Better Not Bitter


I woke up thinking about my ex. About all the cute things we used to do together. About the tacky Christmas tree he bought me, about how we used to sit on the floor in front of his computer and watch episodes of Southpark as we ate ridiculous amounts of pasta. I thought about he’s goofiness that only I saw, and how I was so full of hope and love and faith that life was a beautiful story. We had a romance that rivaled a movie, that is until things fell apart. We were never supposed to have dated at all, since I hated him. But somehow despite my loathing, he won me over. We did all the cheesy stuff you do when you are truly in love. We made silly cards for each other, we kissed in the rain, we went swing dancing, and surprised each other at work with picnic baskets, we held hands as we drove down dirt roads my feet sticking out the window like the good cliché I was, we made fools of ourselves in public places, we fought like crazy and then would end up naked and delighted in the middle of the living room, unable to remember why we fought at all.

And somehow, we broke it. Somehow all of that wasn’t enough because we were kids. We didn’t know how to sustain ourselves as a couple and as individuals. We both got totally lost in the Us, and then in backlash would demand to live completely in the Me.

I woke up thinking about my ex.

So naturally I facebook stalked him. He still looks the same, still handsome, and cocky. Same dark eyes full of mischief and charm. Same mouth grinning at the corners like he’s going to make you keep a secret. Same stupid narrow-minded status updates about conservative politics or gaming or running or his new car or how Texas is better. He hasn’t really changed.

I woke up thinking about my ex.

And I found out that he is exactly who he was three years ago when I let the screen door slam behind me one final time. And I found that I am not.

They say to let life make you better, not bitter.

I always assumed I failed miserably at that, but then I got to thinking about my life over the last 3 years. Yes, there have been some really dark moments, especially this year, but if I hadn’t left F, I would have none of the people and experiences that I hold dear and that have made up the very fabric of who I am right now. I wouldn’t have realized what I am really passionate about, I wouldn’t know what kind of man I actually want to be with, I wouldn’t know that I am much stronger than I ever thought.

So has life made me bitter? Maybe. I still think I am too jaded. I know that if anyone ever wants to really woe me, they are going to have a hard time getting me to believe anything at all. I have already lived out the movie scenes and amazing story lines… Those are both hard to top and hard to untangle from the pain of their end.

But I am better too.

Do I have a romance that will make all my girlfriends swoon? No.

But that is ok. It took me time to heal, time to find myself outside of the context of romance.

Eventually I got back to breathing, luckily it was in time to meet some incredible people, live some incredible scenes, and find that the greatest stories usually seem forgettable at the moment. The epic memories don’t seem as real after a while. Their shine wears off, and you are sure you are remembering it wrong.

The beautiful moments happen on secret rooftops, and in cramped apartments, and in smoke-filled cars, and empty waffle houses, and by quiet pond-lake-river thingies with the best people on the most ordinary nights.

Those are the scenes I choose.

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