Gone, but still Influential

For some reason, when I looked at the prompt for today’s daily post, I immediately thought of my past relationships. Inevitably, the first one that came to mind was my longest relationship, which has been on my mind quite a bit these past couple of months. One of my facebook friends seems to be going through something similar (total assumption) because she posts things like this:

Both posts cracked me up, and then I realized…I’m still very much hung up on that ex, despite how much I tell myself that I’ve moved on, despite the distractions (read: people) who enter my life but don’t meet my relationship standards, and despite the fact that EVERYTHING in my life improved once she was out of the picture. >_<

In hindsight, though, I’ve realized that I’ve left a lot of things behind. I can say that I am a much better person for doing so, but there’s always a part of me that longs for certain aspects of relationships that I’m no longer a part of.

The last person who ‘distracted’ me was super sweet but didn’t meet the majority of the criteria on my “Ideal” partner list (yes, I have one and it’s lengthy, but that’s besides the point). The main reason that I stopped pursuing things with her was because I felt that she didn’t know me. Actually, I’m remembering that I posted about it previously. Anyway, even though I made a deliberate choice to leave that long relationship behind, I still long for certain parts of it.

I told myself, when I ended things with SH (longest relationship), that I wasn’t going to think about her, miss her, or allow her to subconsciously prevent me from being my truest self. I’ve only succeeded with the latter. Truthfully, I miss her every time I think about her, and I know that the reason for that is because I came to understand who I really was while I was with her. I realized the things I was most passionate about, my goals were slowly actualized, I had someone who loved me for most of my idiosyncrasies and gracefully tolerated the others. When I think about all of that, it really does make me sad. Yet, in that same thought, I’m reminded of all of the progress I’ve made since that time. I’m reminded that I have achieved some amazing things and that I did all of them BY MYSELF.

I think it’s okay to miss parts of things that we have chosen to leave behind, at least for me. Every single situation I find myself in, every relationship (romantic or otherwise) that I engage, each seemingly trivial moment of how I spend my time – all of that informs the person I am today. Each of those moments, relationships, and situations served a role in creating the person I am right now. I think, in some very abstract sense, that I understand the concept of “missing” things that I’ve left behind as missing parts of myself. Those situations or relationships are no longer with me, but a part of me is still with them…it’s kind of like my philosophy of not sharing too many personal details with people because I feel like they’d be taking a piece of me with them if they ever chose to leave.

I get it, now that I’m writing, but there’s a big part of me that needs a constant reminder to give myself that freedom to miss the things I’ve left behind. It’s not easy…partly because I know I will view myself as weak for missing things that no longer benefit me. But I know that’s not the truth. Missing things from my past that don’t benefit me in the present doesn’t detract from being a strong, motivated, and independent woman. Actually, I think (in some ways) it helps me to be a stronger and more motivated/independent woman, as I remember the struggles I faced while I was in those situations…and vow not to return. It’s a great concept…I just need to work on validating and believing it.

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