The past few weeks, I’ve had an increasingly growing compulsion. So last night, I did what maybe wasn’t a good idea: I looked up my ex. No, not the last one. I broke up with this girl over a year ago. It seems like a lifetime and a half ago. Still, at the time, that breakup damn near tore me apart. (Listening ad nauseam to Seether’s “Broken” featuring Amy Lee didn’t help any.) The timeless film Office Space had a classic line from Peter about Lumbergh: “He represents all that is soulless and wrong!” This was much the same sentiment I had about my ex for a long time. Every thought of her felt like scalding my hand on a stove. I played the “no contact” game for a year after we broke up. Almost every trace of her was erased. What I kept, I hid away from sight. It was pretty fucking hard for a while. It got easier with time.
For a blessed few months while I was dating the last girl, thoughts of her came to a standstill and only occasionally peeked their stupid heads. Maybe this last breakup is what made me want to take a walk down that boulevard of memories.
I had to rationalize for myself that this was important. Enough time had gone by. All of the arbitrary dates had passed. The problem was that I saw her as this demon. She was taboo. I had to remember that she was just a human being. So, I looked at her face on the Book of Faces. And as I looked at her dumb stupid face after over a year, I felt…ok. I didn’t feel that awful pit I once felt, and it wasn’t like I felt nothing, but I felt ok. I could look at her and not feel like my world was crumbling. I understood that she was just a dumb flawed person, like me. And she looked happy, which is all I ever wanted for her anyway.
It’s cathartic, you guys. Exes that we wall off, no matter how much time passes, still hold power over us. They’re still on a pedestal, it’s just a pedestal of filth (sweet metal band name) and it’s only when you place them on the same playing field as you that they lose their hold. This isn’t easy. I had to do about a year’s worth of soul searching (and sleep with a super cool girl) to distance myself enough to the point where the first one stopped being the be all and end all. Do what you need to do, whatever it is, to let go and find emotional peace.