Bumped into my ex husband this week, after two whole years of not seeing or speaking to him. I had been paranoid about it happening (we live in the same area) and had actually avoided shopping in some of the places I know he frequents. I didn’t want to see him, didn’t want that awkward moment when two people who once shared a life now struggled for something to say to each other.
But it was fine. In some ways, it was funny – the look of panic on his face as he saw me and then realised I had seen HIM and that he couldn’t avoid me ha ha. We made some small talk and he asked me how I was doing (I felt like saying “You don’t actually get to ask that now – you had your chance…”) and then he left to pick up his dry cleaning, and I went back to my car with my groceries. It was awkward, but not the terrifying scenario I had imagined. I had been anxious that, on meeting him, I would either burst into tears or be really nervous or shaky or babbling incoherently or SOMETHING. But I felt nothing, other than a supreme case of mehhhh. I walked away thinking “Well, there THAT is…” I barely gave him another thought. And that’s good, right? Maybe I am stronger and more resilient than I thought. Maybe getting rid of all that stuff earlier this week actually helped me clear the funk in my brain and heart.
Today, he posted on a large information network that I belong to and I actually thought “Good for you…” (he’s organising a big symposium which is a fairly impressive and important thing to be doing) instead of grumbling under my breath. He always had big plans and ambitions and so I can only applaud him for getting out there and doing stuff and making a name for himself. He once told me that I wasn’t ambitious enough for him – that hurt me at the time but now I have some distance and can see a bit more clearly and not let it affect me. And Lord knows, I’m NOT ambitious, and probably never will be, which might strike some people as annoying or as a character flaw. Each to his (or her) own, I guess. We’re different people, with different values and ideas on what is important. I’m learning to be less bitter and twisted and not bear any ill-will. Not because I think it’s ok to be treated badly, but because I think it only diminishes me if I hang on to past grievances and hurt. Before you think I have come over all new-agey and zen, I should also say I was rather pleased to see he had gotten really fat (I’m still wavering between smugness and concern about that). So I’m not Mother Theresa just yet – I still have a ways to go before I am a completely enlightened and forgiving being 🙂
I feel good though. Slightly sad that feelings can change so much, but also glad that they CAN change. Otherwise I would be stuck and miserable and wanting something that is no longer there. To feel that it has no bearing in my life any more is a weird concept for me to grasp and I have to deal with the idea that I can’t use it as an excuse any more. An excuse for not doing stuff and being a hermit. And excuse for not living and “getting back out there”. Lord knows I am not ready to date again, and I don’t think I ever really want to. I don’t get lonely and don’t feel that I have to be with someone in order to be happy. But it would be nice to have the choice, I guess. Anyway, baby steps. My mother-in-law recently got back into the dating scene and now has a lovely partner. She’s in her sixties, so I figure I can put things off for another twenty years or so at least before I need to panic. Twenty years to get my own issues in order and be a more well-rounded human being. Who knows, maybe I will even get some ambition! (Gasp, horror!).
So, please forgive the self-indulgent post that I may not even post at all (although, if you’re reading this, I obviously did post it…). It’s just a big moment in my life. Small, by other people’s comparisons, but big for me. Another hurdle overcome.
Another fear I don’t have to worry about 🙂
PS – I have used this photo of a caster-oil plant I have growing in my courtyard, for this post. It’s a horrible, toxic weed, but against the bright, blue sky it looks almost beautiful. I guess, everything is relative and depends entirely on how you choose to look at it, right?