Day Eight: 3 Things You Want to Say to an Ex

This is the most candid post I've ever written. I'm still trying to decide whether or not I should post it.

I'll warn you, this is will get cheesy, sad, and borderline pathetic, probably, because this is me spilling out some of my innermost truths. But I must say I am so, so thankful for the lack of bitterness and anger I felt as I wrote this. Time, of course, has changed things. But I credit God most of all. He has worked on me over these last few years, healing me, maturing me, and changing my heart. Dredging all these things up now makes me nostalgic more than anything. And for that, I am grateful.

I also feel the need to put a little disclaimer kind of thing here. I've technically never had an ex, because I've never really been in an "official" boyfriend/girlfriend relationship (unless you count that four-day mistake in February 2012, which I don't. ...Another conversation.) But this one guy, well, we were kind of "courting", I guess. I don't know what you call it. Anyway, even though he's not really an ex because we were never "officially" dating, I gave him my heart. And he is the only one I've ever cared enough about to have anything meaningful to say to. So here it is.

1. I miss you.

As much as I hate to admit it, I still think about you regularly. I'll see a box of orange push-pops in the freezer aisle, or hear "Peaceful Easy Feeling" by The Eagles on the radio, or I'll glance at our old table as I drive past Starbucks, and it will hit me again. That familiar sting. I miss you. I miss seeing your face and your contagious smile. I miss hearing your voice. I miss talking to you. All the confusion and titles and everything else aside, you were my other best friend. You influenced me like no one else did or could. You supported me and encouraged me and prayed with me. I miss that more than I can or even want to say. And it breaks my heart all over again to know that none of that is never coming back.

I know this for certain because the last time I saw you, the last time you came home, we had an unbearably awkward, painful run-in at Wal-Mart in the checkout line. The days of our closeness are long gone.

2.  I really did love you.

You said you didn't want to commit to me because you knew you were going to leave. You knew you were being given the chance to escape our crappy little hometown. You were going off to college. I remember you talked about scars. You'd been in a long-distance relationship that ended bitterly, and you didn't want to do it again. You didn't want to leave me with the kind of scar you'd been left with. Despite all this talk, when you moved away to school, we somehow grew closer than we'd been before. I found out how true the whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" cliche really was. We stayed up late every single night talking to each other. When you came home, I was one of the first to know. At your insistence, I came to Jackson to see you, to check out your college because you kept begging me to transfer there. And after the night we spent exploring your new city together, I knew, I just knew, that you were the one. I knew I loved you, and I could so easily see myself becoming your wife.

Then what you'd warned me about became reality. I went back home to Alabama, as I had to, of course. And before too long, you found someone else. Someone better, someone you pursued and eventually married. And I was left here in our crappy little hometown, alone, confused, and heartbroken.

Because yes, I really did love you. I had a secret fondness for you from the moment we first met, when you were twelve and I was ten and you came running up to me in the church parking lot with a frog from the creek clasped between your hands. I should also say that even today, I still have a kind of love for you. I certainly don't hate you. I know I acted like I did for a while, but that was just an immature, overly emotional response to my hurting, and I'm sorry for that.

3. I'm happy for you.

It's hard not to be at least a little envious, since you married the girl I felt you picked over me. Since the two of you have created such a great life together. But I can honestly tell you that I am genuinely happy to see you happy.

You successfully escaped Alabama. You have a radiant Christian wife. An adorable baby boy. You're a leader. You're making a difference in people's lives every day you go to work.

You waited. You prayed. You listened to God's voice in your life and followed your convictions. You deserve all the happiness you've found. You really do.


Lacey said...

Wow. This almost made me cry. The saddest part? "And before too long, you found someone else. Someone better, someone you pursued and eventually married."

My heart breaks for you! It sounds like you had an amazing relationship with this guy. I can't even imagine what it would feel like to be so close and so sure about someone and then to watch him choose someone else. Especially if it seemed he felt something for you too. I am so sorry you had to go through that, and I sincerely hope you don't feel the girl he chose is better than you. I've only been following you for a little while, but I can already tell that you are an incredible woman of God and that you have something special about you that any guy would be lucky to have. I won't patronize you and say, "It'll all be alright! There's someone out there for you!" because I know how annoying that is (even though it's true)! I just want you to know that I feel for you and I pray you take heart and rest in God's peace and confidence in His plan for you.

Love to you, my friend!! I hope you have a great week :)

Lacey said...

And thank you for your honesty! It is inspiring.

Jessica said...

I don't tell you enough, but you are such an amazing writer. I know how much you cared about him. I hope that writing this post has helped you free the bitter feelings that you harbored for him. You know I love you! Like you said, I should write one of these too...oh the these I'd say.

Jennifer said...

Lacey, I can't even tell you how much your comment encouraged me today. For some dumb reason, I was close to stressing out over posting those three things. It was just too personal. I was scared he or his mom or somebody they know might find it somehow (lol). But I needed to get it out. And I needed to hear the things you said! So thank you so much for the kindness and thoughtfulness in your response. I wish we knew each other in real life, so I could give you a big ole hug right now! :)

Jennifer said...

Thank you so much, Jessica. Seriously, that means a lot! Writing this helped me make sense of things, to fit everything together now that I'm a little older and a little tiny bit wiser. You should really try this too. There's something very freeing about it. I love you!