I had a boyfriend in college/after college for a little less than 3 years. I'm pretty sure I've never said anything about him on here. This is intentional. I will continue to not say much. We don't speak. In fact, I haven't seen him in 2 1/2 years. We're not friends on Facebook. We don't follow each other on Twitter. So I don't think it's important for me to say anything about him. The past is the past. Now that it's been 3 1/2 years since we broke up, it sometimes feels like it never even happened. It was so long ago. The details are fuzzy. It's almost as if we're strangers now.
But our lives are still mingled at times. We have mutual friends, so sometimes I hear things. It's usually in one ear and out the other, but nonetheless I have a good idea what his life is like now. Every now and then, I wonder if that goes both ways.
I might go for MONTHS without thinking anything about him, and then I'll happen to hear someone say they saw him or some inconsequential detail that they heard about him. (It's funny how people think you might want to know these things even though you never ask.)
Tonight? I had an interesting reminder of him and his family and what my life was like 5 or so years ago when things were really good with him. I didn't expect it at all.
I was watching the 2-hour Private Practice tonight. Anyone else tune in? During the last couple of minutes of the show (the second hour of it), there was a beautiful song playing in the background. Something about it sounded familiar. I knew I had never actually heard the song, but I recognized the voice. I craned to listen as they faded it behind dialogue.
The actors became quiet. The volume on the song was turned up. I listened. And I just felt so sure that it had to be her.
I hopped on the internet and found out that I was right.
It was funny how hearing her tonight brought back memories, some that I hadn't remembered in years. She is his sister, and like many people in Nashville she's been working hard to be a musician. I remember going with him to hear her play at churches or small venues around Nashville. I wrote a piece about her for my college newspaper when she came to our campus to do a benefit show for a mission trip. I remember how much I respected her drive and ambition and how much I truly wanted to see her succeed.
I haven't seen or spoken to her in years either, and that's ok. But tonight? I felt a little connected again to people from my past. I'm not looking to make them part of my present, but it was nice to smile and remember. It was nice to see that she's living her dream. It was nice to hear her music on a major network tv show. Way to go!
I suppose that when you have the kind of relationship like what I had with him, you're always going to be connected. Even though it didn't work out and even though I'm glad now that it didn't, I will never be able to completely forget that he at one time was important to me, and that I was important to him. He will always be a part of my history. He will always be a part of what shaped me into the woman I am now. That relationship taught me lessons that I carry into the relationships I have in the present and ultimately the one that I will have with my husband in the future.
There was a time when he meant everything to me, and now? I can't say he means nothing because he will always mean something... but it's just different. I think anyone who has ever had a serious relationship end will know what I mean.
It's nice to be in this place. The one where I have long since thrown away most of the stuff that lingered in the "boyfriend box" after the breakup. Sure, he's in some pictures in my scrapbooks from that period of my life. I hung on to a couple of letters he had written, mostly because I don't want to completely erase the fact that I was once in a very important relationship. Maybe in time I'll feel the need to trash those, too, but for now they're in a box... where I probably haven't looked at them in over 2 years.
I don't have any of the gifts he gave me any more. None of the clothes I got that one happy Christmas. None of the mix cds he made. None of the artwork that he made for me. None of the trinkets and odds and ends he picked up as surprises for me. It never felt right to keep those reminders around.
But even though he is no longer relevant in my life... even though I so rarely think about him... he's always going to be part of my past. And sometimes it really is nice to reminisce a bit.
I'm proud of his sister. I felt really excited for her tonight. And I'm glad that at one point in my life, I knew her.