What would it be like to meet you fresh, as 41 year old me? Would we even make it beyond the first date, or would you be like the dozens of dates that have slipped quietly from my memory in the early evening hours after a meh drink or 3 at the same bar we've both been to more times than we can count?
But now I realize that I am glad we are not strangers again, despite how little I feel I ever knew you. Because, in the end, I learned a lot.... not from you, but from the work I did over the years to get past you.
I would never know how to set boundaries and speak needs. I think I realized this the last time we had drinks on Haight. I tried to speak needs and you lashed out on me. I knew at that moment that I was done with you; that our time was over.
I would never know the importance of perception checking... I think I knew this fairly early with you, but it was cloaked in your jealous blaming, so it took me a minute to truly understand. It is not all about you.
I would never know the power of forgiveness, because you (not) working that ninth step makes me remember over and over how toxic resentment is.
So, now I walk in a world of strangers. Bullies remind me of that time when your soon to be best friend was so cruel to you, and all I wanted was to cover you in love, but didn't know how. No one seems to give a shit, and the weekends feel like drowning and hopelessness. Yet, I still know better than to have feelings for you or you or you or you... My heart healed and I know better than to try to attach to someone so narcissistic or cruel as you or you or you or you.
Instead, I just walk forward; trying to keep hope alive that one day someone will love me.... one day, my person will say "where have you been?" And in that moment, I will be grateful that we were not strangers again.