Last weekend while I was at my local Target I saw an ex-girlfriend. I’m sure she saw me too because her cheeks got that red color I remember very well from when she got embarrassed. I was with my sister and my dad so I didn’t make an effort to say hello, and she was with two kids I’m assuming are hers.
The crazy part is just that week I thought to myself. I wonder what would happen if I ran into her? We broke up about 12 years ago. The reason I was able to see the Twin Towers in New York is because of a vacation we took together in 2000. I have very fond memories of her and a few not so fond. She was funny, pretty, liberal, and smart. Just my type.
I said we broke up but, in truth, she dumped me. All these years later I’ve realized that her dumping me was a catalyst that helped me grow up. About 5 years ago I remember discussing with a friend and mentor, Mieka, that I’d gotten complacent and didn’t show the ambition that made me attractive to this ex. I’d started to think about life in terms of just getting by instead of getting ahead. I’d given up big dreams in favor of small ones. I’d become the kind of guy I’d encouraged girls to break up with.
I can’t be certain that’s why she broke up with me, but looking back at all of my relationships, before and since, I realized that the reason I attract most women (I bear no illusions about my appearance, I’m O.K. looking) is my intelligence and my ambition. When I thought back to the conversations we had and my head-space at the time she left me, I realized I’d given up on my dreams, but still talked about them like some high school football player whose best days are behind him.
She’d given up on her dreams too, but she’d come up with an alternative that was more realistic and would give her a career. I hadn’t.
I can’t be positive, but I think I was a bit of a loser.
Not having a girlfriend encourages you to better yourself. You have to try harder so other women find you attractive. But I was still sort of coasting along.
5 years ago I figured that out. 5 years ago I actually gave my college dreams one big shot. I learned a lot and I know what it would take to achieve them. I don’t have that right now. 5 years ago was when I decided to stop coasting and get serious about what I was doing. To take my job and figure out how I create a career out of it. That’s when I gave my self a cheap business education (part of which I describe here). Her dumping me was necessary to get me to this point, without it I never would have achieved what I’ve achieved. I’m getting ready to start my own business. Had we stayed together I don’t think I’d even be close to doing that.
I loved her a lot, but I think we’re both better off with the directions the intervening 12 years have taken us. So I thank you, ex-who-shall-remain-nameless, for kicking me in the ass when I really needed it. I hope you’re enjoying your life. If we run into each other again, I may say hello.