But what’s a memory worth if it only breaks your heart? If it doesn’t make you smile or give you butterflies, if it doesn’t give you a reason to think positively, what’s the point of keeping it around. Someone who associates me with the idea of being a mistake doesn’t deserve my time; I was obviously a waste of theirs, so … it only makes sense right?
– Jennifer Thomson, Mistakes and Memories
Jennifer has been in a world of hurt lately after a bad heart-breaking breakup. I can only imagine how deep the pain truly is since I have only been getting glimpses of it through her writing since coming across her on Twitter a week ago. It has been a bit difficult to read through since my own breakup continues to be fresh in my mind. Not so much the act of the breakup, but the constant reminder of this new reality I am in of only having my daughter around most of the time, not all of the time, like I would prefer.
I tried not to reflect on it too much these days, but this tweet from her triggered some more thoughts in my mind:
When it comes to moving on, do you purge & delete every memory of that person from your life? Or do you keep them? Feedback?— Jennifer Thomson (@thomsonjennifer) September 6, 2012
@thomsonjennifer I hold onto the positives to remind myself that good things can happen in life, but the slate is wiped clean w/ next gf— James McCullough (@four_sides) September 7, 2012
While it is never easy to fully forget someone - how many of us have wished for a mental trashcan to be the equivalent of the one on our Desktop/Dock? - I am faced with an incredible challenge. I can’t forget my ex completely, because she is going to remain in my life forever since she’s the mother of my daughter. While we definitely talk/text daily, communicating at some point is a must in order to coordinate matters with our daughter. Meeting face-to-face is also difficult, making friendly conversation for the sake of our daughter and not wanting to create a scene in public with all the underlying tension that most likely exists.
Even more difficult is looking at pictures with my daughter, going through all those moments that her mother was definitely there for - birth in the hospital, home from the hospital, first bath, the subsequent birthdays. All of those moments were joyous ones. Should my feelings for her mother now affect how I think about those memories?
It is difficult to do now, and I am hoping it will get easier over time when looking back at these past events. I also try not to think about the inevitable questions that will be raised about why we aren’t not together anymore, or why she has a new boyfriend/husband in her life instead of me.
Regardless of what happens in the future, I try to frame these memories in the most positive light possible. I do not think about the reasons why the relationship ended, and instead focus on all the challenges that were overcome at the time, the amount of change my daughter has gone through in such a short time, and the other challenges overcome since then.
Jennifer’s conclusion of a what a memory is worth is parallel to what I concluded in the post I wrote shortly after going through my own breakup.
What do I have to lose in writing this? She was willing to give me up in order improve herself with another person in another location. Certainly, I can forget about my fears of backlash, unfriending, rude comments to better myself.
What is a negative memory worth? What do you have to lose in throwing that memory away and facing life with a renewed focus?