Once again I find myself in familiar territory…. I am single again.  I brought in my 25th birthday surrounded by my friends, family and even my bad ass students however there wasn’t a special guy by my side to wish me well.  Of course this makes me feel a little down but when life gives me lemons I make lemonade in the form of writing.  This is what I do. 

I have spent many nights pondering about my previous relationship and how I plan to go about a new relationship should the opportunity ever present itself and in doing so I came upon some relics that I’m sure a lot of us women have come into contact with.  One night I decided to do a little spring cleaning and I came upon 4 t-shirts, a baseball cap, a pair of slippers and countless amounts of DVDs.  What makes these items special?  Oh, they all belong to my ex-boyfriends.  This made me think what else do we leave behind?

I’m sure I have left behind coffee mugs, shampoo, old makeup, earrings, shoes, well never my shoes however these are just material items.  What do they mean?  Truthfully they don’t mean anything significant as the psychological and emotional relics that we’ve all left behind.  Of course I will elaborate.

Relationship #1 The Princess and the Psycho

When I was eighteen I was legally grown but technically I was still a pampered little spoiled princess.  Fresh out of high school I was off to college and kind of on my own.  I had spent my entire life reliant on my mother and father for every conceivable need and want so now it was time to find a new outlet.  Like most young and confused girls I found a boyfriend.  I won’t go into all of the details of our year-long relationship but the main reason why I stuck around as long as I did was for the financial security that he provided.   In the midst of it all not only did I secure funds but I secured a lot of hurt and pain.  Luckily my momma didn’t raise a fool and I was smart enough to get myself out of that situation and I left the psycho behind along with some other key materials.  From this relationship I left behind that gold-digging mentality along with that young helpless attitude that I nurtured oh so well.

From that relationship I was literally reborn into an independent and resilient young woman who attacked her studies and the real world with as much zeal as I did in getting myself out of such a situation.  Thank God for psycho-abusive-jealous-condescending men!  LOL!

Relationship #2 The bombshell and the nerd

From the previous relationship I took a really long and much deserved hiatus.  I decided that relationships weren’t for me and I spent 18 months of the 3 year pause exploring celibacy.  During this time I experienced an awakening.  I discovered what I wanted mentally, psychologically, romantically and sexually.  I decided that I was going to go for a guy who was just good.  A good guy is one that may not have everything on the surface that you think that you want but his heart is so golden that you feel safe around him.  Essentially I did find him and he and I were complete polar opposites.  I am a writer, he was a mathematician/techy/nerd.  Even his outward appearance didn’t seem like a logical choice for me.  Our relationship was good until it went bad.  For the most part there was a lot of love and definitely a lot of sex however from the nerd I learned a valuable lesson, good doesn’t always come in a traditional package.  The emotional relics that remained from that relationship was blind trust and wearing my heart on my sleeve.  My trust has to be critically earned now and thanks to a talented tatoo artist I now where my heart on my thigh not on my sleeve anymore.

Essentially it doesn’t matter if we leave behind twenty CDs and countless other personal items what is important is the emotional lessons that we learn from each relationship.  I would love to be the girl who could still befriend the psycho and the nerd but I think I’m a different person from whom they dated so doing so would be futile.  However I am very grateful to them for teaching me lessons that I needed to learn in order to be who I am today.  So don’t fret about that tube of MAC lip gloss that you left at his apartment because I bet you unintentionally left behind something much greater which shouldn’t follow you into your next relationship.  You live and you learn.