In 2015, I am in the middle of a heartbreak. I know it will not last forever. I know that it may not be my greatest to date. And it may not be the greatest I’ll ever experience. That knowledge offers solace in its own way.
But now is not the time for solace. Now is the time to be grateful and to achieve that, I have been musing over all the things that the bartender has given me throughout our long and tumultuous triste. And I can think of no better way to do this than by saying “thank you.”
Thank you for surprising me. I am no psychic. I cannot see the future, and sometimes I assume that my inability to do so means that nothing good will ever happen. You proved me wrong. You proved that good times and amazing memories and even love, the type of loves that pushes you to the ground and knocks the breath out of you and leaves your vision in swirls, can come from unexpected places when you least expect it. It gives me hope that the future truly is better than I can imagine and that something good might just be around the corner.
And you are just the latest in a parade of people, flirtationships, partners, almost lovers and more, who have give me perhaps more than I deserve.
To the first one after my divorce — so many years after my divorce. Thank you for being comfortable, for being a kind person with whom to experience such a terrifying experience anew. You gave me the confidence and the assurance that it wasn’t so terrifying to be with someone else. You made me feel desirable.
Thank you you for liking me as much as you did. I needed that. I am sorry that I couldn’t provide the same for you in return. I hope you will have fond memories anyway.
Where would I be without the hot geek, the guy who felt like he would be my one who got away for years? Despite the fact that I know this is no longer the case, I wouldn’t be even a fraction of who I am without his accidental assistance.
Thank you, then, to him who taught me I am a nice person. I had never dared consider that about myself before him. Thank you for flirting and laughter and cuddles and the best kisses of my adult life. Thank you for allowing me to (re)discover my geekery. Thanks for being humble despite being such a treat for my eyes to feast upon.
I hope the woman you found does all of this for you and more!
To my ex-husband, the person who deserves thanks in various and confusing ways. I know I will miss things that could be added to this list, but four years is a long time to remember all those little things.
Thank you for the inside jokes, your adorable silliness and for being the first person with whom I could express my sexual side without hiding it. Thank you for, literally, showing me the world. The time away from my home town and my family made me appreciate them all the more when it was finally time to return to them.
Thank you for making me believe in the institution of marriage, for the first time in my life, if only for a little while. Thank you for bringing a sense of calm and serenity to my life and for being the first person to hold me together, physically and emotionally.
I am forever in your debt, not only for sharing a life, money and a home, but for the pets we would adopt together. Thank you for allowing me to keep them. During out time together, I was finally able to feel like I wasn’t facing this world alone. I felt like I was part of a team, and that other people understood the same struggles we were going through.
And, finally, thank you for leaving me. I am not sure when, or if, I ever would have had the courage to leave our marriage. I loved you so much, but you were slowly killing me. Although I still disagree with your reasons and ultimately think that our marriage could have worked had we better worked together, the sudden change in the direction my life went in is the single greatest motivation I’ve ever had to be happy. And I needed that.
It was through our separation and divorce that I finally found a counselor who clicked and a counseling style that I still rely on to this day. It was through those trials and many, many errors that I would build the foundation of the adult that I am today — well-adjusted, compassionate, caring, helpful, three-dimensional, sex positive and more. While I cannot say for sure that it wouldn’t have happened anyway given time, thank you for pushing it to happen more quickly. I am glad to have the worst behind me.
Thank you for showing me that I needed to believe in myself so that I could avoid the same mistakes we made with future partners. I hope you’ve learned anything at all from us. Without you, I am not sure I would be able to feel grateful to anyone who came after you.