If there’s one thing people forget about the end of a relationship, it’s the plans you’ve made.
It’s the list of fun to-do’s sitting on a secret Pinterest board only the two of you can see. It’s the care packages you’d already planned out for each month they’d be away at school. It’s the shows you’d queued together on Netflix to someday get to. It’s the times you imagined after you were both free from the world of academia – much further than they could ever imagine, it turns out.
A month ago, these things were such fleeting thoughts, so normal and a part of my life for so long that I didn’t think much of them except how much I looked forward to them.
But now, having spent a weekend away from the world, staring at the sun as it set over a beach with, not the person I’d imagined completing all these plans with, but my incredible, amazing mother who’d whisked me away after three days of not really knowing what to do with myself, following the complete and utter dismantling of my imagined future, I’ve had some time to think about not what could have been, but what there was.
There are so many things that were left unsaid, so many things left undone, but in the end, sometimes, you realize what’s best for the other person, and in some small, painful way, even you as well, is parting ways.
And as much as that hurts, as much as my heart ached every time the conversation in the car ride to the ocean drifted in a direction that led me to, almost automatically, mention the name that was still a fresh wound in my chest, I know that in the end, you learn something from every person that comes in and out of your life.
I’ve said the phrase “if you know me” many times before on this blog, and I’d hope that some of the people reading this actually do know me. If you do, you’ve probably heard about some of the “friends” I had throughout my childhood and even into high school. The ones who’s bullying led me to transfer schools, the ones who’s rumors forced me to escape to the career center.
From those friends, I learned tolerance. From those friends, I learned to see people’s motivations before jumping to conclusions about their actions. And because of those friends, I moved to the school, and escaped to the career center that eventually led me to join DECA, which, if you haven’t figured out by now, is probably the best thing that ever happened to me.
This latest person to come into my life was, yes, at times, naïve, and I was okay with that, because the trade off was getting to watch someone grow into the individual they are now. They stood by me while I was away for nearly a month, made me laugh during some of the hardest times in my life, and was, for lack of a better phrase, a completely unexpected surprise from the moment we met. And while I’m sure there are things we both regret, there are things I’m sure we don’t regret, either.
And while it’s unfair to hold them accountable for the plans I’d made (that, unfortunately, they’ll never get to hear about), or the plans we’d made, now that things have changed so much since we first met, it doesn’t lessen the hurting. But at least I know that now, we’ve learned a few things from each other.
From this person, I learned to smile more. From this person, I learned that being a Ted Mosby isn’t a bad thing, even if it winds up breaking your heart in the end. From this person, I learned that sometimes, it’s okay not to plan out everything in your life, and that the moments you don’t plan can result in some of the best memories you have.
So here’s to the plans I made, the plans we made, and the plans we never got to make.
And thank you for letting me be a part of them.