today i'm feeling really grateful.
grateful for a lot of things, but today it's something different. at least for me.
during my pre-teen and teenage years, i didn't really do a whole lot of dating. not that i didn't want to, i'm just pretty dang shy (even more so back then) and i had a boyfriend for a long time. (on and off, but mostly on, for 4 years) in all my life, i've only dated a handful of guys, all long term, so i'm certainly no expert. and for a long time i looked back on those relationships as times in my life that i would NOT want to relive. however, NOW that i'm a big(ger) girl and think on a more mature(ish) level, i can look back and see how each of those relationships helped me to grow into the person i am today.
wanna know where this came from??
oh, the wonderful world of facebook where you can "run into" any and everyone from your past! most of the time, it's awesome! i found my best friend from 6th grade! sweet! it's an easy way to keep up with friends from neighborhoods you used to live in, friends from elementary/jr. high/high school, family members that live far away. it fantastic, right?
so i'm just hanging out on my home page, checking out what's going on with my friends and pages i like and then i see it: "friend A and 2 other people are now friends with Loser M." ok, maybe not in those words exactly, but you get the jist, yes? three of MY friends (or my hubby's friends from HS really) are now friends with Loser M that i happen to have dated once upon a time. great. i always forget that he went to the same high school and it never really occurred to me that Loser M might know some of hubs' friends.
let me back up a little bit more into my dating life. back to when Loser M and i were a 'thing'...
we worked together and he was the ever charming, makes-everyone-laugh guy that was always fun to be around. we hung out and then hung out more regularly. blah, blah, blah, long story short -- he is the ONLY guy i ever dated that made me feel like an object rather than a person. the ONLY guy that pressed for sex/sexual activity even when i said no in several different ways. the ONLY guy that tried so hard to get into my pants in any way he could. not to mention that he worked for my dad and then later my aunt (two different jobs) and tried to use our failed relationship as an excuse when he got himself fired. nice, huh? not to mention that he once came to see me at work (i worked at a tanning salon) and got all kissy-kissy while his buddy stole money from the drawer that i had to pay back myself!! lame!
back to facebook...
so i see that 3 of my friends are now friends with him and just KNOW that it was only a matter of time before my name pops up on his screen under "people you may know" and he sends me a friend request. in fact, i told my best friend the same day that i was waiting for it. sure enough, the next morning, there it is. "Loser M wants to be friends"
WHY would i want to be friends with you? WHY would i have any interest in what you're doing now? WHY would i let you into MY life again? been there, done that, ONLY guy i ever fully regret dating. no, we are not friends. now or ever. facebook or in real life.
in dealing with with all this new awesomeness, it made me think back to the other guys i had dated. the things i learned from our relationships with each other. the things we went thru together. choices we made. things that were said, how things were handled. and while things didn't end up the way we might have thought we wanted them to at the time, all in all, IT WAS A GOOD THING. i've made some choices that i wish i had waited to make. said some things i wish had gone unsaid. BUT, i would not have the knowledge and maturity of feelings/emotions that i have now without them.
AND I'M GRATEFUL FOR THAT.
they know (or at least i hope they do) who they are, and honestly, i'm grateful for the time we had together, both good and bad. i am the good wife, mother and woman that i am today because of it. i see them now with their wives (and children for one of them) and i'm happy that they found someone just right for them as i have for myself. my hubs is my perfect other half. it's hard to put into adequate words just how perfect a fit we are for each other, so you'll have to just trust me. and while i don't enjoy the thought of him having ever dated anyone other than me, i'm grateful for them too. because he is the man he is today in part because of them. or in spite of them maybe? i don't know. (he had a rough time with one in particular) just the same, i'm grateful for life experiences that have molded myself, my husband and the guys i dated into the people we are today. Loser M excluded. (is that mean?)
anyway, it's funny and amazing the way the Lord steps into our lives when we need him to. I don't like to get super churchy or preachy sounding, but there are times in life that you can't help but acknowledge His hand in our lives and the break up of Loser M and is most definitely one of those times. i can't even imagine how my life would be different had we continued dating. all that comes to mind is being a single mom. not something i (or maybe anyone) want to do. parenting is hard enough with someone else on your team let alone being the only player and being out numbered. kudos to those who are doing it and thriving!! but that's another post for another time. :)