I have been in situations recently both orchestrated and unintentional that have resulted in the reuniting of exes. My group of family friends seems littered with exes and new ones sadly seem to appear too frequently. I like to imagine that with all my knowledge of divorce and breakups, that I can go from group to group seamlessly, or at the very least positive and emotion free. This is one of those circumstances that I force in myself in hopes that one day it will be true. The truth is, I sometimes wish people could go back in time, find that moment of pure happiness and just start over with each other. It is a fantasy wish that I think any child of divorce understands on some, and unfortunately intangible level.
As an outsider to many relationships, I have been witness to that image of perfection or better yet, real happiness. I can nostalgically look back upon the good times and with fond memories in mind wish to go back. I rationally know that breakups are for a reason, but until this week, I am not sure that I truly understood. I thought I had made peace with my mom and step dad divorcing, but until I saw them in the same room together, I personally did not have closure. I had that nostalgic memory of better times, and that innocent hope that time permitting wounds would heal and things could move forward. Not necessarily in a way that would have the two of them back together, more in a way that they could attend social functions together comfortably. Although this is not for me to decide, I saw something in the two of them that was just peaceful. Knowledge that the other person was well, was in fact enough, and that things are as they should be. And more importantly, having them in the same room together is just not something that should occur with any regular frequency. They are not friends, they simply have memories together, that are personal.
And as for my own experience that allowed me to fully appreciate the same, I have my ex to thank. I had that fearful adrenaline induced nervousness of running into him at a bar a while ago. Once that band aid was ripped off in a booze filled setting, I was curious about what would happen if we were sober in the same room. I often have heard of exes being friends in the future. I cannot say for certain what I thought would happen over a very casual coffee setting, with some specific questions for a book I am writing. But I did not anticipate the entire absence of emotion, neither positive nor negative. We are simply two people that shared memories, and were each other’s first love. Simple, not poetic, just reality.
I also learned that we are in fact exes for very precise and specific reasons. And those reason are mine. I made a choice to live my life with happiness, adventure, and with confidence in all my actions, clearly I do not like my judgement being questioned at every turn. I could never do that with him in my life. Our ultimate core values and how we view the world are just different. And what’s more, that is absolutely ok. I often imagined that we could be friends in the future, and laugh about our time together with fondness. I can now fully appreciate that is just not the case. It was full closure, just as it was for me seeing my parents hug each other, with kindness and respect for the memories. But with knowledge that they were memories, and would remain that way, we just cannot ever go back.