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Out of the Blue
Personal entry follows.
An ex of mine reached out today, seemingly out of the blue. I wanted to record my response to her.
Removing all personal and geographic references.
Hello there, [friend]--
Thank you for reaching out...! It was the wildest thing, really. I spend nearly no time at all with FB - I log in to "like" posts made by my day job, primarily - and was looking through my "friends" list. I recalled specifically that I'd not heard nor seen anything from you in my limited browsing, and I was curious to see what you'd been up to. I noticed your account had been deactivated, and I figured, "Oh, she's tired of that BS, too." Little did I know I would receive an email from you, literally within hours of me looking in on you myself...!
Additionally, not only did this message seem to come at me from out of the blue (not that I'm upset, of course! Far from it.), but I heard a lot of disheartening news from you. It sounds like you've been doing a lot of grueling-but-necessary self work to help you kick out the demons and "live your best life," as they say. I also know what it's like to learn that a parent has cancer. I can't remember if I ever told you about my father's struggle with it. I was 19 at the time our family learned and dealt with that experience. Anyway, I think I understand some of the struggles and feelings you and your family may be experiencing right now. It's a rough place to be. You likely have plenty of resources of this kind at your disposal, however if you want to reach out and need a listener, I'm up for it. Just let me know.
On another matter: Wow. I had no idea you'd been harboring what sounds like a tremendous amount of guilt about the end/change in our relationship. Your words about how you are seeking forgiveness for the way you treated me back then were powerful and obviously took a lot of courage.
To be clear: yeah, it was a TREMENDOUS blow to me personally when you and I were no longer together (I have a feeling it was kinda sorta obvious, what with my flair for subtlety and all...). After that and for years, there was always a measure of emotional paralysis within me whenever you and I crossed paths, even if it was just a bit of a shadow of it. When you rolled out overseas, I think that was when I finally had a chance to shake off the feelings of inadequacy and of being an interloper on the "[city] creative scene," or whatever. I began to actually admire you for stepping out of your previous set of limitations - both personal and geographic - to keep movin' forward in life.
All that to say: first, I had no idea you felt this way about how things went down between you and me. Second, in the event you need it: apology accepted. Third: hey, I was young and stupid too. I apologize for what I see as a lot of my insecurity and narrow-minded finger-waggling. I'd like to think I've learned a lot and changed for the better since then myself. Of course, I think that's all we can do. When it comes to the past, it's done, and as you pointed out: time heals all wounds. So although I may be hatin' life from time to time, it's certainly not - and never has been - because of a grudge against you. :)
I also remember you and I having a discussion about our previous relationship, and you making it clear to me that you weren't seeing anyone else "behind my back," and weren't in any way unfaithful. That assertion of yours was a surprise to me then as much as your recent message is to me now, as I had never suspected you of anything of that nature. In the event you were also wondering if that sort of thing was still lingering in the back of my mind... Well, it's not.
As for [the city where I work, and where she used to live]: Oh, I don't like it at all, and I doubt I ever will again! However my day job insists on clinging to me, so I've resolved to save up cash until I muster up the druthers to head out to the eco-compound with which I've been obsessed for well over a decade now (it's a place called [redacted], and it's fantastic). I'll be 45 in less than a year so I better make my way out there eventually.
Thank you once again for reaching out! Drop me a line any time. It would be wonderful and fancy to receive anything in the post from you, so should you be so inclined, mail finds me at:
[my postal address]
My phone works as well (though it's a non-smart flip phone so I don't do stuff like WhatsApp and all that): [my phone number]
Take care, spend as much time as you're able with your family, and feel free to reach out at any time.