Exit 28. Maybe we’re not supposed to forget the painful times.

Last week, I was sending someone a happy birthday message on Facebook.  I also asked how she was doing, since I can’t remember the last time I saw her.  For that matter, I’ve only met her in person a few times; she is friends with some of my dancing friends.  She messaged back the next day, and I was in the middle of writing her back, about 22 hours after this exchange started, when a thought of Procyon popped into my head.  As I was dismissing that thought, I realized that I was pretty proud of myself for having taken 22 hours for that thought to even cross my mind.  This must mean I’m finally moving on and getting over stuff.

Let me back up and explain here.  Procyon is my astrocode name for someone I dated very briefly in early 2007.  She was a brat.  She was into putting down things I liked, and one time when we were arguing about this, she told me that I was immature because I didn’t know how to fight in a relationship.  Excuse me… it’s like she’s saying that it’s my fault that the last girl I dated before her (Vega) was a nice person and never did anything to cause a fight.  She acted like she thought it was cute the time she humiliated and falsely slandered me in public, which occurred approximately three hours after the not knowing how to fight argument, and approximately twelve hours (most of which were spent trying to sleep) before the official breakup.  I really don’t think there was anything I saw in her other than that she was a female human who seemed interested in hanging out with me.  About six months later, she briefly started coming back to the Bible study where we met, where she kept going on and on and on about how wonderful her new boyfriend was, right in front of me.  Less than a year after that, she was marrying this guy, right around the same time I went on my first real date after she and I broke up.  I never knew what happened to her after that, and to be completely honest, I’ve never really wanted to know.

Anyway, my friend with the birthday last week has never met Procyon.  My friend looks nothing like her, and my friend isn’t mean like her.  But this friend has often brought up a brief passing memory of Procyon in my mind, simply because the two of them have very similar names.

It takes me a long time to get over things, particularly when the things involved are being hurt romantically, since dates and romantic relationships are so few and far between for me to begin with.  It takes me a long time to forget hurtful things, just because of the way my brain works.  But maybe I’m missing the point here.  Maybe we’re not supposed to forget the painful times.  If we forget the hurt, then the good times won’t feel as good, because we won’t remember what it’s like to go through times that aren’t good.  If we forget the hurt, we won’t remember the lessons we learn in hardships and trials.  And, while this isn’t really true of Procyon, there are some people who have caused me hurt who were also responsible for some very good times before things fell apart.

Things have happened that didn’t work out.  I can’t change that.  They weren’t meant to last.  But these episodes are part of my past, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  No one can live a full life while haunted by decisions made in the past, or by the fear of things that might go wrong in the future.  I don’t have to tense up and get mad every time I see a Facebook comment by someone who hurt me, or by someone who has a similar name to someone who hurt me.  It’s not easy to move on from things like that.  It takes a lot of time, and conscious effort.  But I just have to keep practicing, because of that old saying about drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die.

Of course, now that I’ve written this, I’m going to think of Procyon right away every time my similarly-named friend shares anything on Facebook.  But that’s okay, because I’m choosing not to carry around that hurt anymore.

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