A song comes on the radio and I am transported. In milliseconds, he sits here with me. His presence tangible. The heat of our interactions warms my skin anew.
It’s been years now. And yet my mind returns to him sometimes. With a strength and a passion that craves what we had. That demands his return.
Why do we return to our past loves?
Why do we drag them out of storage and rifle through the mental photo box?
And today, why do we spend an afternoon falling in love over old emails and sentiment long since abandoned?
Today is that day for me.
I was supposed to write about my birthday.
Ed Sheeran messed that up. Well, Ed and a trip to my office – to a fateful folder that holds our relationship – or what remains of it. It is the only tangible proof that he was real. That we were real.
He loved me then. I know he did.
And yet I move forward with a whisper of doubt, sometimes looking back longingly. Missing what was. Missing the fantasy that I had created about our life – the future that was never going to be.
I was well put-together before that stupid song came on. Before it coalesced with those few scraps I’d read this morning to cascade down my face in an outpouring of sadness.
So I return to the why. Why can’t I cast it aside? He has made a choice. His life moved in another direction – and he is welcome to that choice; I pray he finds happiness there. I genuinely hope that he is happy.
If my head is done, if my head can accept reality… If my head knows the truth, why can’t I get this chest-thumping, blood-pumping, organ on board?
When a relationship crumbles, why do we revisit it?
Do we go back to seek closure? Is that it? I just need him to tell me resoundingly to fuck off for good? I need to see that he isn’t better off without me so that I might feel redeemed?
Or maybe it’s a genuine missing of the goods parts of us. There is such nostalgia in the good parts – the way he stumbles over his words when he is tired and still I understand him – it’s cute. He’s cute and the two of us laughed so hard during those times. And does his disappearance from my life mean that those experiences must always bear the painful prick of missing? Must the smile always come with the sting at the back of my eyes?
Or maybe it’s the fear of not ever having that again. Will you ever trust like that again? Ever love so fully? Ever anticipate reconnection so excitedly? Ever again?
Or perhaps it’s the knowing that you can’t ever have it again – not as it was with that one person at that time in your lives – not as it was when you were the younger version of yourself and they were still the man you miss today. Surely, even if we met again, we both will have grown and changed. Maybe we are more calloused and less available – maybe he’s gained a little weight and gotten little greyer. He’s wiser, maybe – and less impetuous. And you weren’t a part of any of those changes.
Today is a sad day of missing and of nostalgia and instead of making it OK … instead of turning it into self-love … instead of making everything about happiness and hopefulness… today I wish to sit and experience these emotions. Specifically these melancholy aching ones. I’ll let the tears be my company today. Maybe next week I can talk about how cool this experience was and how it opened some door to self-esteem that I’d not seen before.
But today, the self-esteem message is simply accepting me exactly as I am right now. Handling myself with compassion. Seeing this tearful sad woman and accepting that she needs this day, these tears, this sadness and this pain.
I won’t Shhhh it away this time.
I’ll hold her while she cries.
Source for Photo is Pon and Zi’s Website
It’ less than a week away…and I am experiencing my third in-a-row single.
It doesn’t make me sad (though an abusive ex-husband is probably the most direct reason for that), but it does make me think about those people who are sad or lonely at this time.
It reminds me of a really profound quote by Buddha that begins: Read More…
Arms Wide Open – the Idea
I’ve been toying with this idea of living “Arms Wide Open” for a while. Ever since reading “Gifts of Imperfection,” by Brene Brown in the back half of 2012, I’ve really tried to imagine myself living as someone unafraid of the opinions and perceptions of others.
Today, and for most of my adult life, I have been internally timid (something that hundreds of my military subordinates and co-workers would find laughable). But the truth is, I think of myself as a crouching child hugging my knees and trying to be the smallest possible target for anyone who might be a threat to … well … me. By crouching I protect my vital organs, my personal weaknesses, my points of greatest shame and those things that I think others won’t find attractive or worth respecting.
I find myself consistently emotionally bracing for an onslaught, afraid of being rejected, rebuked, laughed at, exposed, proven to be less than what I am supposed to be, and so on. So instead, I armor up and Read More…
The below post is a guest blog from Jacob Kelley, a brilliant young man who should definitely have a blog of his own. His writing far exceeds the little snippet he has provided here. Look for other creative writing posts from him here on this blog when I am able to wrest them from his shy hands.
In your blog, you spoke of self love and hugging your inner child.
I recently spoke to my mother about this very topic, trying to understand how the effects of the world around us trigger our most subdued pains of the past. She told me that in order to be able to accept the world for what it is, I must first Read More…
I’ve been sad lately.
Despite what I said in “Keys,” there has been a quiet undercurrent of sadness gradually weighing me down and dragging me under. It all came to a head on Friday morning as I drove home from dropping my son off at school.
I put myself together hastily so I could make the short trip to the middle school around the corner: I straightened the dress I’d slept in (yes, the one from work on Thursday), smeared Read More…
I lost something …
I’ve lost touch with someone recently. I’m not sure how and when it happened, but a lot of time has passed since we last talked.
I’ve spent the past few days lamenting the loss, grieving.
I wonder if it was a conscious decision on his part; it certainly wasn’t one on mine.
I miss him and Read More…
I miss the feeling that comes with having someone beside me while I’m sleeping.
It’s the tenderness that I miss most about that very vulnerable time. The affection, attention…the caress of a hand as it tries to find a cool spot on the bed, the rub of a foot seeking the company of another, the stability of Read More…
In a comment on “what’s in a name,” I was asked what my opinion was “on a person that needs more than they ever get from one person? Is it possible to have a deep lovin relationship with two people at the same time?”
What an inspiring and intriguing question! Definitely worth its own blog 🙂
Need more love …?
Stating that you “need more than you can ever get from one person,” touches on something larger – it implies that one person is supposed to be enough. And certainly marriage and the societal concept of monogamy say that in some socially agreed upon legally binding ways, we must accept one person as “enough.” Read More…