An incredible thing happened to me recently.
A few weeks ago I was sitting across from my friend Nicole as she went on and on about the One.
Nicole and I haven’t been friends for very long, and friends who haven’t known me since college or spent a night drinking wine with me on my couch discussing all of our past mistakes don’t know about the One. Mostly because I can’t sum our history up in a cute word or even a novella.
So, as she extolled the destroyer of my innocence, I nodded and smiled and did everything I could to hide the fact I didn’t have 20 (or 20,000) questions.
Eventually, as is the case with all pain, my body eventually numbed, and I could stop faking my inner peace and actually start listening to everything she was saying. Which is when the something astounding happened.
The year before it would end for the and the One, Alanis Morissette released her song Thank U. Twelve months later, right about the time we stopped talking to each other, the song was on heavy rotation in our gym -- it is possible our strength trainer was also going through something at the time. Two lyrics really struck me as I snatched more weight than a 21-year-old girl should be capable: “How ‘bout me not blaming you for everything.” And “how ‘bout how good it feels to finally forgive you.”
More than wanting the One to love me the way I loved him, I wanted to feel those things.
And, because you know I got through the stages of break-up with the One many years ago, I did eventually stop blaming him for every bad decision I made after he broke my heart and even managed to forgive him for not wanting to spend the rest of his life with me.
However, sometimes, mostly on nights when I can’t sleep, or when I hear our song or am watching Sliding Doors, or just finished beating myself up because I can still recognize him from behind, from 30 feet, I still blame myself for falling for him in the first place.
I hurt for so long and didn’t trust myself for even longer. And on those early mornings, in my bed, I think about how it all could’ve been different if I was just smarter. When my heart is throbbing under my sweaty tank top, both from running and his proximity, I shake my head and whimper, “You did this to yourself, Tati.”
But, sitting across from Nicole, listening to her say the same things I used to say to my friends all those years ago, I realized two things: (1) my very smart, successful, attractive friend was falling victim to the One’s charms and, (2) it was time to forgive my 19-year-old, naive self for doing the very same thing.