Recently I touched on the fact that due to my being a life romantic, I have a slight affection (#understatementoftheyear) for remembering.
This desire for memory is heightened severely when it comes to the element of time. This may stem from our human desire to celebrate anniversaries, or possibly just because I’m nerdily fascinated by all sorts of classifications.
Earlier, I got to thinking about “this day in history” of a special sort. Specifically, this day in my personal history in 2010; what was I doing just a year ago?
In March of 2010, I had a crush on a boy who wore sweaters. Nothing ever came of that crush, besides many weeks of harmless flirting, several descriptive emails sent off to girlfriends dissecting his words, and one night of March Madness bar hopping leaving us with a better understanding of one another. This small crush was monumental at the time – the first crush since the ex. [new around here? I was engaged once. But you can catch up on that later….]
Speaking of, in March of 2010, I was still friends with the ex. As a matter of fact, he was at my apartment as I was getting ready for said bar hopping and helped me decide what to wear, giving Goldie Locks suggestions on which perfume was too much, too little, and just right.
He was an important part of my life. He is now an important part of my history.
Although the change was definitely gradual (I think that’s the only way it could have happened), it’s hard to believe that present importance drifted to historical importance in less than a year.
Last summer, the friendship ended after I told him I didn’t want to see him, talk to him, or hear from him. I asked him not to text, email or call me. Mostly, he has keep true to my wishes, for which I couldn’t be more thankful.
Out of the handful of times I have heard from him, a few of the communications prove that he has more respect for me now than he possibly ever did when we were together. He has sent a message once to inform me he would be attending an event held by a mutual friend, and didn’t want me to feel blindsided if I attended.
Another text I received informed me that he had started dating someone and didn’t feel it was fair if I were to find out “through the grapevine.” I was impressed and touched by both instances, but thankfully, not enough to say anything more than simply “thank you” in my reply.
Even after this severing of communication, it took me a long time to decide that he no longer had any control over my life. Maybe this is because of my own pride, and desire to not admit that he had any control in the first place- or that I had ever given up any control to someone who had treated me with such disrespect.
I had a wakeup call while lying in bed late one night this winter, staring at the floor. My making decisions on what to do or not do, say or not say, write or not write in MY life based on what would or would not upset him was over. [Queue powerful rock anthem] This, after all, is my life, and I should be making decisions which are the best for me and no one else – especially someone who no longer had a place in my life.
Several weeks ago, the distance between “present” and “history” increased as I went through each of my facebook albums, deleting every photo of him I had on my account, including albums titled “The Day I Became Engaged” and others. Much like the Christmas ornament debate, I had asked myself “But what if I need these eventually in telling my story?” for the last time, as I took a digital eraser to photo evidence of years, kisses, and relationship statuses past.
At the beginning of the month, I received an email alert alerting me I had a new twitter follower. My first reaction, admittedly, was cursing.
My second reaction was a ride on a rollercoaster of emotions –
Insecurity as I scanned my brain to my last several tweets.
Weakness as I realized I cared how he judged my tweeting.
Relief that this proved that I am not alone in thinking about him and on occasion, admittedly, glancing at his facebook page.
Shame that I felt that relief at all, or even cared about this development.
Anger though possibly unexplainable.
Frustration that I had to deal with these emotions on a night I otherwise deemed pleasant,.
Naturally, I did what any female would do, and forwarded the email alert to three girlfriends who I knew would make me feel stronger, to the tune of Kelly Clarkson’s “Since You’ve Been Gone.”
One girlfriend simply replied “BLOCK HIM.”
When I went to twitter to do just that, he was no longer following me. Apparently my ex has the same knee jerk reaction I have when I actually realize 45 seconds into scanning his profile, “I should REALLY not care about this.”
I’m sure you heard the sigh I let out at realizing he had retreated his internet advances. Then I went home and prepared a cocktail.
Speaking of the power of a cocktail, after enjoying a few last week, I found myself cross legged on a chair in my living room, purging my blackberry of contacts. Businesses I now deemed unnecessary and duplicate entries of friends nationwide were deleted one by one.
Then I did it. I deleted his phone number, which over a year prior I had disguised in my contacts as “Gabe” so that any nearby friends who wouldn’t approve of our friendship would hold back on their lecturing and let me continue to breathe toxic into my life.
“Are you sure you want to Delete Gabe?” my phone asked me?
One thousand times, yes.
It’s possible that I will always be affected by memories we shared together – before, during, and after our engagement. I will probably think that I miss him from time to time. I will probably be frustrated with the fact that I will always be tied to him, and even care for him, while wishing it were different.
Yet still, I am much further along than I was a year ago, and that makes all the difference. A year ago I was afraid of what it would feel like not to have him in my present life; today I am much more terrified of the possibilities of ever letting him back in to any part of my heart other than my history. His control is gone and the history, the story, is mine.