"You know I've been to sea before, crown and anchor me, or let me sail away."
This wasn’t the post I intended to write. I got sidetracked. (Having recently spent 24 hours on a train that was running 13 hours late, that word has special meaning for me and I’ll get back to it one day soon.)
My small liberal arts college class has a Facebook page and I've been a member from the beginning. Yesterday the class pres welcomed two new members. My first serious boyfriend (and his wife, also an alum).
Things didn't end well between us. I was pretty immature then. I wanted too much too soon from the relationship. Instead of giving it time, I broke up with him to date someone who "needed me" more. I was stunned when P went to pieces because I never felt like I was that important to him. He even dropped out of school for a semester.
When he came back he started dating a transfer student. That was our junior year. I was still dating G and we stayed together until after graduation. I broke up with him too, hurt him too, and he later married another classmate.
Both P and G had kids, 4 and 2 respectively, stayed married respectively, and from all I know, which is not a lot, are happy, respectively. I married someone else and we were just wrong for each other from the get go. The marriage lasted 16 turbulent years, but I have my two beautiful kids, so no regrets. A couple of years after my ex and I went our separate ways, I met my amazing future husband. We have been seriously happily together for ten years now.
Seeing P’s name and picture on Facebook stirred up some nostalgic feeling and provoked some strange dreams. I fleetingly toyed with the idea of adding him as a Facebook friend, but why? What could I possibly have to say to him? That I'm happy that he is happy, that things worked out for him, and that I'm sorry I hurt him. But 30 years is a day late, right? Why poke at old wounds?
And what if he isn't really happy, do I even want to know that? He would think I had a hidden agenda and I don't. Or is it that I want him to know I am happy? Admittedly there were some very rough years for me between then and now. Between my marriages a man I loved very much threw me over for the woman before me. If you believe that karma is a boomerang, then I paid for any and all hearts I hurt and my slate is squeaky clean.
I know I need to back away and do nothing and that is what I will do. It's temporarily out of perspective, I dreamed about it once, but it will morph into background noise soon enough. I'm not contacting him.
A friend told me that she looked up an ex who had hurt her and was happy to see that he had lost his hair. P did keep his hair. If he didn't I wouldn’t have been happy about it, but I might have moved on in a split second or ten. I'm that superficial! Not only that, his wife stayed slim and trim. Like me. In my dreams. OK, so maybe this will motivate me to work out and lose that extra 20. Why? I don’t know, I’m not planning to go to any reunions, I’m comfortable in my body, but hell, if she can stay slim, I can be slim too. It’s healthier, OK?
So I broke hearts and I had mine broken. Payback is hell. As I said, I was pretty immature when I was 20. And pretty vulnerable when I was single again at 40.
When I first got on Facebook, M, the man who broke my heart in 2001, sent me a friend request. I thought he might have something he wanted to say to me, so I accepted it, impulsively, curiously, (stupidly?). But then he never said one word to me. And so, a couple of weeks later, I de-friended him. After he had ample chance to see how well and happy I am. And beautiful because, above all, happiness is what makes a person beautiful.
Ah, that was satisfying. Hearts make miraculous recoveries.
I have absolutely no reason to contact P. It's way too late to say I'm sorry I hurt him, and I'm pretty sure I told him so way back when anyway. It was just the tiniest of jolts to see his picture appear, out of the blue, so to speak.
There's an Alanis Morissette song called Unsent in which she reflects on her old boyfriends.
The last line goes "I will always have your back and be curious about you, about your career about your whereabouts."
I sent that quote to M in an email once, about 6 months after the terrible, horrible end of our relationship. (We both said regrettable things and he basically told me to "have a nice life.")
I meant it too. Then. I never thought I'd stop loving him. But I did. And frankly, my dear, today I really don't give a damn about his career or his whereabouts.
I didn't go looking for P. His picture got posted on my FB wall. I'm over it already.
Even if at some point in history I would have given a lot for a second chance to get it right the first time, even if we had stayed together, who can say what would have happened, if we'd have been happy and stayed happy. I've changed, I'm sure he has changed too.
"Blue, here is a shell for you, inside you'll hear a sigh, a foggy lullaby,
There is your song from me."
The ever brilliant inimitable Joni Mitchell