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You’ve Come a Long Way Baby…

This past weekend, Peter and I attended the wedding of a dear friend of mine from high school.  The ceremony was a decoupage of French, Persian and American traditions – each layer building on the last – resulting in a simple and elegant expression of two people in love.

My heart rate was elevated slightly during the cocktail hour because a former boyfriend was afoot.  Our relationship ended less than amicably and we had not seen or spoken to one another in at least a decade.  I cheated myself out of a few good years after our break-up by clinging greedily to my anger.  I relished the role of victim and dug my heels firmly into the cement.  Unfortunately, cement dries.

Ten years, three cities, two relationships and one husband later, I stood face to face with my first lesson in romantic love.  That’s a strange thing, seeing someone you used to be close with after many years.  It’s like adjusting the dial on a radio trying to find a strong signal.  You know it’s out there but all that comes through the speakers are faint whispers surrounded by static.

The next morning, Peter and I drove to the beach, rented a couple of boards and hit the surf.  The waves kept pummeling me into forward somersaults and sideways torpedoes. 

I’m still learning.

Eventually I tired and watched Peter catch wave after wave from the perch of my floating board.  Afterward, we grabbed a couple of tacos and kept an eye on a seagull nosediving for tortilla chips.

When I was a young woman, the impulse to love came naturally but the ability to love sustainably was something I needed to learn.  The hard way.  I needed to be tumbled and torpedoed a few times over before I could stand up tall and find my balance.  Time heals all wounds but scar tissue remains forever.  It’s the scar tissue however that gives us more dimension and it’s the scar tissue that led me to Peter.  I’m a-okay with that.

Your comments

  1. cindy says:

    So many times I have said to Michael that my failed romantic past led me to him. To me, it’s what we learn from each relationship that allows us to find our perfect someone. (In my case it took a really long time) Although there are scars left, I value them because they represent all I needed to know so that I could be with Michael. I like your message today!

  2. Robyn Okrant says:

    This is a lovely post. I have often thought wistfully, “I wish I knew then what I know now.” But of course, it’s the hard journey that brought me here. Plus, what if I ended up with one of the asses I dated when I was younger? All my mistakes lead me to Jim.

    Thanks for the reminder — must appreciate all those bumps and bruises of the past instead of pretending they never happened.

    Well done!


  3. Katie Tyser says:

    Thank you for writing this. It so perfectly sums up exactly how I feel about my own journey to being (almost) married and all of the painful lessons it took to get here. Beautiful metaphor.

  4. Yvonne says:

    You and Peter have something so special that you can meet the old flame and see him as a blown out wick no longer able to burn. Hurray for you! That choice to love made from understanding and self knowledge is true love. Because you are true to yourself then you can share it more ably from strength not dependence and need. I’ve been working on this for 47 years and there are scars but one thing I know Muscles have to tear and repair to grow stronger and that includes broken hearts. Not covering over infection but healed with healthy tissue. Keep at it. You are a head of many in your wisdom. Keep sharing it too. Thank you