t as lucrative in the mid-west as he expected). He is a loving and attentive fiance (actually, they might be married by now) and his lady posts pictures of the flowers he gives her. I think of the time toward the end of our marriage when he bought me flowers for actually running a 4 mile charity run, a goal I had for myself after my weight loss. It was a rare occasion for me to receive flowers – I can only remember a handful over our seven and a half years together. He sort of remembered my birthday our 6th year of marriage after forgetting every previous year. I still wonder if I truly loved him or if I wanted to love him like he seemed to love me.
I wrecked my car last month on black ice. It was my first accident after driving for almost 20 years. I bought that car the week before J and I started dating. We would have celebrated 10 years of marriage in 2016. That car was the last connection I had to J, and most likely caused my recent eruption of emotions and longing for the past. I can’t go back in time.
Sometimes the memories are better than the reality. This is my latest affirmation.
This Memorial Day weekend has been strange.
Plans were made and plans were broken. New plans came up and some were followed through, some not. A long-distance date was planned, but there are days when one needs alone time and I must honor that. Though I felt like a dog waiting for his master to return only for him retreat to his room and close the door, leaving me on the other side, I understood.
I work with a friend who isn’t shy about his feelings for me. He had a disastrous relationship with a woman for three years. Shortly after we met, they broke up. After I rebuffed him on multiple occasions, I convinced him to try Match. Dating is hard, and I feel badly that he is no exception. I have no romantic feelings for M; I love him as a friend, but nothing more. When he called last night to go get a beer, I knew he had been rejected again. Feeling slightly rejected myself and not wanting to be alone with my thoughts, I agreed to head out on the town with him and another friend. M and I were alone for about an hour and a half; just long enough for him to slur his words and get handsy with me. When our friend arrived, he announced that his girlfriend of several years had been cheating on him. So here I was with two fellows wounded by their ladies and wanting to wallow in drunken misery, one ignoring my protests against his advances. I was thankful when my fellow reached out to me and, in a way, accepted my offer to chat. After making sure my friends had settled somewhere that wouldn’t kick them out for being too intoxicated, I headed home to spend time with the object of my affection.
I’ve not known a feeling more difficult to handle than the need to throw my arms around someone when they’re so far away. For now I have to settle for a kind of shitty web-cam and a microphone that works most of the time.
I threw away part of my past today. In preparation for the move I plan to make in the latter part of winter (why I always move in winter, I am not sure), I am trying to minimize the amount of unnecessary objects in my possession. I dug through photographs and vases and candles and clothing… So many things brought up memories of when things worked, but others brought up memories of when things were broken. I reminded myself that to cleanse is to let go. So I let go. I tossed objects into a bag that I threw into the garbage to be picked up tomorrow and never seen again. I shed no tears. I feel a bit of relief.
The best advice I’ve ever been given and my favorite to offer: Do what makes you happy. I want to get out of my normal. I want to live closer to water. I want to be closer to Carrie. I want to be closer to Aury (if he’ll still have me and I him after the coming months). I want to be somewhere I feel I belong.
I’m almost there.