Last year at this time I found myself consumed by memories of a former crush who had returned to being a present one. I woke up one day and conjectured we could have had it all, so why couldn't we have it all now?
In a post on this very blog, I wrote about being hung up and can we ever get over some people? I knew all along it's possible. Since middle school I've endured countless crushes and a few less affairs, but I've always recovered. My natural state is the chronic, content single, and that is who I would be again.
Well, here is my hello from the other side. My romantic disappointment did not spawn a multi-platinum album or result in a book deal. But I have survived. I am no less for wear. And frankly, I'm bored.
The anguish of unrequited love is far more poetic than the calm of being over someone. There is no agony, ecstasy, or anxiety. If puppy love is a sappy rom-com and unfulfilled love makes for an Oscar winner, then being over someone is the movie released straight to video. There's nothing to see here.
I'm forced to reflect on this as Valentine's approaches (or at least willing to reflect). Where last year I could stay up into the wee hours scrolling her Facebook timeline, searching the archives of Instagram, and dissecting Snapchats, tonight I go to bed without a click on any of her social media. In fact I haven't thought of her in weeks except to think, How was I ever so into you?
This is a sentiment different from repulsion. I have liked some persons who I looked back on months later with disgust. Lust is a disease even the most rational minds must subscribe to. But this feeling is more about removal. The passion I once harbored has cooled to the point that I can't even find the ashes of the fire anymore. How did the fire start? Who kept it going?
But the memories, I know they were real. I know there was something. It's a fossil. Dinosaurs once walked here, but I can't see them now.
And gosh, again I say, it's boring.
I somewhat miss - okay, I totally miss the drama, the guessing, the flirtations, and the scheming. Did she like me? Would we work? Was it real or just play? Could I break up she and her boyfriend? Was I a horrible villain for wanting that? Was she a co-conspirator? Am I crazy?
Now what is there to think about? I drive in my car and Adele croons. I have nothing to attach to the lyrics. I run to Mumford & Sons. My pace does not quicken as they paint the angst of failed courtship. Months ago I sprinted to these ballads of suffering (though I never relegated myself to emo or screaming metal, thank you very much). Now I jog.
I don't even think of my late crush's reaction if I was to find a new paramour, which I once did. Call that maturity, but it's also a sign of apathy.
But boring as lack of romance is, it is better. There is control. There is more sleep, less Facebook stalking, and an openness to new people. Comparisons are no longer the metric; first impressions are. And if I go to California, I won't be dreaming about who we used to be.