You can feel it in your stomach as you look at yourself getting ready to head out. You’re heading to a new place. It’s a new custom in this new life. You don’t crave the past the way you used to, but it’s still there. At times, the nostalgia tempts you to name all the things you’d give up just to have them back.
But you sense an elated shift, a change of heart. And just as the temptation to glamorize the past begins, it doesn’t catch as much speed as it used it, and you feel something new surface…
You can’t go back because you finally got that song back.
Because you stopped scanning for a familiar face. Hey, who’s the new guy?
Because you blanked on one of those final phone numbers the last time you thought up an excuse to contact your ex. Was it a 7 or an 8?
Because you finally got to a place where you stopped nit-picking at the relationships around you.
Because it turns out you never really liked that place you guys used to eat at together.
Because you’re not sure you want to give back that side of the bed.
Because you’re waiting to bump into that crush again.
Because the last place you expect to see your ex is on your phone screen.
Because you’re falling in love with your friends…the way you used to fall for your ex.
Because you have other things to discuss with your friends now.
Because the urge to bring this up has faded when others come to you for romantic advice.
Because when you watch love stories, you think ahead.
Because as it turns out, this single business is kind of fun, like freshman in college kind of fun! Who knew you’d get to live that out again?
Because, somehow, it doesn’t matter why they were wrong anymore.
Because when things get bad and things get lonely, it’s still better than the feeling in your gut when the end was near.
Because it ended in a lot of things, but it didn’t end in love.
Because you don’t get nervous on their street anymore. And it eventually stops being their street altogether.
Because it turns out, what made them a little more interesting…was you.
Because after the breakup, you finally got to really know them and they weren’t who you thought they were. But then again neither were you.
Because the last time you saw your ex, for whatever reason, things were the same, but things were different. Gazing at them carefully, you tried to picture yourself by their side. You thought about all those months or years of self-reflection and survival.
You can’t go back because, for the first time, ‘by their side’ doesn’t seem like the place where you need to be. You look down at the shirt you bought that time you were angry and alone. It’s now your favorite. You check the time and it’s almost time for your catch up dinner with new friends you made. You look around at this new life you built with your bare heart.
Because you are now noticing that there is distance between the you of the past and this one.
Because that very distance is proof of a journey and you’ve just now realized that you didn’t leave the crumbs to find your way back.