It has been just over a year since I last saw my now ex-longtime love.
We've had periods of time apart before now, but this is by far the longest.
Plus, it is permanent.
Over the last 12 months, I've done a lot of pondering. Sorting. Scrutinizing.
When did I become the person he no longer resonated with? When did he become someone I could no longer relate to?
The answers, thus far at least, have surprised me. For starters, I'm not sure I ever actually became a different person over the course of the 15 years we kept company.
Rather, I steadily uncovered more and more of myself, learning as I went along that underneath all the old habits and beliefs and patterns and just....junk....I actually quite like who I am.
This was about the same time I started to realize he didn't.
And it was about the same time I began to detect a difference between liking who I am and liking where I am. They are really, really different!
He also didn't seem to like or approve of where I was in my life at the time we parted ways. But I could live with that, especially since I agreed with him.
But not liking who I am - my sensitivity, my empathy, my love of animals (and especially my trio), my addiction to reading as well as writing, my connection to my family - without these qualities, I am not sure I would even know who I am, let alone want to continue on as me.
To that point, the day we ceased communicating was also the day I realized there wouldn't be any "us" anyway if I attempted to alter my fundamental me-ness.
For the record, I still wake up every day and don't really like where I am at this point in my life.