Last night, I had a bit of a blast from the past.
I was going through some old text messages on my phone (you know, because I never delete them), and I came across a conversation with friend from back in March of last year. Last March, I visited Phoenix for almost two weeks. I wanted to take a bit of a vacation, and Mr. Fox couldn’t come with me because of work. Because I lived there previously for about 4 years, I have a good many friends still there, and I wanted to see them. One of those friends was my friend Ian H. I actually have two friends named Ian in Phoenix, so I have to designate which one I’m talking about.
Ian H. and I had a strange relationship. We met at Glendale Community College in 2005. He was part of a group of people that I hung out with, mostly anime geeks. I remember Valentine’s Day 2005 in particular because he asked me to go with him to the Anime Club Valentine’s Day party. I was sort of seeing someone at the time, but Ian H. just would not leave me alone. And he was in a vulnerable state because of a bad breakup (which he also tried to enlist my help in trying to fix). We hung out a lot, and I really liked him. A lot. But I wasn’t in the mood to be a rebound. A short time after that, he inadvertently introduced me to my now ex husband Brandon. But we were still stuck on each other. And it was the kind of stuck that you love to hate and hate to love. It was the little things we’d do for each other, albeit begrudgingly, that made our relationship so interesting.
Ian H. stopped trying to get me away from Brandon after a while, so I figured he just didn’t want me anymore. When I told him that I was leaving Brandon, he jokingly referred to me as a “serial wife” (I was married once before Brandon), and even though it was a joke, that stupid reference has stuck with me all this time. While I was separated from Brandon and seeing other people, Ian H. would be constantly telling me that this guy and the other guy weren’t good enough for me. When I was single, he would be with someone else. There was never really a time that we were both single, until right before I met Mr. Fox. I remember Ian H. invited me over to watch a movie, and he made me dinner. It was then that he decided that he didn’t want to hurt our friendship by taking it further. In the front of my mind, I understood. But in the back of my mind, I was devastated. I went home that night and started planning a trip out to Indianapolis to visit some old friends from high school. I joined eHarmony in the hopes of meeting someone else. I eventually met Mr. Fox, moved away from Phoenix to Indy, and married him in 2009. Life’s been grand ever since.
However, there are times when I can’t help but wonder, what if? Especially when I am feeling awful, or Mr. Fox and I have had a fight of epic proportions.
Going back to the Phoenix trip last March. It was during that time that I had an especially bad fight with Mr. Fox (long distance nonetheless), and all I wanted to do was spend time with friends. I wanted to hang out with Ian H, but he kept blowing me off to spend time with his girlfriend. Which was fine, except I made extra effort to make time to hang out with him, rearranged things I had already planned, only to be canceled on at the last minute three times. Did I have a right to be upset and angry with him? Probably not, but I was.
So fast forward to last night’s textual conversation. It always comes back to the same thing. What if? Why? Why did you do this or that? All these thoughts and emotions come out. They always do, and they get us nowhere, except depressed and feeling bad. Second-guessing things that are already good in our lives.
There’s something that my mom always tells me that rings true. The grass isn’t greener. The past is the past. You can’t go back. I am happily married to Mr. Fox and love him dearly. I don’t want to go back to the person I was 5 years ago, because it was such a dark time in my life. However, I do hold on to a few select memories of Ian H, because I know that if I am ever feeling down and out, those memories put a smile on my face. I keep them tucked away in the back of my mind. One could argue that the only reason I still think of him is because I’m not 100% happy with life now, with Mr. Fox. That’s far from true. We have a wonderful marriage, a wonderful home, and a great life together. I love Mr. Fox as much as the day I married him, if not more.
The point is, I’m happy NOW, and there’s no point in going backwards. You can only go forward from here.