There must have been close to 50 photographs spread across the floor, all around me, as I sat cross-legged listening to music while I nursed a glass of wine.
It was not how I intended to spend my Friday night but here I was.
Originally, I was supposed to meet friends for dinner then a night on the town, but while looking for my cute strappy wedges it took all but one small box in the back of my closet to change the course of the evening.
So instead of music, dancing, and laughter with my closest friends, I headed down memory lane…
I don’t think of him much these days. At least not until this very moment. When things ended, I put the memories away in a box so I could move on.
I didn’t hate him, even though there were moments I thought I might have. I never got stuck in the past, although there were many nights when I had missed him. He didn’t hurt me, at least not on purpose. He was just part of an old life I had lived so many years ago. A life that wasn’t mine anymore.
My life is so different now. My life is full and complete. But seeing his pictures all around me brought me back to him and the life we lived together for the first time in a long time.
And I realize now that I don’t regret loving him.
Even now, after so many years later, I was supposed to love him. We were just never supposed to be forever.
When I see his sideways smile looking back at me, I remember that there were actually more good days than bad. I begin to recount every single day with him.
The moment I first laid eyes on him. Our first kiss in the rain. The puzzled look on his face when I rambled on about nothing. The way he held me close. When we laughed so hard that it actually hurt.
It was easy loving him.
Our smiles outweighed the tears. I know my tears thought differently toward the end but he made me smile a lot more.
I know I was sad. But he had made me happier than I had ever been, up until that point, when we were together.
When he was mine, there was no stopping us. When I was his, our love was on fire.
We were far from perfect. Some people might have thought we were all wrong for each other. But our love was true and pure. Everything about him was worth it. Everything about us was worth it.
The memories of us were nothing short of sweetness. We lived life to the fullest and learned from our experiences.
I know we lost our way. We had drifted apart. When I walked away, it broke my heart—it nearly killed me. We both knew we had to close the door. I can’t even remember why but it was time to go. We both needed to move on. There was so much more life to live…it just had to be apart.
Even after all the hurt, and after all the nights when things just didn’t feel right, I wouldn’t change a thing about us.
I know I didn’t tell him. I never spoke a word. But I don’t regret loving him—not one bit. Because loving him taught me things I needed in my life.
When we were together, he moved my heart.
A heart that had previously been unmovable for so long. The numbness that hugged my heart for years was all of a sudden beating with happiness.
He made me want to give and be vulnerable.
I learned how to show empathy, share information with someone I trusted, and express my needs and wants openly without judgement. Being vulnerable helped me work through my emotions easier instead of pushing them away.
The selfishness that lived within was shattered. I was open to sharing my life with someone.
He showed me that I was capable of loving and taking a risk on someone. I found the courage to overcome my fears and stop avoiding the risks of love.
I began to grow as a lover and as a woman.
And he showed me that I was capable of connecting deeply with someone. I was seen, heard, and valued for the first time. I felt cherished and respected. I felt important to the relationship, like I was part of the equation that made us so special.
That doesn’t happen with everyone we meet. So it’s pretty special when we meet someone who can teach us things about ourselves.
He will always have a special place in my heart because he was worth loving.
I’ll never regret loving him because he was worth loving every minute we were together. When thoughts of him pass through my mind, I’ll never forget what loving him meant to me. What loving him taught me.