Today, I don't know why, I thought of him again, and I wondered how he is processing what happened between us. Maybe I assume too much when I say "is processing." Maybe he already HAS PROCESSED it, has moved on, and doesn't think about me or us anymore whatsoever. I've learned that I cannot assume that everyone is as sensitive as I am. (And I wouldn't wish it on anyone!)
But I'm still processing it, unfortunately. I wish I could be done.
Today's angle was wondering what his overall, lasting impression of me is. And, of course, all the old thoughts, wondering what I could have done differently. When we first broke up, people told me, "Don't think there's anything wrong with you. It happens." Well, I don't think there's anything wrong with who I am per se, but I do worry about things that I do wrong. I've done lots of things "wrong." I can be pretty myopic and awkward, and not realize until after I've stepped on toes how I came across to others, not intending to harm but harming anyway. I know my odd presence is off-putting to some people.
Did I say too much? Did I move too fast? Did I not say enough? Did I not say the right things? Did I not show him my affection effectively?
And I wonder what it was about me that was the deal-breaker. I know, it's probably best not to know. In the past I've had guys who liked me, and I had to tell them I didn't want a romance with them, but didn't have the heart to go on to tell them, "Sorry, you're a great person, I love you to pieces, but you're just not my type." And it's usually something kind of hard to define that makes them "not my type." And it's not their fault, nor would I want them to try to change. It just is what it is.
So maybe I'm torturing myself unnecessarily by asking myself this question, but part of me feels like if I could answer it, maybe I could do better with the next person who comes along. What about me didn't "click" for him? (when almost everything about him clicked for me!) Did I come across as neurotic? Desperate? Pompous? Irresponsible? Cold? Boring? Uptight? Eager? Creepy? Clumsy? Clueless? Out of touch? Naive? Lazy?
I had planned to give him a personally-painted coffee mug for his birthday. It was the perfect gift for so many reasons. I'm a careful gifter, when it comes to those I love, and I had this all planned out. But the break-up happened before I could make it. Around the time of his birthday, I went ahead and made the mug anyway, but gave it to myself, to help honor my healing. I used colors I like instead of the colors that he likes. Otherwise, the concept was similar.
I made it at a local business where you can purchase a ceramic object and paint it. Then the people running the business will glaze and fire it for you. (I think it is done by art students at the university in town.) Before submitting the mug to be glazed and fired, it looked like this:
I posted this photo to my FaceBook page, mentioning my disappointment. My dear friend, Michelle, who has been my confidante throughout this heartbreak, said she thought it was appropriate, considering the original recipient of the mug.
Wow. I hadn't even put the two ideas together until she said it.
And somehow, this was comforting to me, a bit. The bad glaze job was not my fault, and completely out of my hands. I had submitted it carefully and thoughtfully, but whoever did the glazing treated it casually and clumsily. The metaphor jumped out to me... It's not my fault. I did my best. I presented my heart, my self, my life, in as careful, thoughtful, present, and honest way as I knew how. I made mistakes, but I tried to correct them. How he responded was out of my hands. I'm disappointed with the results, but I don't have to bear the responsibility.
Please let this sink in. I'm tired of hurting over this. I'm tired of torturing myself, wondering if I should write him back and apologize for my part in the mess. I'm tired of worrying whether I hurt him. I'm tired of trying to figure out what the lesson is and what I can change to do differently next time. I'm tired of enduring retrospective embarrassment due to what I can only imagine that he thought about me. Embarrassment paralyzes. But maybe there's nothing to change after all.