It’s funny how one ending can bring up others.
As the Ph.D. phase of my life comes to a close, I’ve been thinking a lot about my ex-husband. We do not keep in touch. I’ve been thinking about sending him a copy of my dissertation with a note in it. I don’t even know quite why I want to send it.
A really bad reason to reconnect with someone.
Something to prove?
Still not the best reason.
Because I’m proud of this big accomplishment, he’s still the person that I shared a connection with the longest in my life, and I want to share this milestone with him?
Considering I’m crying as I write those words, maybe my intentions are honorable after all.
Gods, these past five years have been hard. My divorce was technically finalized before I started the Ph.D. program, but I’ve been healing from so much loss in addition to the divorce. Five significant deaths in the past five years, a series of dating disappointments, significant battles within my department that have caused me to defend myself against exacerbated or imaginary crimes…
I don’t need much of a reminder that so much as been gained too. I’ve gotten myself back. That by itself is plenty. I’ve found my creativity and given it space. I’ve quieted the negative voices, and given a megaphone to my positive voices for when the negative ones get too unruly.
What goes around comes around.
I’ve found that saying to be true.
I Googled my ex- looking for an address. It seems that his younger brother died in February. Instead of waiting to send my dissertation and a note, I decided to send him a Facebook message today, sending my condolences along with my accomplishment.
Maybe I’ll hear back. Maybe I won’t. I’m Ok either way.
But in theory, I think it’s stupid that two people who were each other’s everything for so long, as lacking as we were for each other, to completely disconnect. Reaching out now feels like the right thing to do. I hope he takes my message in the spirit that it was sent: me sharing my accomplishment and happiness in the hopes that he has his own version of those in his life. And also, me sharing my empathy to the pain of losing someone who you are incredibly close to.
“Those who ignore the past are doomed to repeat it.” ~ George Santayana
So this is me, facing my past. Hypothetically I wouldn’t need to contact him to do this, but it feels like the right thing to do. I don’t want to avoid the idea that I was ever married, even though I HATE checking that ‘divorced’ box on any survey or paperwork that I fill out. And certainly, learning that his brother passed makes me want to reach out even more.
While I’ll never be friends with this particular ex-, we had a connection for a long time. And I had a connection with his family.
Right now, I want to honor that connection.
To gain a little more closure. To let the past lie. To move on just a little bit more.
I feel like I’ve been ready to begin again for a long time. That hasn’t been in my cards as of yet. But whenever it is, I know the ending will be different this time. I’ll continue on the spiral of life…