As I type this sentence my ex is getting married.
He is standing in the church at this very moment. He is going to say his vows any minute now. Literally now.
And that’s ok. But this moment feels surreal, nonetheless.
I wasn’t particularly ok when I heard the news of his engagement just over twelve months ago: I felt like I was in a car crash in a movie – where everything gets thrown backwards and then forwards in slow motion for what seems like hours. Despite having long moved on from him I was in shock.. and I was surprised at just how much it stung.
Perhaps this was because of who he was to me. See, he wasn’t just an ex. He was my first one. And not only was he my first relationship, he was my first (nearly) everything else. Fill in the gaps, Clouseau.
Not only was he all of this, our families have been best friends since before we were born.
Not only this, he is my Dad’s godson and the apple of his eye.
Not only have we known each other for all of our 22 years, there was a time when it wouldn’t have surprised our parents if it was us who were getting married today. (Yes, they verbalised that).
Well, for a time.
Thankfully, the feeling-like-I’m-in-a-slow-motion-car-crash sensation only lasted for 36 hours, during which I consulted my reliable sidekick, Google, with the statement: “my ex is getting married”. The blogs and forums that I found were quite comforting with their general advice and sentiment of “this too shall pass”. And they were right: it has become easier and easier since then.. although, I’m not going to lie, there have been
some plenty of moments over the past twelve months which have been less than.. enjoyable.
Initially, it felt like The Wedding was all that my parents could talk about. Yay! Then attention turned to the wardrobe, with my Mum constantly consulting me on what to wear to The Wedding. Only two new dresses, two new pairs of heels, one new bag and a fascinator were required to finally formulate the perfect outfit. Yes, mention of The Wedding made me bristle up quite easily initially.
I should explain: It’s not that I want (or wanted) to be with him. No, not in the vaguest. See, I fell for the 16 year old him.. and we’ve both changed and grown so much since then. In fact, I don’t actually know who he is today..
No. I think part of the pain came from receiving that final confirmation that my youthful dreams for my life would never become a reality. Dreams in which he played a starring role.
Those dreams and plans were put through the shredder many years ago, but hearing that he had put a ring on it (oh, Queen B) momentarily brought everything to the surface again. It felt like some annoying git was rubbing this bizarre form of defeat in my face, declaring in permanent marker that we were never, ever going to be together. Yes, thank you, sir. I got that memo and if you remember correctly, it was my dream and it was I who chose to put that dream through the shredder in the first place.
As I type this my parents are watching my ex getting married. My Dad is doing a reading during the ceremony, in fact. I was invited to The Wedding and I would’ve been happy to go, but, as it so happens, it is being held in England. And, let’s be honest: I wasn’t going to pay a few thousand dollars to flog my arse over to the other side of the world during the middle of the uni semester to a wedding during which I would’ve been faking a smile.
But, here’s the thing: that was my rationale this time last year. I think that if I was sitting in the church with my parents today that my smile would be genuine, because I have since realised that even if things had worked out between him and I, that I do not want the life that he wants, nor the path that he is taking.
I know that, personally, I am not ready to get married. I’m still getting to know myself and, let’s not lie, I am looking forward to spending my 20s enjoying life without too many major commitments or responsibilities. I don’t think that getting married young is a bad thing, but it’s just not right for me at this present moment.
So, I am happy for him and his (now) wife. I hope that their marriage is long, happy, peaceful and full of contentment.
I send them nothing but my love and the small smile playing upon my lips.