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.