In a completely out-of-character move, I’m writing. Please, don’t have a heart attack or anything drastic like that. Just listen (tangent: what’s with the silent “t”? I suppose “lissen” just looks funny).
The past 13 months of my life have been a roller coaster ride of various emotions and experiences. “For want of a nail, the kingdom was lost.” That feels like the right way to describe it. I made a single choice a year ago, and it feels like my life has been defined by this choice since that day. I can’t undo what I did; all I can do is live my life the right way and learn from my mistakes.
I’ve reached a point in my life where some of my family no longer has my best interests at heart. That’s not to say that they’re being malicious towards me; it’s more like they don’t realize that what they’re doing has and will continue to hurt me. If memory serves, there’s a cliche about a road to hell and good intentions. Like anyone else in the world, my family members have their own ideas of what’s right and what’s best. But they started pushing and pushing; telling me that I have to do this and that I can’t do that. The worst offender is my parents’ views on who I’m allowed to date.
You see, my parents decided to take a lesson from Henry Ford when it comes to their approval of a potential future daughter-in-law; I can date anyone I want as long as she’s Jewish. Now, I get where they’re coming from with this. They’re both semi-orthodox and want to make sure that people go on believing in their brand of big, fluffy God. I used to be in that camp right along with them but I eventually stopped having invisible friends, so I’m more concerned with making sure my potential mate shares such traits as my appreciation for dark comedy and enjoyment of Ethiopian cuisine.
So what happens when my parents find out that I’m dating a girl whose parents believe in a different invisible friend than my parents do (but who does not share the beliefs of her parents)? They begin a six month campaign to convince/coerce/force me to break up with her; as I was still under their roof until I saved up enough money from my new job to move out, I got their lectures and questions on a regular basis. Now, why six months? Because that’s how long it took for them to finally break me down to the point where I broke up with her. I dumped this amazing woman I was seeing, a woman that I had so much in common with and loved being with, just because our two sets of parents believed in different fairy tales. Add a little murder and suicide and there’s a new treatment for Romeo and Juliet somewhere in there.
It took finally moving out and away from them, a ruined friendship or two, and a failed attempt at dating their way to finally realize this truth: Do what makes you happy. As long as you’re not hurting anyone else by doing it, you don’t have to answer to anyone. I wish I had a redo. I wish I could go back and have a second chance with this girl, but that’s not how the world works.
The life I’m living now isn’t the life I was hoping to have. My social circle is a little smaller and I find myself despising my parents a bit more than I probably should. I feel like I gave up on the best woman I’d ever dated because it’s what other people wanted, and now I can’t really bring myself to care about trying to meet someone else. To say that I regret breaking up with her is an understatement, but all that I can do is keep moving forward and making sure that I don’t make the same mistake twice.