Back when I still thought being head cheerleader would solve all my problems, I had a teacher that wanted to explain truth to a bunch of 17-year-olds.
She asked us, using me as an example, if my mother came into my bedroom when I was sleeping and told me she loved me, and the following day I was asked “When was the last time your mother told me she loved me?” What would be the truthful answer?
Then, let us suppose, that I went home and my mother told me about her late night visit to my room and its purpose, did that mean I lied earlier?
I know I have been talking (err, writing) about truth a lot lately, and there is a reason for that.
I recently learned that Houdini is dating someone I find absolutely deplorable. What bothers me isn’t that he is dating someone, or that he is dating her, really. What bothers me is trying to figure out how Houdini -- or who I thought Houdini was -- can date me and then date her. How can he possibly be attracted to both of us when we are so completely opposite? Was the time Houdini and I spent together a lie or is the guy this despicable woman dating not Houdini?
It would be lovely if it were that easy. But I realized, it’s not. Truth changes.
I think we all want it easy. We want people to fit into neat little boxes. We want the good guy. The bad boy. The hero. The villain. Sadly, however, we aren’t characters in a bad romantic comedy. We are a little more three dimensional than that -- and maybe that is a good thing.
Eff that -- it is a good thing.
See, if we were just characters in a movie, then I would be relegated to the weird, cold, strangely obsessed with things no one else cares about best friend that you like and think is funny, but never know what really happens to and after the credits roll, you completely forget about until you see her again playing another quirky best friend. But I’m more than that.
And so is Houdini.
Whatever he has done since the break-up -- and whatever he does in the future -- doesn’t change what happened between us. It doesn’t make his I love you’s a lie. And if they were a lie, it doesn't change my feelings for him. It doesn’t make my feelings for him stupid or me stupid for having them.
Same holds true for your exes; whether you spent three months with him/her or three years. We can’t know the whole truth. We can only know our truth -- and we have to trust that. And that is true not just about relationships, but about life.
So, I’m not a hypocrite for thinking I could be single and happy forever and now desperately wanting a boyfriend. It also doesn’t mean I can’t be single and happy forever. It just means that who I was when I was 23 isn’t who I am as I turn (cough, cough) 33. And thank goodness for that.
It also means that I may have to find a new way to be happy and single. It may also mean not casting every guy I meet into a convenient role so I don’t have to actually get to know him.
I know it is too late for New Year’s resolutions -- thankfully it isn’t too late for Chinese New Year’s resolutions -- but I think I finally have one (above and beyond the learning French and tennis and loosing a ton of weight). In 2011, I resolve to not dwell in the past and just try to live in the here and now with all the beauty (and sometimes ugliness) that it brings. I'm also not going to spend so much time in the here and now trying to figure out everything I don't know.
Because tomorrow could change everything.