Ethos

I didn’t want to write this post. I promised myself that I would never write about her when I started blogging.

I felt this way not because I resent her or feel badly about the way we left things. Rather, blogging was supposed to be my fresh start. My first project that would not be affected by a heavy heart.

But the other day I saw her and her family. I was with my best friend, my brother and his friend. Just as we were about to be seated they entered the same restaurant we had decided to dine in. I wasn’t surprised, why only a few years ago to this date, her family had brought me to the same place for dinner.

She hadn’t changed from the last time I had seen her, but then again I wasn’t paying too much attention to her. As I went to embrace her and her clan, I stared more at the dark mahogany floor rather than their faces. The awkwardness of the whole situation had me feeling sheepish in front of them.

Still, I was proud of myself. I didn’t let the chance encounter spoil my night. Sure the first few minutes were quieter with my company than I would have liked, but soon enough I was all smiles. The air of tension all but dispersed and led to a great night in the city of Philadelphia.

Thing is, I hardly know her anymore. A few years ago, I would have known her aspirations and motivations. Hell at times I could read her surface level thoughts without her having to utter a single word. Now, she is just a woman who has a striking resemblance to the only person I had a committed relationship with.

My friend kept shaking his head. I noticed that he was having a much more apparent reaction to the whole situation than I was. I asked him, “What would you do if you ex walked through the door?”

He said “I would leave”.

Had it been a few months after the break up, maybe I would have. As much as I like to put up a front that everything is ok. At that time my heart would have been too week, still recovering from the recently inflicted wounds. However, on that day and today, the wound is all but a fading scar. A imperfection I bear proudly. A thought of her is no longer one of sorrow, but rather of pleasant reminiscence.

Later on, the same friend said something that stuck with me, he said something along the lines of, “I don’t know how you are just so ok with it”

Recognizing that he too had recently become single, I said, “It takes time but you slowly just get over it, I don’t really think about her the way I used to back then”.

Right after the split, forcing myself to stop looking her up on social media was the easy part. It took much longer to erase the image of her face from my head. By building mental discipline, it got easier with every passing week. See your heart, it has the ability to heal itself, it knows exactly what to do to make yourself feel better. The only thing that keeps it from doing what it has to do is you. Once you realize that, it get much easier.

Anyway, I let my heart do its healing and trained my head to keep out of the gutter. Like with anything with practice I got better. Now I sit here and wonder if I did too well of a job of getting over her. Should I have had a more visceral reaction to seeing her and her family? Why didn’t the misery of what she used to represent come flooding back? Have I become too cold or jaded?

Give me a shrink, a lounge chair and a couple hundred bucks, and I’ll probably have those answers for you.

For now a keyboard, my fingertips and a google doc will have to do.

From my reflection into it, I think two things happened.

First, my low-esteem at the time pulled all or any blame I felt towards her, away and placed them on my own shoulders. Though emotionally unhealthy, with the blame shifted any ill feelings toward her vanished. I think too many of us let the resentment fester with past partners so when we are confronted with them again, it just explodes.

Second, I was realizing that you will never truly understand why people do what they do. As much I wanted to believe that the bond I shared with her ran so deep that it was comparable to married couples, it simply wasn’t true. It doesn’t matter how strong a bond or connection is, the reasoning behind what a person does, no one truly knows except for that person. For weeks I thought about what could have happened. What did I say? what did I do? or did I not do that could have lead her to break it off with me. It took me longer than I care for to understand that it is not an answer I am mean to know and searching for an answer was futile.

So I had done everything right?

Right?

I had taken away blame from my ex and given up on trying to figure out why we didn’t work. All in all, pretty healthy steps to getting on with your life.

Unfortunately, I have a affinity for being extra. Here’s why:

I have become so good at being able to let go of people, that I don’t expect anyone to stick around for the long haul. And before you think this is me writing out a sob story, just think about it. We live in a much larger world than our parents. With a swipe or click everyone has access to a plethora of people around them. Why settle for one person, when there is a person around the corner that is more in tune with your personality, aspirations or hobbies. So if you go in knowing that a relationship will end, it saves yourself a lot of headache.

The thing about that sort of thinking, while great for self preservation, is that it makes you an asshole to anyone that tries to start something with you.

Recently another woman has entered my life, and I am ashamed to say that I have done her wrong by many accounts by adopting this new mindset. As much as you think you’re good at hiding it, people, especially those that you are romantically involved with, know when you have one foot out the door.

Is this mindset a symptom of my last relationship? Probably, it makes logical sense that to cope with the first person I ever gave my heart to leaving me, I am compensating by giving up on everyone that comes from here on out.

But when I put emotion aside, if that’s possible, and truly dissect what having that mindset would entail, I have to admit I am warming to the thought.

It is the suddenness of heartbreak that I believe causes the most pain. Take that out the equation and you are left with a mentality that doesn’t take as much damage from loss as from before.

What does it mean for someone who is looking to adopt this type of ethos? A string of meaningless relationships. I have begun to wonder if this is something that I want. I have known for a while now that I do not want father children of my own, so there is no biological need to find a mate.

One may call it a life unfulfilled and lonely, but to them I say can one not truly consider their life fulfilled if there is not another to share that with. Shouldn’t a partner be someone to help you realize the joys of your life, not one that you rely on to get you there?

I thrive when I am alone, I am an introvert to the truest. Whether its was nature or nurture I can’t say, but on my own is when I find the most peace. For me, people are like bars of a jail cell, confining me to their expectations, needs and attention. I enjoy doses of people, but to be constantly with someone, it would be suffocating.

Then again, maybe I have to grow just a bit more. Maybe these are all ramblings of one that hasn’t truly matured yet. Maybe my preferences and desires will change over time. Maybe I will meet someone who will make me recant every single word on this blog post.

For now all I can do, is put ink to the blank page, and spill my most personal thoughts on the web where it will be available for all to witness and form their own opinions. It is still scary to think that my friends, and people that I see regularly will probably read this and my future posts. Then in another way I believe, if anything that I write makes them think and relate even for a moment. It is all worth it.

Thanks for reading all, as always let me know what y’all think. Comment, message me, text me, whatever. I love hearing from yall. Just knowing y’all are reading is an amazing feeling.

Coincidentally this is published a week after the birthday of my past partner. I am sure, just as I have, she too, pays little mind to the going ons of what I do. But in the slightest chance you are reading this. I would be remiss if I did not wish you a very happy belated birthday. I hope the day was filled laughter and joy befit of the delight that you bring to everyone around you.