I don’t know about everyone else but I had trouble sleeping last night because it as so hot and humid. And this morning was the worst because I was so sleepy. On my way to work, while stopped in my car at a red light, I saw my ex cross the street not even five feet in front of me. It took about a half a second to register that the guy in front of my nose was someone I was intimately acquainted with so long ago. It was a like a shot right through with a bolt of blue just like the song, Bizarre Love Triangle. For the rest of my commute, I never felt so awake coming to work.
It was an odd experience because last night, I was playing a song and randomly a memory of him popped into my head. And I couldn’t quite picture in my head what he looked like even though I used to know that face so well.
How long it had been since I last saw him, my coworker asked me once I finally arrived at work. About 8 years since we dated? And about 4 years since I last saw him, randomly getting off a Skytrain station. For a small place like Vancouver, it sure was easy never to see him again. We didn’t end on good terms; he was the one who broke my heart and I held onto a lot of bitterness for a long, long time. (The good news was that experience helped me become a better writer and blogger.)
But thinking about everything now with the benefit of 8 years perspective, I can understand what happened and why with so much more clarity and objectivity.
I can see that I mixed up superficial common interests and strange coincidences as signs that we were “meant to be”. Because we both liked 80s pop music like Wham, somehow this was a sign. Because we both liked to speak French at random moments, somehow this was a sign. Because we both happened to be playing Marvin Gaye in our separate cars to meet up, somehow this was a sign. But now I can see that a relationship can’t be built on so-called signs. Instead, a relationship needs to be made up of shared goals, interests and beliefs.
I can see that we were both pretty young and still had a lot of growing to do to ever have worked out. He was (is?) still too judgemental of me and what I had done in my past. I was still too naive to understand that I didn’t need validation from others to be a good person. As much as he judged me for my past, I judged myself much harsher and hated myself for it. I looked for validation from everyone that liked me. I suppose I was testing my friends, my boyfriends, to see if they still liked me once they knew “who was really was”. And I suppose the reason this particular guy hurt me so much was because he was the first one to hate me for my past as much as I hated myself at the time. But through that, because of that experience, I grew and learned that I wasn’t a bad person after all; that I was a good person and deserved to be happy.
I’m glad I’m a different person now. And as painful as the experience was, I’m glad he was a part of my life and life story. Because through him, I now know how far I’ve come and how much better my life and perspective is now.