Monday, October 20, 2008

The Ex File: The Truth Is in Here, If You Can Handle It

Last Tuesday, when I was running around paying bills and taking care of my car, I think I saw her. It may not have been her, but it sure looked like her from a few yards away as I drove past at 25 MPH. She was walking along the sidewalk, next to NC State, wearing khaki pants, a baggy shirt, and a blue and black backpack. Her long brown hair was down. She's been on my mind ever since, which is to say she never really left my thoughts to begin with.

Of course I'm talking about the girl I wanted to marry. I hesitate to use her name in the off chance that she or someone she knows might one day read this blog, but I suppose I could just call her "Ex". There hasn't been a day since June 3, 2006 where I haven't prayed for her to be happy and healthy, and to make the best decisions for herself and those around her. However, I've also added my personal thanks for bringing Ex into my life, teaching me what love actually felt like even though I wasn't psychologically ready to handle it, and a request that, IF I can possibly make her happy in the future, we could find a way to come back together again.

I KNOW what you're thinking: "Ashe, she cheated on you for a month until you had pretty much figured it out for yourself!" You're right, of course. Though, after two years of retrospection, I think I've come to the conclusion that I probably deserved it, and definitely needed it. I needed to be jerked from my complacency. I needed a reason to re-evaluate my priorities, or for that matter make some. I needed to be shown just how badly my soul was rotting.

Ex was able to teach me lessons which others had tried, and failed, to teach me for decades. If you're a Gen Xer like me then you've seen Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy. In the movie, a young man allows his insecurities about his relatively sheltered experiences to consume him to the point where he alienates the love of his life and his lifelong friend. Silent Bob, Smith's wise-like-Yoda film alter ego, provides the story's moral: If someone loves you the way you are, don't eat yourself alive obsessing over the things which you are not. And, just like Holden McNeil and Silent Bob, it was a lesson I could only learn in Ex's absence.

It would be a lie to deny that I want Ex back for my own selfish reasons. But it would also be a lie not to acknowledge how much I want to give back to her, how much I want to take care of her in the ways she took care of me, and how I wish that I could make up for past mistakes and do for her all the other things she managed to do for me without really trying.

I don't know if it was Ex or not, but I hope it was. It gives me hope that her life may be moving in a new direction, as well. Perhaps our directions will converge again one day. But, until then, I'm going to keep learning.

Have fun, and keep living life... You never know when the circle might begin again.

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