Duggie Mitchell
Dec 17, 2015 · 5 min read
Photo courtesy of Tumblr [*not an actual ex]

This week allowed me to get more familiar with Version Control. No, I didn’t take another git class. I would sooner walk barefoot on an Arizona sidewalk than subject myself to such boring drivel. This lesson was unintentional. I have an upcoming job fair on Thursday so I have been running a fine comb through my portfolio to finalize projects for the big day. Somehow, all my hard work got lost. After shedding some frustrated tears, I remembered that git was there to save the day. I was able to go back in time before everything was destroyed.

It got me thinking: What if there was a such thing for relationships? To be able to reverse mistakes, or circumvent heartache would be a huge leap for mankind. But until then, when your love code is broken, you can only pick up the remaining pieces of yourself and move on.

Without getting too deep into the whole positive-thinking-new-age-movement, I’m reminded that every life event — whether negative or positive — has with it, an opportunity to learn. It’s easy to look on the positives in life as, well, positive. But if you were to examine a situation closely, you may be surprised to find that it is in the negative moments that we experience the most growth. Getting fired from your job allowed you to seek your passion and (potentially) make a living from it. If Jim-Bob hadn’t broke up with you that one summer, you would not have been available to be with your forever-forever when he showed up in the fall. It’s all about perspective. Unfortunately, part of the human condition is that we must learn to live fully despite our negativity bias. That is a fancy psychology term to denote that the psyche of us human-folk is more affected by things of a negative nature than positive. If you aren’t familiar, I would suggest a quick study on the topic as much insight can be gained.

So since I cannot go back in time to fix past commit(ments) I wanted to take some time today to reflect on the loves of my life.


My first love was a summer romance that I desperately wanted to have a longer shelf-life. We met while on summer vacation before my senior year in high school. He was the first to make my heart flutter. The first person I’d felt connected to. But summer love is dubbed got it’s name honestly. The season, and the love made therein only last a little while. I think he may have loved me in the limited way a boy of 19 could. It was just my young heart yearned for attachment. We connected a few times as we grew older. He ended up being slightly bald and overweight, so it wasn’t that bad of a deal in the long run.

The Lesson: long distance & unrequited love suck (and may be the same thing); love transcends distance and truly does make the heart grow fonder. And how to love selflessly, because I loved him despite myself and good common sense.


Fast-forward a few years, while in the service I met my (now ex) husband. We had a flame that burned very hot and burned out with equal intensity. Our love affair took a turn for the worse beyond repair, despite attempts to try again. To be completely honest, we had all the ingredients for a calamity pie: young, inexperienced, and mostly incompatible. I have to take most of the blame, but I did take the brunt end of our un-union. He did give me a few kids, and while I am still piecing myself together ten years later, he is riding around in an ostentatious truck with too many TVs.

The lesson: my actions have consequences and in life relying on another for your security is not the best way to trek though life. And finally that love is not about me; it is a selfless act that is much more about the other party. (I should repeat that to never forget).


Love is not about me. Love is not about me. Love is not about me.Love is not about me.Love is not about me.Love is not about me.Love is not about me.


My next-ex we will call “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named for the very utter of his actual name could travel across the country and be heard by his ears; which could result in his convenient Facebook message. To introduce the lesson in this love affair, I have to refer to the aforementioned failed marriage, and a young woman’s propensity for having Daddy-issues. My relationship with “You-Know-Who” was simply a reflection of how I felt about myself. He made me believe that no one would ever want me, or I was not deserving of anything better. He belittled, taunted, reduced me; and said it was all my fault. He was right, though. The Lesson: The people in our lives are a reflection of our own self-beliefs. Through him I saw me for the first time and I did not like her one bit.


This brings me to today. I had to move across the country nearly on foot to leave the old me behind. It’s definitely not all flowers and sunshine. But I think since our friendship precedes and supersedes our relationship, we are much stronger.

I describe him as “A person independent from the good opinion of others”.

It’s a nice way of saying he has zero fucks to give; and I try to cultivate the same attitude for myself. The Lesson: how to operate independent of another’s approval. The true meaning of family, and he’s introduced me to another side of myself. The one that he sees and loves.

There have surely been other loves woven between these points in my life, but I think these are the ones, outside of the familial category, that have played a role in who I am so far. Love is a beautiful thing, even the dark side of it. So while it has it’s ups and downs, damn it if we can exist without it.

Duggie Mitchell

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I write for humans and computers.

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