I still dream about my ex sometimes. The Ex.
It happens rarely but the point is it happens.
Of course, I have many ‘exes’ but when I say the Ex, I mean the only “love of my life” that I thought I’d be with Forever. Back when love was innocent and I could fall for anyone. But to truly love, to truly get “carried away”, because you must, you have to approach it as if you’ve never gotten hurt. You have to be vulnerable as hell. You have to just go for it. You have to be just a little bit naive, not questioning anything that will take you out of the moment. To let go of the skepticism that “it won’t work” and embrace the expansiveness that it will. And if it hurts, it hurts.
It’s a weird thing to have someone you considered your best friend be a complete stranger to you within five years.
A lot can happen in five years. People date, marry, and have kids all within that timespan.
I still think about him. I know he has a new woman in his life. I know they have a girl together. I know she’s past the terrible twos.
A lot can happen in five years.
I’m not used to being friends with exes. It’s new to me. I think that disconnect from being completely in it with someone to complete strangers is hard on my soul. That tender part of me that loves everyone. Everyone I meet. I love you. Everyone deserves love. Everyone IS love. This is why I consider myself “polyamorous” philosophically even if I choose a “monogamous” lifestyle. I don’t want an ‘active’ lifestyle of seeing other people. I’m monogamous at heart, but polyamorous in my soul. Lucky for me, my “ex-swinger” boyfriend wants to be monogamous with me. Monogamish, just like I always wanted. I needed his non-monogamous history to feel safe in a monogamy that feels freeing and open. Open and honest and not stuck on traditional or conventional ways or “defaulting” to monogamy but actively choosing it consciously and choosing when or if we’d ever want to share lovers or partners–together–and not apart or “on the side” like an open relationship.
I’m friends with a couple exes now, and that feels good. I recently added one again on Facebook. He messages me sometimes to tell me his life wins. He recently did a Peace walk in Paris as part of a People’s Pilgrimage for climate change. He messaged me to say he’s going to India and Egypt. His life and mission is Earth Walk. To walk as much of the world as he can. Walking has always been a part of him. Who he is. I’m proud of him for going for his dreams and “doing you”. When I saw laziness and stagnancy while we were together, and when I see how he’s flourished since I decided not to come back, I know that our life paths were indeed not meant to stay merged.
The Ex still haunts me in my dreams. I cry knowing he’s never going to be a part of my life. A ghost to my past. I wonder if it’s a sign of a part of me, that 19-25 year old part of me that’s still “not over him”. That small part of me that still loves him, because no matter how much time passes, that 19-25 year old part of me will still love that part of him. Like a time capsule. No matter how toxic the relationship became.
I’m sensitive and sentimental. I know I’m over it by now but it’s taken me seven years to finally feel ready to get into another relationship with no “built-in expiration dates”, travel itineraries or live abroad romances that entailed traveling back solo. That open-endedness, that vastness of possibilities, feels scary as shit. But it also feels liberating.
There are things I still need to let go. Things I still need to heal in order to consciously move forward. Letting go of him is one of them. Maybe then he’ll finally leave my dreams in peace.
To fully let go of him, as I thought I had, I must let go of all the decisions that lead to here. I must let go of all the guilt and shame of racking up debt, of doing my disappearing act and traveling the world in search of myself. While it helped to build my independence, a part of me still feels it was nothing but an escape. The heroine’s journey involves confronting and letting go of my fear.
For me, the ex is fear personified. It was fear that lead me to my own prisons and fear that blamed him for my downfall. It was fear that lost “the artist” in me that lead to my identity crisis and quarterlife unraveling.
I may never be friends with the ex again. I may never know him, or contact him again. I can accept that. He was such a pivotal part of my development that I must thank him, in my heart, quietly and silently, and send love and blessings for the life and family I knew he always wanted but couldn’t have with me. I wasn’t ready, because “kids” and “family” are future concepts in the backburner for me, even still. Because purpose and mission and a sense of “meant for more” is what keeps my pulse alive. I know I’m meant for more than the traditional, typical life. That limitless success is within my reach, and that kids, if ever, follow after.
My life is my art and my art is my creation. Anything and everything that I create.
To fully let go of him I must let go of my own fear. It is fear, not him, that stands in my way and it is myself I must confront. Like the passing of the baton I now release my ex from ever holding me back. From ever thinking I was small, and from finally embracing my greatness.
Expansive, supportive and turned on. It’s happening now, in myself. The next-level relationship I felt ready for is only brought upon by my own next-level acknowledgment. I’m tired of limiting myself. I’m tired of my own escapes, and I’m tired of ever letting fear take control of me. To master fear is to master yourself and the source of energy to do anything you could ever imagine.