Him: "I hear you are going to Vietnam".
Him: "You are taking our trip".
Him: "I am so jealous. I still want to go, but I only want to go with you".
That was the phone call that I took on my birthday back in early October, pre-trip. That's how it began. There were more questions: If I may ask, who are you traveling with? Are you taking a tour? How long will you be gone? When do you leave? When will you get back?
Him: I want to see you when you get back, to hear all of your stories and I know you will have a lot of them.
Thus, my anxiety began. He called or texted regularly, wanting us to get together so that he could see the pictures and hear about the trip. I sent him the link to the fully annotated slide show. He called back and said that wasn't enough. He wanted narration by me. So I agreed to see him after Christmas, while we were both off of work. I hadn't seen him since that day in March 2011 when he said he didn't want to be in a romantic relationship with me.
This has been the undercurrent to my life for the past three months. As the meetup approached, I realized that there was still more processing for me to do. I had been avoiding contact and when he would reach out, it would throw me off. So instead of avoiding, I leaned in. Really leaned in, for the first time since the split. I did something I hadn't done. I went digging up bones. I went through every picture we had taken and I read the years of email exchanges. Yes, I'd archived them. And I was glad that I did. Several things became clear(er) - I wanted an emotionally intimate relationship with a man who wouldn't/couldn't/reason-doesn't-matter have one, at least with me. There's no evidence that he's ever had one. And I spent years twisting myself inside out trying to get something from someone with nothing to give me. Where I went wrong was taking it personally, as there was something lacking in me - that if I was thin enough, pretty enough, had bigger boobs, sweet enough, special enough, talented enough, the list is endless. The truth is, I'm all those things - well, except for the boobs part ;-).
And for my part, I couldn't accept him just as he was. I wanted him to be different - someone other than what he told me/showed me he was everydamnedday. This is not about finding blame with him, this is about finding out why I was so attached to him and his approval (yes, there's a book for that and yes, I've read it).
So I made my decision to see him and I'm glad I did. I got to be reminded about how life really was with him. He brought SadieLu over with him (at my request) and he took me out to lunch. We came back to my house and went through the slides. He left soon after. I shed not one tear. That was Thursday.
Yesterday, I got to spend one of the nicest days I've had. I went to a great meeting. I had lunch with six wonderful women. I then went on a cold, but fun, bike ride with three of my die-hard biking friends. I then hosted a potluck here in my beautiful little cottage for those riders and a few others who weren't up to braving the cold for a pedal around the lake. At the end of the day, I realized that this is where I am supposed to be. This life that I've built over the last three years is the life that I am supposed to be living. And David was the vehicle to get me here.
I regret nothing, absolutely nothing, from my past with him. He will always hold a special place with me - and me with him, I suppose. So the question is "What's in it for me?" should I wish to try to forge a friendship with him in the future. I don't know the complete answer to that - but not much, I suppose.
Happy New Year!
Peace - inner, world, and sugar snap,