She told me that there are two kinds of people in the world, the heart breakers and the heart broken. I remember asking her if that wasn’t a little bit too black and white of a description of dating.
Her response was that it was exactly how life worked. Some people were very lucky and others were not. You were a Sneetch with a star or you were a poor shlub who didn’t have one. And for the most part once you fell into one category you were pigeonholed there for life.
I never could accept that as being a legitimate description of how life worked. In large part it came from my own personal experiences. I had been through some bad breakups in which women had done their best to destroy my sense of self worth and trampled upon that black thing that pumps the blood through my veins.
Yet, I also knew that there were women whose memories of me might not be so sunny. A few might have far more colorful descriptions of what they thought about me.
The experiences on both sides of the fence always helped to balance things out for me. Once I got beyond that first big heartbreak I figured that this was just how life would be. There would be moments of intense joy and moments of intense pain and that much of what I needed to focus upon would be what happened in between.
But I have to say that in some ways I was exceptionally naive. I suppose that I didn’t give any real thought to it, but for some reason I always picture life post marriage as being easy. Maybe I watched too much television, read too many books or saw too many movies. I don’t really know.
What I do know is that in my head I never saw any of the trials that people go through in their adult lives. I am not even talking about the challenges spouses undergo in trying to navigate the normal relationship issues. It is the other stuff outside of that, those are the things that catch my eye.
It is the fear and anxiety that being a parent is. There is a reason why so many parents blog and read other parent blogs. Intellectually you know that all children face challenges growing up and that the overwhelming majority overcome those challenges.
But emotionally it takes a toll on you. You never stop worrying about them. You never stop wondering about the decisions you make. There is always a little voice in the back of your head, nagging at you, criticizing and second guessing you.
To be clear, not every decision is earth shattering. There are those that you make without a second thought, but there are those others.
I guess what I am saying is that sometimes I miss those days of being nothing more than the heart breaker or the heart broken. When all I had to do was worry about myself, well life was easy.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that my life is bad. I don’t think that my concerns are all that unusual either. I just know that sometimes I wake up and wish that I was back in college so that I could skip class and hit the beach or Vegas.
Not all that much to ask for, is it, the chance to hop in a time machine and revisit being 19.