The Life That Could Have Been Mine
Of all the men in my life, there is someone who was never even my boyfriend who still makes me feel a little bit melancholy, and that is Mark.
At age 20 we met each other at a New Years Eve party when we were home from college on Christmas Break. We instantly hit it off. I was in no form to date anyone, especially someone who lived long distance, but I knew he and I were somehow connected. We became fast friends. He would take me on the best dates, and do the most romantic things, but I didn’t feel in love with him. We traveled throughout Europe together back when we were 22 and had an amazing time. When we first met I was grieving, but eventually even though I loved him, I knew he and I weren’t meant to be. He carried a torch for me. I broke his heart.
Years later, he got engaged just before I returned to the US from Thailand in 2001. Although I was so happy that he’d found the one for him, I also felt like someone punched me in the stomach. I knew we couldn’t really be friends anymore; our friendship had dwindled as his relationship became more serious. He has been married now for 10 years. I’m sure his wife was not keen on me at first, and even though they have a wonderful relationship, she is probably still glad to know I am 1/2 way around the world.
He was one of my best friends and favorite people and my friends and family loved him and wished we were together. When he and I stopped having regular communication, in a way he broke my heart too.
Just before I moved to Portland, he lost his Dad. I contacted him. A year later, I lost my mom. He contacted me. When his first child was born I received an e-mail with a picture simply titled ‘spawn’. This in itself made me realize why we were never really together.
About a week ago he responded back to a bulk e-mail I had recently sent out to let people know that I was doing well in Thailand. I was very surprised the over decade old e-mail address I had actually still worked. Mark lives with his wife and 2 kids in Winnetka, a Chicago suburb next to where we grew up. He does something with computers I don’t understand, and his kids are adorable, smart, and make him laugh. This is a similar story of so many people I grew up with. This could have been me. I don’t wish it to be me, but it’s weird to think about the ‘what ifs’.
I would love to meet a man with whom I connected the way Mark and I connected way back when. I wasn’t ready then, I just wasn’t. At this point, Mark and I probably wouldn’t have much in common anymore. I’m sure some of the same things still make both of us laugh, and I reminisce wistfully and sometimes even would like to share these funny things with him, but I never do.
I think it’s time for real romance, real connection, and real friendship with a significant other. I haven’t felt any kind of stirring in my heart for so long, I wonder if that kind of feeling still exists in me, or if I have outgrown it. I hope I never outgrow the possibility of falling in love.
I was 20 when I met Mark, and Bill had just died. My life was kind of different to say the least. Still, sigh…God, can you let one of those ‘when you least expect it’ moments happen where I can meet my life partner? Isn’t it time? I’m ready now, I wasn’t when I was 20, or 30, or even 35, but I am now. I’m happy, and content, I just think it would be nice for me to have someone to share my life with. Send someone soon please. Thank you in advance.