Saturday, October 24, 2015

What would you say?

I watched an interesting video the other day about what people would say to the one who got away if they had the chance. It got me thinking...

I've been in a strange place lately and haven't used writing as an outlet. I've mostly been focusing on running and achieving the goal of running a half marathon. I completed that race a couple weeks ago after working my way back from injuries. I met my goal of having a more comfortable race than the last time I ran a half marathon. Basically, I could walk after the race.

Well. Back to the one that got away. I think I'm pretty lucky to have had several that "got away." It's not everyone who can say that they've loved and been loved by different people they've dated at many different points in their lives. Some were healthy relationships, some were not. I can't say that I learned something from each of them, but I definitely learned something about myself from each relationship.

Each relationship fit for the time in my life, that much I am sure of. That wonderful all-American boy when I was young and "innocent"; what would I say to him. I no longer believe that an apology is appropriate to anyone but myself. Much time and space have showed me that. I can look back and be truly happy for him and for the life that he has built.

Flash forward to M. That one is so much more difficult. I definitely have something to say to him. The problem is, so many years later, I still don't know what it would be. There are days when I think I could be happy for him and whatever direction his life has gone. But then there are days when if I were to see him on the street I don't think I could trust my own reaction. I don't know if I'd want to hit him, ignore him, or cross the street to avoid him.

When I give it some honest thought, what I think I'd like to say is something more along the lines of telling him how he's affected me. Unfortunately, though, the way he's affected me is that I could never be that honest with my feelings. Since then, I either can't or won't allow myself to be vulnerable with another person. There's something about it that no longer feels safe, no matter what the reality. Since then, I've built a wall. Since then, I've been accused of being 'independent to a fault'. Since then, the things I fear most are complete honesty, vulnerability, and true intimacy. Since then, no matter how much I want to get closer to someone, on the inside, I pull back at the slightest sign that it may be happening.

My response to the relationship with M was to be broken. Rather, my response to my life, was to have the feeling that I was broken. Truth is, it wasn't him. It was me. My insecurities, my sense of worth and value, and my fears that put me in that place mentally and emotionally. It was me who entered into relationships that weren't right, for any number of reasons. When I look back, it's at that break-up when this becomes clear.

I can look back today and see that I wasn't ready. I was trying to make myself whole through becoming involved with another person. I know today that I am not a suitable partner for anyone if I'm not a whole person all on my own. Am I a whole person on my own? I'd like to think so. I don't always feel like it, but I'm working on it.