Day Thirteen: Serially Found
On day four, you wrote a post about losing something. Today’s Prompt: write about finding something.
Tell us about the time you retrieved your favorite t-shirt from your ex. Or when you accidentally stumbled upon your fifth-grade journal in your parents’ attic. Or how about the moment you found out the truth about a person whose history or real nature you thought you’d figured out. Interpret this theme of “finding something” however you see fit.
Today’s twist: if you wrote day four’s post as the first in a series, use this one as the second installment — loosely defined.
Depending on which side of the fence you stand, breaking up a relationship can be a curse or a blessing. A loss or a gain.
Marrying a college sweetheart seems romantic and ideal. The wedding gifts’ list doesn’t include a mirror, though, to reflect the ‘reality show’ that constitutes a shared life. But the mirror is there, nevertheless, scanning each other’s actions, and offering instant images of a reality you didn’t see before.
You get to know people better, and more intimately, the moment you put two toothbrushes in the same bedroom. Love strength is measured in funny ways. You don’t pay attention or don’t bother about ‘what-does-not-look-like-what-you-would-normally-do’, if you really love someone. You significant one will not become insignificant, because of the strange way he brushes his teeth. And if he does…well, what was that for love?
I said before in this post, that I went through life changing events. My divorce was one of them.
At my last year of the university, and during a weekend trip, I met a guy I fell in love with. There was reciprocity and we started a relationship. At least for one full year we lived in the same city. That changed when I moved to follow post graduation studies. He was running behind with his engineering course, whilst I was going at full speed ahead with my studies.
Eventually he moved to another university as well, but we were still 1000km apart. This was before the Internet, so our communication was mostly by phone and post letters. We would also get together during holidays.
He graduated, started working, and we continued our long-distance relationship. I gradually (and half-consciously) noticed though, that we were developing as young adults and professionals, in totally different directions. I put this acknowledgement under the carpet for a while, until I met someone who interested me more than I had expected. I broke up the relationship with mixed feelings, as I loved him, in a lukewarm way though; but I am a risk taker.
This was what I call, a ‘bridge-relationship’, those you need to get courage to leave a situation you knew you couldn’t keep any longer but had no guts to do so. Somehow, we become infatuated with the idea of ‘hosting butterflies on your stomach’ again, whilst not really being in love with the new person. You are in love with the possibility of change, and that confuses you.
You gathered by now that he was a bridge, right? And one that didn’t stand tall for long. Eventually, I surrendered to my doubts and gave a try again to my former lukewarm love. By then I thought that love is not passion, and the latter is hot and vibrant, although ephemeral.
He moved to the city where I lived back then, and that has brought us closer again. We had many affinities and were the best friends too. We decided to live together. I admit that when taking this decision, I would have liked to feel the butterflies flying in my stomach. My rationality ignored this warning sign!
In the second year of our marriage, my career was running as fast as a supersonic plane, and brought a lot of stress with it. His career was more at a turtle’s pace. I was flying out of the country on a weekly basis, and we didn’t see each other very often. And when we did, I was invariably exhausted and packing again to leave soon.
Remember the toothbrush? Well, It wasn’t the toothbrush but anything he would say or do that would irritate me. Even the (unheard) noise of food going down his throat. I was battling with myself, consumed by doubts, and trying to rescue the love which was no more. Unsuccessfully. Sadly. Perhaps without conviction.
He was and is, one of the best human beings I have ever met. He didn’t deserve to be unhappy. He had plans of having kids, and of a long lasting happy life, together. I no longer wanted to be part of this plan and I couldn’t hide that from him anymore. I broke up. Lost my best friend. And married my career.
I remember that day vividly. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I was bidding farewell to a part of my life which had been wonderful nevertheless, and shared with someone I still loved, even though not as my life companion and soul-mate.
Was I arrogant and selfish to not invest in our relationship anymore? He thought so, although much later after our separation. I accept that, and also his anger and resentment, which fortunately later has been replaced by a good relationship.
The challenge is to believe that you could fix what was already broken. There is no quick fix for true love. You cannot order your heart to love someone.
We both lost. Different types of losses though. And we both gained, as we grew up from that experience. Losses always have a way out, a new horizon. And it is up to us to allow ourselves to jump in uncertainty and look for a new path.
Renewal is the needed order. It takes some time to accept it, but that is the intrinsic and inescapable truth of any loss.
Didn’t I say before that you may even reinvent yourself? Losses feel painful but they are no match for the exhilaration of finding yourself again. And how about finding your soul-mate?
To be continued.