Sunday, 20 November 2011

A glance in the rearview mirror

A good friend used to say the past is like a rearview mirror. It's critical that you glance in it from time to time, to make sure you're being safe and heading in the right direction. But if you stare into it for too long, that's an accident waiting to happen.

If you think about it, that's very good advice. Very good advice that's hard to implement though, because as we all know, our pasts can have an extremely powerful hold over us, our present and our future.

I've been battling an addiction from my past for almost a few years now, one I seem to beat over and over again, only to run into him on the street or at lunch or in a coffee shop and my heart beats faster and time seems to move in slow motion and I realize I'm right back where I was in the beginning.

For the longest time, I couldn't get past the three month mark. I could feel it when it was getting close, something unconscious but noticeable, like when you've left it too long to get a haircut. You know something's wrong but it usually takes a few more days before you look in the mirror, have your a-ha moment and book a much-needed appointment.

This time I went nine months. NINE. Before I found myself in an all too familiar spot - standing in front of his office. I literally couldn't help myself anymore. I had to see him, talk to him, know he was ok. Feel out if he still hated me as much as I had once hated him. Or, on the other hand, if he still loved me. It didn't help that it was his birthday.

I knew I was cheating on all my friends and allies by being there. The ones who had held my hand, watched me cry and talked me off the ledge so many times over him. The ones who would probably take a swing at him if they ran into him on the street. Not to mention my absolutely lovely boyfriend.

I took a deep breath, walked in and smiled. "Happy Birthday." He was surprised to see me. The last couple of times he ran into me on the street I wasn't very nice, I wouldn't even smile or make eye contact.

But for some reason, right now, my past doesn't bother me all that much anymore. The past that I used to focus on, obsess about, stare at endlessly in the rearview mirror, I've almost entirely made peace with it. Because the past is what has brought me here, to where I am, today. And where I am is very good.

He invited me in and we sat down. In seconds, it was just like old times. Only so much different too, because this time, I didn't want our past back. And I didn't want a future with him. I needed a reality check, and that's exactly what I got. After about an hour of catching up and some much needed healing and forgiveness, I was ready to get out of my past and back to my present reality. In what felt like just a few minutes, I forgave him, I forgave me and I forgave us. With a hug and smile, that horrible, toxic mess in my rearview mirror seemed so far away and so long ago.

If you're wondering, yes, he's still in love with me. The funny thing about getting what you want, is that sometimes, when you finally get it, you realize you don't really want it anymore.

I'm sure I'll still glance into the past from time to time, to remember where I've been and remind myself where I need to be going.

But for now, I'm happy, I'm at peace, and I'll keep my eyes on the road ahead.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Adele makes me EMO

"Nevermind, I'll find someone like you. I wish nothing but the best for you too. Don't forget me, I BEG, remember what you said: "Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead." I heard that you settled down, that you found a girl and you're married now. I heard that your dreams came true. Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you." - Adele

Two months ago, I met someone who, although I would never claim him to be the perfect man, has proved himself over and over again to be a nearly perfect boyfriend. Thoughtful, interesting, outgoing, funny, talented, committed. The list goes on. I honestly think he spends a good chunk of his days just thinking of new ways to make me happy.

So what would be the normal reaction of someone in my situation? Probably thank God they are off the dating scene and settled in with someone so great. What have I done? Celebrated the no drama, caring, nurturing aspects of finally being in a healthy relationship? No, all I do is push him away. Constantly. He tells me that's what I do. And I know his argument is valid. I met all his friends. His mom and her boyfriend at Thanksgiving. I was invited into his life with a VIP pass to intimacy and family.

But when it comes to me, all I do is think about Him. All the time. The one who treated me like shit and used me and disposed of me, like the Tuesday am garbage run in front of my apartment building.

Would it be easier to move on if I thought he was as alone, as miserable, as lonely on the inside no matter how many caring, loving friends are around? I think so. Yet deep down inside the Adele song lyrics (even though I slighly hate her) are a hundred percent true. I want him to be happy. But I want to be happy too. And I don't know how to do it without Him.