#FlashbackFriday: What Could Have Been…
I don’t know about you, but I find Facebook Memories fascinating.
It’s incredible how much has happened, and how much I’ve forgotten since I set up my FB account. Scrolling through my memories makes me smile, reminisce, cringe and occasionally get a little bit sick in my mouth if pictures of certain exes come up. Some memories feel like yesterday; while some feel like a lifetime ago. And it’s truly amazing how much has changed.
Five years ago this week, I left a man I might have married. We had a beautiful home, a nice lifestyle, the world’s sweetest dog and over 10 years of history. We were truly loved up and happy for a while. He’s a man who had always been a “what if?” in my life, after a failed fling way back when. And when he arrived back in my world, it was fireworks and romance and what I think we both thought would be forever.
He was a good man. Probably still is. Over time, though, we changed. My illness improved and I returned to work, which in turn renewed my confidence and joy for life. I wanted to run free and explore London again, after so much time ill in bed. He got more settled and wanted to stay home. We headed in different directions, and the similarities that had brought us together faded away into nothing. It didn’t end well – he didn’t want it to end at all – and we no longer speak. He’s married now, I hear. I hope he’s truly happy.
The funny thing is, it feels like so much longer than 5 years. Since that day, I’ve moved house 6 times. I’ve met wonderful people, travelled, survived a controlling relationship, found out what love really is and isn’t, grown up (and had a fling with a toy boy, which was fun). I’ve had more health problems, and I’ve had more recovery time. I’ve started a business, reconnected with my family, and no longer see the friends I saw then (some because they live on the other side of the world, others because they were toxic). Most importantly of course, last year I had my beautiful son.
Although I’ve never regretted my decision to end things, realising it was five years ago made me wonder, what if? What if I’d been more patient, or he’d listened more. What if I’d said yes to marrying him. If I’d have been less wild, and more ready. I wonder if we’d have been happy now. It’s easy to rewrite history in your head, given half the chance.
Back in reality? I wouldn’t trade a second of it. Despite all of the pain of the last few years, as I sit here, with my gorgeous child beside me, laughing at nothing, chattering away in his own little language and holding my hand just because he loves me, I know that every inch of this journey, every moment of darkness I’ve been dragged through brought me to here, this moment. And in this moment, with the funniest, smartest and most loving little boy you could wish for by my side, I couldn’t be happier. I would not change a thing.
So while you may look back and wonder what might have been, remember. Every bad thing you go through leads to better. Every road you walk has different junctions, and eventually, you’ll become the person who takes the right turn-off. Even if it takes a while.
Everything happens for a reason. And my beautiful reason reminds me of that every day.