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So I took the honest, healthy, or insecure, silly, self-serving, step of calling my former lover who just happens to live in Paris and who I’ve kept in touch with for the past year. There have definitely been a lot of times it has felt much more like it was me who wanted the touching than him, but htat could also be my insecurity speaking. The one time we saw each other over the course of the year, it seemed like we all but had a fight and wanted completely different things from life. But maybe that’s just jetlag and me going through a little depressive state and him being overworked.
Sometimes it feels like this is all a cruel joke of fate, a lesson in letting go. When I first met him, I wasn’t sure our acquaintance would last the night. About a week in, we made plans three months away, and at the point where we would be separated by an ocean, we decided to stay in touch, whatever that means. It wasn’t enough clarity for me, so in a fit of frustration with him I told him I wanted to break up, and basically within a day totally regretted it and tried to get in touch with him. We finally talked a week later and it was clear we weren’t ever going to be in a relationship and he seemed distant and I felt sad and embarrassed. Then we stayed in touch.
I emailed him about once a week from January to June, and he always responded within a few days. Sometimes I’d email him more often and he didn’t always get back to me right away. Finally I saw him in June and it was weird, more like meeting an ex than a long-awaited reunion with a lost lover despite the constant contact.
And then we stayed in contact. I skipped emailing him at some point curious to see if he’d take some initiative and he did. My initial plans to go to France got derailed and I emailed him saying I was sorry not to get a chance to see how things would have worked out between us and wishing him every happiness and of course I’d like to stay in contact. He said he’d try to call more often. He never called for like three months. Eventually I emailed him and didn’t hear. Then I did or something like that. But then I got a job in France as I hoped and I emailed him to let him know once the deal was signed sealed and delivered. No response in the morning, but he texted me wishing Happy Thanksgiving and I asked him if he’d read his email, he hadn’t, and then he called later that day and we spoke briefly. I didn’t want to let him go.
Sent him an email of a photo my mom found of us from last year. He responded a week later with gratitude.
Today I gave him a call. He asked if I’d mind if he called later.
So now it is well after midnight over in France, he has work tomorrow I’m sure, and I’ll just have to wait.
I know I’m not that important, as he’s not that important to me. I never realized that more than when I was going through the interview process for my new job, signing the contract and now working on visa and apartment stuff. When I woke up and looked for emails from France, or simply noticed the joy and excitement that started my day just thinking about the possibility of returning, I didn’t think immediately of him.
And I wouldn’t make any decision for him. I left him, and France, to beter my career prospects and now I’m able to come back and better than ever due to those new experiences.
So now I am waiting by the phone, as I have many times for him before. Wondering if he’ll call this weekend like he said he would. Up until this autumn, he never disappointed me, though it always seemed like a nail biter. I guess I didn’t trust him, or maybe just didn’t trust myself to have someone interested in me.
This time waiting by the phone, I’m struck by the two seeming biggest “problems” in my life: my weight and more or less empty romantic love life. Funny how it’d all be much simpler if I could articulate that I wanted self-acceptance and to feel beautiful and kindness, especially from myself, and not to need the validation of a man or the scale or even the way men look at women or looking like healthy and fit is supposed to look according to the magazines and finally meeting the female ideal of “perfect.” I’m far from there but I don’t hate myself like I used to.
So I am waiting by the phone, curious about my own detachment and how I still crave to hear his voice and I want so bad to believe in him, for him to want me, to feel like he might be waiting for me against all odds. I’m curious about whether it was love I was in love with or there really is something special between him and I, and if the fact that I wonder proves there’s not. But staying in touch counts for something, and love is more than roses.
So I’m waiting, and hoping, not for a Godot in the form of this man, but for myself. To stop waiting for love and give it to myself, and finally know that I can trust myself in a relationship. That I can be with someone without letting myself be taken advantage of. That the right person will not block out the sun of my own energy and independence and self-validation but will only make me shine brighter.
If it’s him, let it be. If it’s not him, let it be as well.