I had a thought today.
I’ve been working on my first novel, which is based roughly on my past. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, sometimes it’s hard to put myself back into the head space of where I was at that time because it was so hard for me then. Every time I write I feel like I’m dragging my soul back through the trenches and putting my mind back in that dark place. So, as you can imagine, I’ve been thinking a lot about my old flames, and especially one in particular who has a starring role in my novel.
Stirring up all these feelings again has been really tiring, but I want to be as accurate with my writing as I can and the only way I know how to do that is by putting myself back where I was. So, in the name of *cough* accuracy, I’ve been doing my fair share of cyber stalking.
I use the term ‘stalking’ loosely because I am in no way on bad terms with this person and we follow each other on social media anyway. And I’m not going to lie, it’s hard seeing him living his life. He’s doing exactly what I always imagined him to be doing, touring the world by himself, camping out wherever he can, and making human connections. It’s amazing. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to be with him on that journey.
Now, don’t get me wrong here. I love my husband like crazy and I would never leave him even if an opportunity presented itself. And I know in my heart that I’m a city girl through and through and the novelty of sleeping in shacks with bugs and strangers in a place where I don’t speak the language would fizzle out pretty quickly for me. But still, I wonder.
I wonder if he’s happy. I wonder what I would be like if we had stayed together. I wonder if we could have been happy if things had been different. I saw a post he put on Instagram about saying goodbye to a woman who I presume had been his girlfriend in one of the countries he was in. I wondered if the things he wrote about her were ever things he thought about me.
But then I had that thought I mentioned earlier. The only people we ever wonder about are the people who we never got a “proper” chance with. People who we feel like our time with was cut short. They’re the people who broke up with or rejected us, not the other way around.
I thought back to some of my other exes, people who I had done the breaking up with. With them, I felt like the relationship had run its course and the was nothing left to explore. It wasn’t going to work, so I moved on. And it got me to thinking… how many of those guys thought about me the way I’ve been wondering about my old flame? How many of them feel like the relationship was cut short and they never really got a chance with me? We don’t think these things about people we ended it with.
So I realized, no, he probably never had those thoughts about me. To him, there was no future with us and there was no point in continuing things. He moved on while I struggled.
I feel like what keeps us thinking about people from our past is that nagging voice in our head saying that maybe they miss me, too. But when you really step back and think about it, no, they probably don’t. You can’t waste your time wondering.
I had already made my peace with this old flame, and again, I’m happily married now and wouldn’t have it any other way. But writing this book and revisiting these feelings, as of today, has finally given me a proper sense of closure. If we would have been happy, he wouldn’t have left. And that’s it.
Sometimes going to that dark place can bring you some light.
Never stop moving forward.