I think it is very important to remain grateful. It’s really hard not to be happy when you are feeling this way, so I do try to hold onto reasons for why I am grateful.
What’s startling is that there is a huge number of people who have positively impacted my life who are no longer in it. There are lots of teachers, professors, coworkers, strangers and old friends of varying degrees. The biggest old players tend to be ex girl friends given the abundance of time we spent together growing and cultivating a relationship. Yet, for all of their guidance, time and compassion, I hardly ever speak to any of them. Our paths do not cross often and when they do, other stuff bubbles-up that seems to be more important than looking them in the eye and saying “thank you” for the impact they played upon my life.
And it isn’t surprising that I get very little from seeing most of my ex girl friends. With my older ones, there isn’t much of anything other than a remarkably odd sense that to feel a little as I go is unnatural if not slightly cold. With the most recent ones, there is something, but it isn’t gratitude for the time they gave, but bitterness for the time I gave to them. Below that there is the knowledge that I am where I am in my life, the oldest, most self aware and content that I have been is in a large part due to their impact on my life; but this wisdom is only starting to break through the self-loathing that tends to accompany the eventual end of an expired relationship.
So, I forgive myself for investing in something that wasn’t what I thought it was, and I don’t hold Rachel to account for it. We were as aware of what was going on as we could have been and I moved onward because I believed that to be the best thing for her and for myself. I exited the relationship in a much better place than I entered it. I have started a career that Rachel helped me find and take the first steps in. I teach an all terrain cycling class, the training for which Rachel signed me up. I wear great looking Lululemon clothing because Rachel introduced me to it. I have a well developed sense of self and emotional intelligence that was created in response to how the relationship made me feel and think. I am healthier and look better physically now because, in a small part, the relationship never got comfortable that way. For these reasons, because it’s really nice out, because it’s a few months on and because I’d rather feel something happy than anything else I say “thank you Rachel!” I’m not sure where exactly I would be if you had not come into my life, but now that you are gone, I’m able to see that you helped to build me. It wasn’t what I was looking for from you, but, frankly, I’m better off for having received what you were capable of giving and NOT getting what I thought I wanted.
We have moved on and while you will never be on my sideline cheering for me, cleaning me up and sending me back onto the field, the person I have become tends to stay on the field playing life as hard as he can because you showed me that some dreams are worth giving everything up for, relationships, friendships, memories and the potential for something different. You showed me that you don’t dream hard to make dreams come true, you work hard to make them happen!
Men and women are built by other men and women through their actions, through their thoughts, and through the expression of their hearts. Even those who have moved on played their role and who I am today is dependent upon every person who has shaped me. Today, finally, my heart goes out all of them. Thank you for helping me find today!