Recently I saw a picture of one of my ex-boyfriends with his spanking new baby boy! Huh? I was in shock. We only broke up eight years ago. How could he just move on like that?
I’m friends with some of my ex-boyfriends on Facebook (and who isn’t?) I read their news feeds, and on rare occasions, I’ll leave a comment. They’re always innocent, and devoid of innuendo or flirtation. Recently I was trolling around, I mean researching, and saw a picture of one of my ex-boyfriends with a spanking new baby boy! Huh? I was in shock. We only broke up eight years ago. How could he just move on like that?
Did I expect him to never love again? To never find anyone as superfantastical as me? Well, yes. Why was I reacting this way? The truth is, seeing that Peter had not only married, but procreated, made me feel melancholy and nostalgic. And if I’m not mistaken, my ego felt as if it had been kicked.
Did what we had together mean nothing to him? I know other men that I’ve bedded, dated, or married (just that one time) dated other women after me, some married and became fathers, but Peter was different. He was the first guy that I kissed, and slept with, after I got divorced. He fed my physical needs that laid dormant for years, and he restored my faith in good old fashioned lust. There’s a certain power in the ‘transitional relationship.’
The circumstances in which I found myself on Peter’s Facebook page that fateful Tuesday evening, was not the stuff rational thinking is made of. I was cranky about my Pilates clients dropping like flies, I was wondering if I wasn’t better off, culturally and professionally speaking, living in New York City and most importantly, I probably hadn’t eaten in a few hours, which sends me into a hypoglycemic coma of sorts. In a nutshell, I was feeling vulnerable, emotional and wee wackadoo.
In my experience, our reactions to certain events, like seeing a photo of an ex-boyfriend’s baby, looking all cherub-like, cutesy and perfect, are often attributed to how we feel about ourselves and what’s going on (or not going on) in our life, which is why I started glamorizing the past, because surely it was all sunshine and gummy bears, as opposed to the crap ass day that I had just had.
What if Peter and I didn’t break up? What if I stayed in Los Angeles? What if I got a killer job as a writer, we married, moved to the beach and I birthed a healthy baby? Hmm. I can tell you that this line of thinking is futile, because there is no way of knowing the answers to what if questions, and it certainly won’t make your crap ass day feel any less crappy.
There was another reason for my reaction to the baby photo, that I glared at, imagining he was mine, searching for a resemblance. (Okay, that was creepy) Getting older makes me think about all that I haven’t yet accomplished. So when I surf the Internet, looking at friends and lovers from my youth, and the families they’ve created, or the books that they’ve published, or the Oprah appearance that they just made, I’m already in a piss ant mood.
After a few moments fantasizing about the what if’s, and might’ve beens, I realized how unproductive I was being. I snapped out of my reverie, and brought myself back to reality, my reality. I know now, after years of tailspins and mental spiraling, that a bad day is just that, a bad day. Bad days come, and more to the point, they go.
One of the beautiful things that come with age, besides the decrease in estrogen and collagen, is the wisdom to know what pushes our buttons, and when we’re doing something (or reading something) that we know isn’t good for us.
I don’t want Peter or his life. And I do think that it can be healthy to review the choices that we make, if only to learn from them, not dwell on them. And when we’re in our moods, it’s easy to think that the grass is greener, especially when we’re hungry, but it’s not. It's just a different variety of grass.
It’s a cliché but I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t made the decisions that I made eight years ago. I live with a sexy Portuguese man, who overfeeds my physical needs and has taught me the true meaning of paixao (it’s Portuguese, look it up) I write and I help people to feel their true health and wellness potential through Pilates, and for this I am truly blessed.
However, if you choose to ignore my cautionary tale, and continue to troll the Internet for old boyfriends, or happen upon one in your research, please keep the following in mind:
1. You are the only one that can make you happy
2. If you’re frustrated or displeased with your current situation, change it.
3. Your ex is your past, not your present.
4. Before you start wishing that you had done things differently, (when you’re looking at your ex’s baby’s photo) think back
to your relationship and see it as it was, not as you think it was or wanted it to be.
5. We’re all getting older, and feeling nostalgic for the past is fine, as long as you can appreciate the glory in your present days as well. Time marches on too damn fast to ‘dwell’ in the past.
I took my own advice and before I left Peter’s Facebook page, I reminded myself why we never would’ve worked. My relationship with Los Angeles had ended, so I had to fly away. I never wanted to get married (that one time was a mistake) and I never wanted kids. And lest I forget, Peter cheated on me, so I had to break up with the doucher. He made me cry on New Year's Day, and for that I hope he gets an incurable case of crabs.