RIP David Bowie. This post is about relationships you guysssssss… and it’s mostly random babbling but it’s about epiphanies.
This past year has been incredible for me in terms of growth—well, that’s me reflecting on my self, it’s all I have. I truly wish that somehow I could have transported what I learned to 21-year-old me. However, since that wasn’t the case, it was last week that I realized how far I’ve come. It also made me realize that I had dated some pretty terrible people (and I didn’t deserve it).
I’ve made it my purpose to master the subtle art of not giving a fuck but I also know that I had to handle maturity and closure today. With that said, closure is this blog entry.
I’ve been dating someone, still haven’t disclosed his name online, and many of you know he exists (c’mon that Irish Guy in my photos all over the social networks wasn’t hired to appear with me for funsies). We’ve decided not to be Facebook friends, we’ve discussed our futures, and have been somehow coexisted with our very different lifestyle, opinions, views etc. Trust me, we love each other.
It’s tough to avoid comparing the relationship you’ve had with your exes with your current partner/lover. If you’re better than me at that, that’s ok however I had a nice long list of everything this guy was doing right that I absolutely LOATHED about my past relationship. The disgruntled me had addressed my ex boyfriend multiple times in past blog entries and unfortunately this current guy went through the same. Thankfully I never told him outright “Well, when you do this… you remind me of my ex.” I’ve never had to because it never happened. I kept wondering if this was real. I fell in love, he showed me what it was like to really date someone the proper way. I didn’t realize how damaged I had been.
My ex and I WERE a terrible match. It was by far my absolute worse relationship. It was extremely abusive. While pointing fingers, I realized years later it’s because he discouraged me from everything I’ve wanted to try. I spent most of the relationship rebelling and not knowing why. I knew something was wrong. He made fun of my body parts, thought he was more intelligent than I was, belittled me and wondered how would it ever be possible that I, someone without a masters degree, ever got to the point to earn more than he did within my first year of working. I always wondered why he found pleasure in knowing he was doing better than everyone and comparing himself. Those values weren’t my own!
Many years later when I met the same types of guys, I remember one prior to this relationship who tried to tell me that he didn’t like some more body types—my hair, I immediately told them they had to go. I didn’t know how toxic he had been until I wondered if I really had been ghosting men because incompatibility or because I had been afraid.
Fast Forward to 2015: Remember the 30 things I wanted to do before I was 30? Well, I wrote that list mostly because of all the things I felt held back from doing. After my brother passed away in 2008, I subconsciously spiraled out of control. Hardly remembering faces, just getting more into work, I focused on running and lost myself in it. I still love it. Running saved my life. I learned how to love myself again and refocused my energy. Then somehow met my current boyfriend and confidant. I can talk to him about everything, he genuinely cares. We spent months just focusing on each other and developing our lives.
Then it happened. Facebook and its mutual friends and its alerts. “You must know this person.” THANK YOU. Facebook displayed that my ex now has a kid and is married/getting married. Of course I went into the rabbit hole of photos.
I was completely surprised by my response—I couldn’t help myself, I’m human after all. It was like the time I had spent with my current boyfriend didn’t exist for a moment when I began thinking: Wow, I just made 30. This would’ve been me but, did I really want that to have been me?
Then I got back to real life: Jerlyn, you’re in no way ready to have these things. This isn’t your time. Are you forgetting everything you’ve experienced in the past year? Then out of nowhere flashes of the things I’ve done in the past years since my ex and I have broken up. I remember his ex girlfriend calling me up after 5 years we had broken up and crying to me. Then I was thankful of him no longer being a part of this drama. Then I remembered running. The same thing that he did daily and I was never good at.
Yet today I do more than he had ever done. I remembered the 9 marathons, 5 ultra marathons, triathlon and short races that I’ve done since 2008 when we moved out. I remembered taking the risks in my career that I had always wanted. I remembered publishing a book with my illustrations. Then I looked at myself. Would I have been fine with procreation with someone like him? With that abuse. Nope, sorry I dodged a bullet.
Of course I’m not saying that his current lady hadn’t dodged one as well. I’m saying that I’m so grateful that we finally found the right people for us and I’m genuinely happy that we did. The most unfortunate thing is that we don’t get that maturity sometimes for some time in our life. I needed life experiences to get me ready. I also needed to have been with someone who I felt completely one with. Back in the time that I was in a relationship with him I wanted to see myself marrying him and never could. I wanted to see myself having children with him and that wasn’t possible. I also remembered introducing him to my folks when I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t right. Then I felt incredibly happy for him. He found someone for himself and I had too!
While in thought, I thought of my current boyfriend and all the weekends I spent laughing, meeting his family and finally telling him that I’d love for him to meet mine. Nothing forced. I remembered my boyfriend holding my hand, I remember the sweet notes that he wrote to me when he packed me lunches in the morning, I remember him treating me exactly how I imagined a boyfriend would treat me. He walks over to open my door every time. I’m not embarrassed being myself around him and him around me. He talks to me about getting married. We discuss what our children might look like. We talk about our beliefs. I reminisce about my childhood and he’s completely fascinated. He cherishes me. I’m finally happy. I know that we can’t predict the future but this feels quite right.
Yes, it’s tough to avoid comparing your exes. If it wasn’t for my ex, I would have avoided certain things I’m who I am because of him.
You might be more mature than me if you don’t compare but this was a perfect time for me to find closure.
P. S. I totally let him know that I was happy for him, and he has a lovely family now. I call all this growth :).