One year ago today I wrote a note and opened a door that had been locked for a long time. The year that has followed that note has been one of shock and awe, reconciliation, discovery/rediscovery, introspection, adventure, frustration, excitement, intrigue, fascination, affection, and forgiveness. I have learned that what I thought I knew was not necessarily truth. The perspective I’ve clung to for so long was not entirely accurate. In the past my focus was on all the lack and loss instead of what was good and present. Over the last week or so memories of moments from eight, nine, and ten years ago have flowed through my mind; all the things I didn't pay enough attention to the first time are standing out to me now. Maybe he was better to me than I thought at the time. Maybe my fears and ideals and broken brain put an unrealistic spin on things. Maybe he wasn't the villain I made him out to be. Maybe I was partly to blame for our inability to work things out.
I don’t have adequate words to say what I’m trying to say. I hesitate to say anything here at all, a little afraid that things are going so well because it’s all on the DL. I won’t go into much detail or anything, I just want to say that I’m generally content with the way things are.
I don’t know what we are, why we are, or how long we will be whatever we are. We always tried too hard to make it something (friends, boyfriend/girlfriend, etc) instead of just letting it be what it was, allowing things to evolve at the pace that was right for us. I let him back into my life without a clue of what to expect. Over the last year he has blown all expectation out of the water, so eager to have me back in his life that he was willing to do whatever it took to keep me around. I’m the one who has held back, hesitated, worried, and waited. And he has been patient.
Emotions and expectations started too high on both sides: wanting, needing, fearing, hoping, forcing, neglecting, searching...he was so eager to have me back, so ready to do whatever it took to keep me, but fear overwhelmed me at random moments and I made it all too difficult. Everything went too fast at first. I wanted time, needed to slow things down. I couldn't speak. The fear, confusion, and doubt mingled with the hope, desire, and possibility and took all the words away. We broke up in September. In the moment it was good and I was content, relieved even...we were always good at saying goodbye. But then it hit me and I cried for two days. It wasn't the idea of losing him that made me cry, it was the idea of starting the cycle again. It's how it always went, so intense it overwhelmed us and we ran away.
I wanted time and consistency. I wanted time for whatever we were to simmer and steep and have a real chance to fizzle into whatever we could be. So I suggested cutting out the labels such as "dating" and "just friends" and any other definitions because of the complications created from the implication of expectations they carry. In this undefined space we are learning how to interact with each other, how to communicate, and how to pleasantly coexist. I am learning to trust. He is learning to accept me as I am and be compassionate and understanding when my brain turns against me. He has really been trying to be a good friend to me. He treats me well and is increasingly more patient and supportive in my moments of depression and anxiety. I have been trying to emphasize my appreciation for the good in him and minimize my frustration over his weaknesses. I'm working on doing the same with my own strengths and weaknesses as well.
Life baffles me. Relationships and social interactions often baffle me as well. I'm grateful for this year. I'm grateful that I followed whatever prompted me to open that door and let him back in. I'm grateful that things are generally content and consistent and that we are able to be friends. He is a good man and I'm really glad I can see that again.