I hope that you have had a chance to exchange a word or note with your loved ones, and maybe even got to spend time with them. On Valentine’s Day, I try to remember all the loving relationships I have around me and less on the romance.
Though it’s a nice thought, I will not try to hide the fact that this is also part of a coping mechanism. Though I certainly have been granted more than my rightful share of romantic intrigues, Valentine’s Day historically finds me alone. So, I focus on all those who DO love me and happily plot my next day’s plunder of discount candy at the nearest CVS.
I am not all healthy thoughts and smiles though. Tonight I have not been able to resist the urge to check repeatedly on my ex’s skype icon. I pray that the little icon stays green, indicating yet another late night in the office for him tonight, before I remind myself not to care.
It is hard for me to think about moving on. Even in the few moments of clarity when I can see myself with someone else, my vision of a relationship, what I look for, what I expect, how I react, is colored not only by him, but by everyone I have ever dated. While I am grateful for all these experiences and what they have brought to me, in knowledge both about people and about myself, I cannot help but feel that something has been…lost in the process.
My grandmother frequently reminded me that, “you have to kiss a couple frogs before you find your prince.” I have kissed a LOT of frogs, and a few toads. It’s true, this last relationship did enough damage that it alone will take a while to recover from, but every one of those others left their own mark. I have become a jaded and I don’t approach or enjoy dating the way I used to, and my relationship with men has changed.
I want to start over, from the beginning. Before the drama, the baggage, the heartache or the expectations. I want to start fresh. I have been talking to my high-school boyfriend a lot lately. We dated for three and a half years, and while it took us a long time to fully get over each other, we now have a solid friendship that I would not trade with the world.
I like talking to him when I feel confused, not because he is my fallback or anything like that. It is only that talking to him reminds me of another time within myself. He is a link to my past when my thoughts were simpler. All I wanted was for someone to hold my hand and share an understanding.
I don’t want to try to replace my ex. To try to do so, I think, would surely drive me crazy. Instead I want to start over completely. I want to go back to the way I was, before I was colored by all I know now.
In the movie Eat, Pray, Love, the heroine breaks from her dependent cycle of men to embark on a journey of personal awakening. I do not have the option of fleeing to India or Bali, but for the first time in my life, I am ready for a break. I will still grieve, but as I mentioned in my last post, I will be leaving my grief at home as much as possible. As I enter this time of transition, I cannot think of a better time for self-renewal.
This Valentine’s Day, and for many months to come, it will be time to focus on me and my relationships with all the friends and family around me that I hope to carry into the next phase. So, on this day of romance, I am opting out. I recognize that I need time to hit “reset” before I can start again.