Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Year Behind: Moving Forward Without Looking Back

"I'm the little one today. 
Tomorrow you could be. 
As long as we talk before passing the umbrella,
we'll always have it." 
-Aaron

The hard thing about moving forward is not looking back - and not looking back has been a major battle of mine for the past month.

My last post, in which I detailed my embarrassing snooping moment, I edited, withheld and treaded lightly while detailing how things went down. And although I'm currently writing about leaving the past behind, I feel I can't move forward with my readers without honestly displaying what I found, how I felt and what I did during that 10-month period of gray area with Aaron.

Here's my attempt at lying naked before you all.

Despite my hundreds of essays on Musings on Love proclaiming my longing and love for Aaron, I must admit that during this time, I was a lonely girl, one who fell in love with an admittedly unavailable man. And in order to deal with my loneliness, I wrote about Aaron, overdosed on movies about relationships and dated a slew of men who were not him.

On Musings on Love, I only scratched the surface of my dating experience during this time. But now, as I've detailed to Aaron, I admit that while I longed for Aaron to be at my side and be my partner, when he was not ready, I was still looking, searching for someone to fill the void--and there was one man who nearly occupied the position Aaron repeatedly turned down.

WE'LL call him, for the sake of confidentiality, "Taylor." He was a successful, witty, self-deprecating financier from across the pond. He was sweet, attentive, unintimidating and above all available, and I was a girl mending a broken heart. Taylor and I met weeks after Aaron broke up with me via email at a Joshua Radin concert I was supposed to attend with Aaron.

We texted for six weeks before finally meeting for drinks in January--during which I texted Aaron to tell him I was "making a house call," one which would reunite us after a three-month absence. Anyway, I was always upfront with Taylor that I was having a hard time getting over my ex and would need to take things slow. This reveal was more for me than it was for him, but despite this, my guilt rose to ridiculous heights because while Taylor steadily worked at wooing me, I steadily fell back into the gray with Aaron.

I KEPT Taylor at a distance while longing for Aaron to, as Meredith Grey once pleaded, "pick me, choose me, love me." And the shit, as the saying goes, hit the fan on Valentine's Day. I didn't expect anything from Aaron because we were not a we, instead I was a lonely girl in love with an unavailable man who took advantage of a kind guy who was available.

My plans on that night were to bring a bottle of wine to Taylor's Lower East Side apartment as he had plans to cook dinner for me. It would be a low-key production. But while brushing blush on my cheeks, my door bell rang and it was Aaron, surprising me with cupcakes for Valentine's Day. His gesture was sweet and thoughtful, but it angered me because he selfishly assumed that I would be alone pining for him therefore obligation led him to take on a boyfriend duty, that to be frank, was already being fulfilled by another man.

Yet after the cupcake dropoff, I committed that I was done with Aaron and Taylor. I would, instead, choose me. But a week later, Aaron was back in bed with me, committing to our new life together. Now, I believe we're both in the midst of reconciling our past with our present and subsequent future.

WHEN I looked through Aaron's stuff last week, it was my attempt at seeking some kind of redemption for having dated another man. I thought if I was out there working on backup plans, Aaron must've been too. And my search for redemption ended when I found a photo of a naked Aaron holding a topless girl.

This one photo, no matter how insignificant it may be in the context of our relationship, set my innards on fire--and acted as the first serve in a ping-pong match of jealousy, insecurity and doubt, one that would find us both wielding paddles in an attempt to fix the damage we'd done to our relationship during that 10-month period.

This battle against the past is something both Aaron and I have committed to fighting together. He best described our current struggle when he sent me a piece by James De La Vega. In the street art, titled "unconditional love," two fish of varying size are swimming. The larger one is holding an umbrella, shielding them from the rain.

Accompanying the piece, Aaron poetically wrote, "I'm the little one today. Tomorrow you could be. As long as we talk before passing the umbrella, we'll always have it."
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