What Am I Returning To

I fell in love with someone in high school. I felt it then, but didn't realize how deeply I felt it until much later in life. All I knew was that it scared me to feel that strongly about anyone else so early in life.
I didn't want to be the girl that marries her high school sweetheart. I wanted adventure, a career, a full life before I would settle down with anyone. I always felt that another person would just hold me back, keep me from what I wanted to do. I had no real evidence that any of this was true, except I just couldn't shake the feeling. So, when he told me he loved me (after jumping through all kinds of hoops, which NO ONE has ever done for me with quite the same passion) I answered that I didn't feel the same. We broke up and proceeded to date other people, and occasionally each other all throughout high school.

When I went to college, I jumped right into a long term relationship. A terrible one, based on insecurity and mistrust. Good times were had, but it took a lot of bad things for me to finally realize that I was wasting my time. And when it was over, I reminded myself of how I had felt before. None of that had changed. I still wanted an exciting life free from obligation to another person. Of course, it helped me to gain perspective by comparing the two relationships (which may or may not have been the "healthy" choice, but it worked for me).

I got back on track and pursued my dreams, and immediately fell for a younger guy. This relationship was more like babysitting. Again, fun times, but overall more of a learning experience than a solid supportive relationship, throughout which we fought a lot, he cheated a lot, and I broke up with him several times. It finally stuck when we moved to Los Angeles together. While it was the right decision for me to move, I should have done it without him. I realized that very early on, and left.

I spent two blissful months pounding the pavement, looking for work, and living the dream. Until I met the most recent one. Silver tongued and full of charm and charisma, he swept me off my feet. I was over the moon with just a nod from him. And despite my doubts early on, that no one should have that kind of power over anyone, I chugged along, 'cause I was pretty sure within 6 months that he was the one. After 7 years, and a lot of heart ache, trying to prove how great I was to someone who just wasn't ready to settle down ( despite the fact that he told me repeatedly I was " the one") I left. I had waited. I had been the good girlfriend. I had built his business and helped him grow in ways that amazed family and friends.

Despite how desperate I sound, I'm a fairly good catch. But I have a tendency to want to "fix" whatever comes my way. I lose focus on my own needs and jump head first into any task that needs doing. And as I got older, the desire to marry, and start a family became more prominent, especially after listening to his talk about "our" future.

I struggled with feelings every day, wondering if I was just kidding myself. Knowing I had lost sight of all that had been important to me while helping him live his dream. And I had done that with all 3 of the most recent relationships. Each time, never being " enough" for any of them, until I was gone. Always when I left, they had the epiphany that I was the best thing that had ever happened to them, and so on.

The only ex I remained friends with was the high school one. We would chat from time to time, and always the question would arise from one or the other of us, "Do you ever think what if?" We both had, always. And he would tell me about things he was doing that had been inspired by something I said or did, and I found new interests based in his stories. There was nothing " wrong" with our relationship. Ever. Except that it was high school, and I wasn't ready.

I recently spent some time with him. And I never felt more like myself than during those days. He said the same, and we both just enjoyed being around each other. Family members stated I had never seemed happier. They were right. I was. So happy. So unfettered and so enjoyable to be around.

We talked and I asked him if he still thought about being together. Apparently he did, but we did t even live in the same state. Long distance was a definite "no". And I agreed. I wouldn't be able to handle it, and it was unfair to both of us.

It was odd that we had the conversation at the time we did, because I had been thinking for a long time that it was time to leave the life I was living. I was spinning my wheels, and it felt like everything in the universe was pointing to "get out, this isn't for you anymore".

And maybe I just needed that extra push from someone with no agenda to make me realize just how unhappy I was. My family and friends had noticed the steady decline in my spirit for years, and when they pointed it out, I would shrug it off and just say it was work, or whatever.

I left Los Angeles a month ago. Put all my stuff in storage and decided I had to change my life. I've been staying with my mom, and in a couple of days I go back home to my dad's to "recharge". I need this, and I know I'm going to get some time and space there to figure out where I'm going next.

The high school ex still lives in my home town. He is very successful, and still a close friend of the family, so it's a given that I will see him. It's not the right time to consider a relationship. I know that. But the question still arises in my mind, "What if?"

Throughout the years since high school, that question has always been there, and maybe I will get an answer. If for nothing else than to put it out of my mind. I don't know.

WW337 WW337
31-35, F
1 Response Dec 1, 2012

It's okay. I may be young but I know this, in life wondering what's ahead is the adventure and expecting what's ahead is hope. Your question "what if" is the most hopeful question i have ever heard and it usually leads to the greatest adventures of our lives. These questions build how we think, feel and most importantly who we become. And after we've aged and near death most of our "what if"s have been answered then we can write the story of our mishaps and achievements.