Monday, February 8, 2010

making amends

For Christmas I got a letter from an ex boyfriend whom I had not heard a cricket's fart from in the past 2 years or so. Well, I guess I shouldn't be so quick to say it was to me. I was actually grouped together with my larger gaggle of friends, all of whom he really only knew superficially.

It was not a pretty break-up. At least on my end it wasn't. He called one night out of the blue and coldly told me we couldn't continue our long distance relationship. This was harsh, but the salt in the wounds was his calling me out on my shortcomings in the relationship and then not responding when I tried to call him for more explanation the following days. I have not spoken to him since that night. I found out he was with someone else via Facebook. Nothing like using the internet to avoid tough conversations. I was pretty broken up about it. He was my first love, I cursed the ground he walked on for months. And then I got over it.

He sent this letter to a mutual friend of ours for him to pass along to the rest of us. And so one night after my friend received it he read it to me over the phone.

I tried to keep from laughing out loud at the haughty tone. I did this unsuccessfully as I couldn't help but burst out randomly at his painstaking attempt at decorum throughout the letter. (But here I am with a holier-than-thou tone, too. ...I digress...)

He made mention of his "one regret" in life which would be disappointing all of us collectively. As if his presence in my friends lives was so powerful it ripped their hearts out to have him disappear unexpectedly. His letter was an indirect apology to me, I assume. It was implicit, I guess? A cowardly way of acknowledging his wrongdoing by being broad and general. I had already made amends with it some time ago, but to receive a letter like this after absolutely nothing from him was sort of a slap in the face. It's like bombing one house and then years later apologizing to the entire country. Thanks, but, uh, we don't even remember which house you fucked over.

I found it especially funny that his "one regret" in life was not knocking up his young girlfriend before either of them finished college and betraying his immaculate image as faithful and self-righteous. Woopsie-daisy!

But lucky for me his one regret, though it seemed like the end of the world at first, has turned out to be an incredibly good turn for me. There's a quote that says something along the lines of "the sting of pain and suffering lights the strongest fire underneath you to succeed, rather than a well-meaning compliment." If it weren't for what happened between us I would never have done the traveling I've done, experienced the amazing things I've been able to experience over the past 2 years. That pain was the best thing that ever happened to me. It's what thrust me into my studies to finish school and my honors thesis, to start 2 great jobs and follow my passion.

Mostly I just think the letter was more for him than anything else. Now that he's had time to accept his life he wants us all to know how great he is doing. He wanted to prove to us, (and himself), that everything he's done is not a mistake. That he's done well for himself and his new family. And it was relatively convincing. I guess I would rather him be happy than anything else, despite any shit I give him here. His happy life in many ways is mine too. I wouldn't trade or change what happened between us for anything in the world. Because if I did he wouldn't be where he is right now and I wouldn't be where I am.

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