Had a mini Hubski meetup of sorts last week with a once-active member of this community. The meeting was impromptu, given that I had some meetings in her city that were canceled, and thus was left with a free afternoon. So I took a chance and texted her to see if she'd have lunch with me. To my great surprise, she agreed without hesitation.
She and I met here on the site, and for a short time almost a decade ago became very close. Then, for complex reasons--age difference, distance, fear probable even--our short but intense relationship fizzled. Seeing her for the first time in many years was incredibly gratifying however. In the interceding years each of us has gotten married and had kids, changed careers, and just generally grown up to a place where our lives resemble our old lives in very few ways. And yet it was as if we just picked up where we left off.
I made the mistake of watching Everything, Everywhere, All at Once on the flight home. It's a poignant movie about regretting and not regretting all of life's choices--the places they could have but didn't take you.
Anyway, let me preface this next bit by saying I have it all. I have a hot wife who is a successful artist. I make a shitload of money (relative to what I thought I ever would, say) at a job I like, doing what I believe is some small good in the world. I have two kids who are the light of my life and whom I wouldn't trade for the moon and stars. So like I said, I have no complaints in life, and I try to count my blessings daily.
And yet. It is impossible to not think about what could have been. When you have spark and chemistry with someone, it's an unreplicable feeling, a rare and beautiful connection that I hope everyone gets to enjoy at some point in their life.
I've been in full crisis mode for the last week, beating myself up for ancient history that I though I had left behind years ago (which is of course made worse by the fact that I can't talk about at home...hence the Hubski Confessional). Analyzing the situation as fairly as I can while being a conflicted party, I think what happened was that I had a life plan, and I made an incorrect assumption about what she probably wanted from life. And she, being young at the time, early 20s, was probably too unpracticed at life to state plainly how she felt. And thus we parted ways, each believing that the other had no interest beyond sex.
As I've aged I've gotten really good at going after what I want. I was not good at that a decade ago. Mostly all you have to do in life is ask.
Anyway, I'm sure this mental storm will pass shortly. In the end, no matter who you end up with you fight about the dishes, get bored watching TV, have the same conversations over and over. It's too easy to think that things could be different when you get a couple hour long view into what wasn't. As Charlie Kauffman once wrote: Everyone is disappointing, once you get to know them.