Sunday, April 19, 2009


I'm a big believer in karma. When people do things that annoy me, I honestly believe that what goes around, comes around (as a professor, this attitude is particularly useful for remaining calm with students!). But karma can work in good ways too and when I'm faced with challenges, it gives me strength to believe that there is a bigger plan; as long as I'm trying to be a good person, things will work out eventually. For example, I tend not to have regrets because even if things haven't gone the way I'd like, I can usually see that if X (bad) hadn't happened, Y (good) might not have happened either.

This is on my mind tonight in particular because I spent a good bit of time this past week with my ex. We are supposedly still friends but I got home from spending the afternoon with him and all I could think was, "Oh my god, I cannot believe I wasted so many years on this guy!" It's not so much that I don't know what I saw in him - he's still smart, funny and charming, like he always has been. But now I also see all his flaws, and I can see that they were always there. Basically, I now realize just how insecure I must have been, and how low my self-esteem must have been, to have been so infatuated that I overlooked all these other incredibly annoying things about him [and yes, I know that overlooking someone's flaws is typical in relationships but a) according to him, we were never really dating or in a capital-R Relationship and b) we're talking seven years].

But even as I sit here dismayed/embarrassed/incredulous that I was ever so into this guy, a part of me knows that if it hadn't been for that whole experience, I would not be the person I am today. If he hadn't left me a sobbing incoherent mess (repeatedly), I would not have gotten the help that I needed to deal with the issues that led me to want him the first place. If he hadn't made me feel so needy and insecure, I would not have worked so hard to be confidently independent, and I would not have grown to the point where I can now say with confidence that I will never choose someone like him again.

I will also admit that a big contributor to my reaction this weekend is that my current relationship is so vastly different, and the contrast is both painful and wonderful. If I had to go through the hell that was my ex in order to find my way to this relationship on the other side, well, then I guess I can't regret the hell. I just keep thinking of one of my favorite songs, "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascal Flatts:

I think about the years I've spent just passin' through.
I'd like to have the time I lost and give it back to you.
But you just smile and take my hand,
you've been there, you understand
it's all part of a grander plan that is comin' true...

Every long lost dream led me to where you are.
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
pointing me on my way into your loving arms.
This much I know is true:
that God blessed the broken road that led me straight to you.

Now if I can just figure out what lessons I'm supposed to be learning from certain challenges I'm facing at work, I'll be all set...


Anonymous said...

I have a question. This karma you speak of -- who governs it? Who weighs the scales, so to speak?

I noticed in your post you said "... as long as I'm trying to be a good person, things will work out eventually." What does that encompass and how do you know if it is good?

You said you were insecure in your last relationship. Was that situation a result of your own previous bad actions? For example, how did ending up in that relationship equal previous "bad things"? Did you do 32 bad things to equal 1 insecure relationship? How is it measured?

lauryn smith said...

I could not agree more... the karma factor is what allows the fire to remain lit when the "when did this happen" threatens to extinguish said fire.

I am friends, truly friends, with 99% of the men once regarded as romantic partners-- because as you stated, SOMETHING drew me in initially. I think good is magnetized towards good. Sometimes we allow their unconcern, or not ENOUGH concern to be enough in the beginning-- be it seven years or seven minutes, wisdom and security demand a returned affection.

Better to be a whole person versus half a couple, right? The other person should compliment what already exists.

The little voice that refuses to shut up-- the one in my head-- is what fuels the desire to do right by others-- romantically or otherwise.

You get what you give. Eventually, when it comes, you believe in this whole heartedly.

Anonymous said...

"if he hadn't left me a sobbing incoherent mess (repeatedly), I would not have gotten the help that I needed to deal with the issues that led me to want him the first place." Absolutely! Been there. Also, I love that Rascal Flats song. CC

Jenn said...

@lauryn: "Better to be a whole person versus half a couple, right?" Absolutely! And yes, even though I'm currently in a state of annoyance with my most recent ex, you're right that the good things that drew me to him in the first place are still there so I know that we will ultimately find our way to a solid friendship.
@Christina: I've got Onely's Watershed Moments post tagged to remind me that I want to write more about mine but it definitely involves that sobbing incoherent mess!

Clever Elsie said...

Oh, I've been there! I love that first moment when you realize that you are not only over your ex but are glad to be over him, don't want to imagine, in fact, what your life would've been like with him. When I look back at almost every one of my past partners, I now breathe a sigh of relief that I escaped a falling bomb each time. :)