I had something very interesting happen over the weekend. An experience that I’m still thinking about days after it happened.
I was at an NFL game, mainly because my boyfriend loves it, and we support what the other loves. Also, we were spending time with his family, whom I adore.
So, I posted a picture on social media and my ex boyfriend from 13 years ago messaged me, he was at the same game. Sitting in the section next to ours if you could believe it.
We grew up in the same small town and dated when we were 16 and 17. He moved away to Pittsburgh to attend college. Flash forward 13 years later and I am now living in Pittsburgh with the love of my life. I haven’t seen my ex in who knows how many years, if I had to guess I would say maybe 8 or 9. So in the messages we decided to meet at halftime. He is married to the love of his life, and I’m with the man I’m going to marry, so I didn’t think it was weird. But I really wasn’t sure how to tell my current love that we were going to see my first love during halftime. I decided to use the term “friend from highschool”, and off we went.
When I saw my ex I was flooded with these nostalgic memories. He wasn’t just my boyfriend but my best friend when we were dating. Things did not end on good terms, young love rarely does. But seeing him now, all these years later, I had nothing but compassion and genuine happiness in my heart for this human. For years after our break up I held on to resentments against him, resentments which I’ve worked through quite a while ago. Working through those resentments allowed me to trust again and to open my heart to the man I am with now.
Half way through the conversation I blurted out the truth, that he was my first boyfriend, and nothing in the conversation changed. My boyfriend now didn’t react negatively, in fact he kept the conversation going. Just another reason I know I will be with this man forever.
I went through a few heartaches before finding Keith, but after each heartache I always remained open to the possibility of love. I never closed the door on it, sure it was hard to learn to trust again but it happened. I had to face things about myself and see the part that I played in each failed relationship. I’m no walk in the park. I could be needy, and insecure and possessive. I’ve learned to scale these traits back nowadays but they still live inside me. They just don’t show up as often anymore because of the time I took to really look at myself and work on my shortcomings. I’m not perfect and that’s okay, because there really is no such thing as perfect. As a matter of fact it’s great because I’m given the opportunity to continuously work on myself and grow to be the best version of myself, and that’s all I could really ask for.
Isn’t life funny though? If I hadn’t posted a picture, I wouldn’t have met up with my ex. I wouldn’t have had the chance to see Keith gracefully handle a situation that might come across as weird to other people. I wouldn’t have had the chance to finally acknowledge the forgiveness I’ve been carrying around in my heart for this other person.
It truly was my past colliding with my present that ended up having an outcome better than I ever could’ve imagined.