“Hey, You.” Remember when we were an intimate pair and you could say that to me? Because I was your person and you were mine? We had big plans, you and me. We talked about the big house we’d have one day with an awesome movie theater in the basement. Vacations to Hawaii and how you wanted to get your pilot’s license so we could jet off to small little islands before we had our two, maybe three kids. Remember our future kids? They were going to be so cute and fun and never cause us any stress. Ahhh, the future we would have had.
It was sad at first. Your memory seemed to linger on everything I did for a while. But then time marched on. Eventually, the stinging sadness went away. I started thinking about all the major things you missed out on. How the instant you end a serious relationship, your paths diverge, like a Robert Frost poem, never to intertwine again (except, perhaps, in a weak, drunken moment directly following the break-up). So now that I can stand on my two feet again, I’ve finally realized that you’re missing some pretty amazing things here. With me. Within me. Here’s what you’ll never know:
1. I am strong.
Like have super powers, hear-me-roar strong. I can get through things like canceling a wedding, getting out of a rental lease, telling over 200 invited guests that I was dumped. I can go from having a fiancé to spend my life with to being single and learning how to date all over again. I can find a new place to live on my own, afford it by myself and feel completely happy in it living by myself.
2. I figured out how to love again.
After some time on my own, I met someone else. Well, truthfully, I already knew him, but now we know each other in a brand new way. Someone completely deserving of my love. Someone who makes it so easy to see why you and I never would have worked. It was like being handed binoculars at a sporting event and being able to clearly see the players’ eyebrows and facial expressions.
3. My body nourished and delivered a beautiful, healthy baby girl.
I went through all the miracle phases of pregnancy, watched my body become the nest for another living being and screamed like hell when it was delivery time. The labor came on so fast, there was no time for the epidural to kick in until after the birth. Have you ever had to get to 10 centimeters dilated without help? It’s a super power skill that I never knew I had. Who needs to fly or read minds when you can grow and deliver a human baby?
4. My sanity is back.
The last time we spoke, I was angry, weeping and exhausted. We went round after round of you trying to explain to me your “confusion” over not being ready to get married despite having a full blown wedding planned. You swore you still loved me, we continued to drive each other nuts. Now that the dust is settled, that hysteria has left the building. I’ve actually learned how to deal with the unexpected and can cope quite amazingly with curve balls.
5. I’m a mom.
So being pregnant is part one. Delivering the baby is part two. Then there’s learning what it is to become someone’s mother. It’s by far the most amazing, difficult and life altering thing that’s ever happened. Remember when I thought that our break up had shattered the universe? Nope. Not even close. I look at my baby and forget that life existed before her.
6. I love being married.
I’ve got a best friend and love all wrapped up in one package. Marriage is fun. We’re good at it because we’re great friends above all. He takes great care of me – and our little family. He makes me laugh. He doesn’t question our future together. He sometimes moons me while we cook dinner together. He gives me time to do my writing and you should see him with our daughter. With all the talk of failed marriages and break-ups, the doubts that crawled around your brain when were together, it’s clear as day to me that getting married was a great decision after all. But it must be to exactly the right person or I imagine it would basically be a slow death sentence.
7. I’ve become a dog person.
My four-legged furry baby believes that he’s human. He sits at our dining room table and expects to be given a place setting. He gets more excited for a night of TV on the couch than any human I’ve ever met. I love him beyond reason and never knew it was possible to feel maternal towards a non-human being.
8. I’m pursuing my dreams.
When we were together, I was in a silo of pursuing a career to pay the bills. I had thoughts of getting more creative, but there was never enough time, commitment or drive. I’ve got a ton more experience now and have taken action to pursue what only once seemed a pipe dream. I’m walking the walk.
9. My TV is better than your TV.
During our engagement, we shopped for things. Like mattresses, non-stick pots and pans, a ceramic tooth brush holder because at one point in our lives, we shared a bathroom. How intimate. When you dumped me and moved away, you took everything that would fit into your car with you. Our apartment looked so empty. My new home is least empty place a person could imagine. It has nothing to do with the new furniture, the amazing 60-inch television or the beautiful white crib and matching drawer set in the nursery. On that day you moved away, neither you nor I could have imagined all of the abundance of the life around me that I have today.
10. My family’s gotten bigger.
Besides having 1 human child and 1 furry child, you missed the birth of my two youngest nephews. The two nephews you did meet have grown so much and had so many experiences that you wouldn’t even recognize them. Since you dumped me, I’ve had multiple cousins born. Several of my cousins had other cousins. I’ve also got amazing in laws. Parent in laws. Sibling in laws. I’m even an Aunt-in-Law to five nieces and nephews. Oh and I added a husband to my family. He’s pretty kick-ass too.
11. I’ve made some amazing new friends that you’ll never get to meet.
My new mom friends have been a lifeline to me on more than one occasion where lack of sleep and baby experience have thrown me for a loop.
12. I’m older and wiser.
Things don’t get to me like they used to. I’m calmer. I try not to sweat the small stuff. I’m no Buddha, but I try harder to strike a balance between knowing when to freak out and practicing active relaxation.
13. I know myself much better.
This includes the things that I will and will not put up with. Your shenanigans would have been flagged and shredded with lightning speed had we met later on. I have no tolerance for B.S. these days and you were able to dish out a bunch of it that I let slide for too long.