I recently found out that the ex-boyfriend that I’d been back in touch with for six months now had gotten married in the time we were apart, and had simply failed to mention it to me upon reconnecting. Then when I found out and questioned him about it, he said that I “never asked.” It’s probably important to mention that I had indeed asked what he’d been up to since we broke up and what made him decide to move upstate (which it now seems had something to do with his new wife)He did manage to tell me about his change of job and which sports teams he’s now rooting for, though.

On top of this, I found out they’d gotten married in Hawaii where we’d always talked about getting married ourselves. He was in Hawaii for business when we were dating and he brought me back beautiful earrings and a tin of sand, saying the picture of my face was with him the entire time he was there. He even offered to pay for me to fly out there to meet him, but I couldn’t get off of work.

Now while all of this certainly comes as quite the shock, the thing is, I don’t think he had bad intentions. He isn’t a bad person at his core, and I don’t think he was trying to two-time either me or his now wife (eye roll).

But I do I think he had a certain picture in his head of exactly what he wanted, and how he wanted it to unfold. The only problem was that I didn’t fit into that picture anymore. Why? I chose to set out and see the world instead, and have since evolved past the idea of having a quickie Hawaiian wedding and settling down in rural upstate New York.

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I’ve had experiences I couldn’t have dreamed about when I was within the limited mindset (and blinders) of our relationship. Now I’m living in Hong Kong and I’m truly the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. Ok that’s a lie…I was this happy when I got the Barbie dream house I’d been aching for on my 5th birthday. But this is a close second.

It does still hurt. I loved him very deeply, and I don’t regret that love. Seeing extreme emotions like that manifest themselves within you is a beautiful experience. But what I need to focus on is that if I’d chosen the path to stay with him, I would’ve robbed myself the equally beautiful experience of personal evolution.

The fact is that in the summer months between living in Taipei and Hong Kong spent back at home, I had constant physical reminders surrounding me of past times when I made questionable choices and was reckless with other people’s feelings.

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When I think about some of the things I did when I was younger, it truly feels like I was a different person. These are just things I would never dream of doing now. It’s not just the obvious things, either, like chugging boxed wine straight from the bag at 10 o’clock in the morning. It’s more subtle things like not giving a friend the chance to explain their side of things when we were fighting.

I’ve learned that there are so many different vantage points and if someone’s opinion is different than mine, that doesn’t automatically mean they’re wrong. I now cherish opinions that differ from mine.

My outlook on so many things has [drastically] changed. I can’t go back to the girl I used to be, nor would I want to. But I also I don’t have to carry around these past experiences with me everyday like a veritable weight on my shoulders.

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As I embark on yet another experience in Hong Kong that I’m sure will continue to shape me into the woman I’m meant to be, I look back with great fondness at the mistakes I made that helped me get to where I am now, but more importantly, I’m ready to let them remain solely in the past. I’ve finally decided that I’m going to give myself permission to close the door on that chapter of my life and move forward as the person I now am.

This includes past boyfriends, and their bootleg Hawaiian weddings. While I know it won’t happen overnight, and I’ll have to mourn the true ending of one chapter and the beginning of anew, I know there is light at the end of the tunnel…and it’s getting closer and closer.