Friday, January 02, 2009

Found

Posted by Anonymous.

I know I shouldn’t have. But when his sister and I connected on Facebook, I couldn’t help it. I had to look. Sure enough, he was there, his twinkling eyes and impish demeanor smiling back from 96 photos.

My first thoughts? He’s packed on about 50 pounds since the last time I saw him – and I’ll admit that I took delight in this observation. His fiancée, the girl he chose over me nearly four years ago, is plain, frumpy, and chubby. Smirk.

And feel? How did I feel? I felt nothing -- no sorrow, no longing. A little surprised, and glad even, that he’d accepted my bid for online friendship. Our breakup was disastrous, and I willingly accept the blame for that because I very nearly lost my damn mind. You never really know what you’re capable of and when he left me I discovered a brand of crazy I didn’t know existed. I don’t have many regrets, but my reaction to that breakup is one of the few things I wish I could change about my life.

And if I’m to be completely honest, I wish I hadn’t found him again. Not for the typical reasons – I don’t want him. I’m engaged to a man who makes me deliriously happy and provides for me in exactly the way I need it. He supports and motivates me, and is the reason I am (physically and emotionally) in the good, sweet place I am today. He is my heart, and I am eternally grateful that I was able to endure such heartache because doing so brought me to him.

No, I wish I hadn’t found the ex because it has created sadness in a different way. I’ve spent a lot of time on Facebook lately, looking at photos and profiles of people I used to know. It’s caused a lot of memories to burble up. Places I used to go, things I used to do, people who once were close friends. It’s made me homesick, and I haven’t been able to shake that feeling for five days now.

It’s made me feel old – that my youth is withering away. Four years ago I was a 23-year-old-woman with the world at my feet. And what a world it was! In the aftermath of that breakup, I got to know two people who are now my best friends. I won awards for my professional work. I went back to school. I learned how to accept and forgive. I realized that I deserved more than what I was being given from certain people and jobs, and I discovered how to stand up for myself.

I’m more settled now. My friends have children. I have a mortgage and a wedding to plan, not to mention three future stepsons. I dream about children of my own.

In many ways my life is just beginning. But a part of it is gone that I’ll never get back.

7 comments:

lorrie said...

that was beautiful, although im sure you didnt mean it to be. i know what you mean about facebook. its a love/hate relationship to have.
im 31 and i also went through a little grief period towards the end of my 20s. i didnt feel old and i was happier and less confused but still. that youth youth youth, it is a bittersweet memory.
and for the ladies who are older than me , yes i know im still young. but there is no youth like your early 20s. finally old enough to do some real things, but still young enough to make really rediculous decisions.
you will probably always mourn that youth a little, but it becomes less importand.
it sounds like your doing really great, keep going.

Anonymous said...

I just started facebook and now I have all these college friends looking back at me. Don't get me wrong, I had a GREAT time in college. But that was then and now 10 years later I am married, have 2 kids and a third on the way. Life has changed for the best.

All these old memories keep flooding in of stupid party girl things I did. My husband was my friend during this time and I don't want him to remember the recklessness that is now his wife and mother of his kids.

I am glad I was wild; it makes me a better mom. I am sure some of the old friends are going through the same feelings.

It's kind of creepy how you can find people and peep into their lives. It's kind of fun too.

Anonymous said...

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." This is a quote by Viktor Frankl. I try to remember this when I am in that space between stimulus and my response is imminent. I try to lengthen the duration of that response and choose a response I can be proud of. How else can I say this, hmmm, maybe you get to decide what is important to you, and, you get to decide your response. You do not have to be overrun by external stimuli, observe them, acknowledge your emotion, and CHOOSE your response. It will set you free.

Georgia said...

I know exactly how you feel, having just caved to peer-pressure and joined Facebook a couple weeks ago. Everyone is so old! or married! or exactly the same as they were five years ago! As for me, I'm not married, and my life is completely different than it was five years ago...so does that make me old??? Also the whole "college alumni" thing gives me feelings of low self-worth, but that's something I've always been self conscience of. I guess it's normal to have those feelings of "what if?" and "I wish I could go back" even if you love your current life (which I do).

KTP said...

That is why Facebook scares me. I get friend requests from exes and I think, there is a reason I do not keep in touch with you. If we parted ways friendly, I accept. If not, I ignore.

Anonymous said...

that was so great. i think its normal to have strong feelings about someone from before... and some part of me wants to know whats going on.....i can smile if i see my ex's kid. and know that he missed out on me. but its all turned out ok. and that small part of me hopes he realizes how nice it could have been.

Erin W. said...

Rarely do I get depressed. I have a WONDERFUL life that I have worked VERY HARD to receive. I am grateful for everything I have, because NOTHING was given to me, and none of it was easy. I earned everything in my life - the good, the bad, and the exceptional.
But. There are some days that I can't help myself. I get online, and within a few clicks I am looking at pieces of what used to be, could have been, almost was my life. And I can't help but feel that pang of.... I don't even know. It's kind of a sad curiosity. It's like looking at a memory you know you'll never make for yourself. Bittersweet - more bitter than sweet, really.
It sometimes feels like the life I should have had is passing me by. I'm SUPERBLY happy in the life I've got now, but in times like this it feels like it's not my own and I'm missing out on what would be.