Although I can't speak for others, I have so far found that my 30th year has been a year of reflection and deep thought. I've had some strange things happen in my life just recently that have left me thinking about the last few years and were I was in 2006. Life has changed so much for me since that year. I knew many people that I now haven't spoken with in a very long time. I have a story about 2006 I'd like to share with you, something I will likely not share again after this.
In 2006 I was handling Sales for North America for my company. I traveled from time to time, did Dealer Visits across the country, met a lot of people and went a lot of places. It was the life I had always dreamed of, minus the money I thought I would be making while doing it. It's not the first time, and it certainly wasn't the last time, I found myself too broke to afford food. There were a few different people I was seeing at the time, and each of them would take me out to dinner.
That summer I had decided to only see two people. The first one lived in Burbank and had me convinced that he was the one I was going to settle down with and marry. It wasn't because I loved him, though he certainly loved me. It was more a sense of belonging. We were comfortable together and we made one another smile and laugh. We were a good fit.
The second was an interesting guy, and as most people who have ever meant anything to me, we met under interesting circumstances as well. I was crazy about him right off the bat, but he told me constantly that he didn't want to mislead me. He wasn't interested in being exclusive, and that I was free to see other people as well. I'd never been in a relationship like that before and didn't know how to handle it, so I kept on doing what I had been - occasionally driving to Burbank. Had it not been for this interesting person and strange relationship, I imagine I would have married that "comfortable" person and settled down, living in Burbank, only to end up divorced yet again later on down the road.
This guy had been a challenge for me. No matter how much of myself I gave to him, he would never freely give himself to me. He refused to fall for me, no matter which tricks I used. He called me "Dangerous". Those of you who knew me well in 2006 have probably by now figured out who I'm talking about, though you find the other man, the comfortable man, a complete surprise. The one I found myself falling in love with while trying to get him to fall for me was Pete.
A few days before Christmas, I had a bit of a melt down, realizing that I would never get Pete to love me. I went away to Burbank for a couple of days to cry on the shoulder of the "other man" that nobody knew about. He was my best friend at the time, and though he knew about Pete, he thought Pete was only a friend. How could I crush this poor man's heart? It was wrong of me to do and to this day I've not forgiven myself for it. For Christmas, he bought me a beautiful Celtic engagement ring. I never saw him again. I left the ring in the center console of my car and he picked it up one day while I was at work.
What brought about this change of heart? Why did I suddenly decide to play it straight and not balance myself between the two of them anymore? On December 9th of 2006, two days before my 27th birthday, I was leaving Burbank and filling my car with gas on my way to see Pete when he called me. He asked if I was mad at him to which I replied I was not. He said that he had been worried about me since he hadn't heard from me. I knew it was unfair to do to him since I fully understood he would never tell me that he loved me, but I told him right then that I loved him. Much to my surprise, he said it back. I cried the whole way to Pete's house that night, overjoyed. I hadn't realized just how much he meant to me and how much I loved him. I called Burbank that night and told him I could never see him again. He didn't understand why and I didn't have it in my heart to explain in detail. He was a good guy. He deserved better than that.
Pete asked me to marry him on April 4th of 2007, and we set the date for July19th of 2008. He called it off in April of 2008 though, and I don't think I ever got over it. I loved his family, his friends, the life we had built together, and him, more than anything I think I ever loved in my own life. When we finally split on March 31st of 2009, I had hoped the next morning when I woke up in a cold and lonely hotel room that it had all been a mean April Fools joke. Obviously it hadn't been.
I still regret hurting Burbank, but if I had not made the decision I had made, who knows where I would be now? Perhaps I was severely wounded by Pete when we broke up on March 31st of last year, but I survived it. I still miss him and the familiar smell of our home together there in San Pedro, but I truly believe I am better off for having known him. Each day when I return home. I pet my cat Oliver twice; once for me and once for Pete. Pete and I had gotten him together. Since my uHaul was stolen in July of last year, Oliver is all I have left of that life I once knew.
I miss Pete every day. Each time I think I'm almost over him, some memory comes back to me and I miss him all over again. Somedays are worse than others, but mostly I miss his smile. I miss meeting him at the door, driving places with him, holding his hand, getting lost in him.
Pete was a good guy. He deserves nothing but the best, even if I'm not the one to provide that. It hurts sometimes, thinking about those days - but I live on! The pain never really goes away, I've heard it said, but it gets easier. Well, somedays it does. Others, it's a freshly opened wound, festering just under the surface, leaving me on the verge of tears with one false move.
I hope Pete is doing well. I do wish him all the best.
And now you know why I'm likely to never share this story again.