I can’t help but replay so many things over and over again in my mind; memories, conversations, sweet moments from the last twenty plus years of our life together. Some days they barely cross my mind, I keep busy with the day before me and the demands of my regular life, but most days they invade my space like a dark shadow creeping in behind me. We were happy once, weren’t we?
It’s hard not to look back and wonder. Question. When did it begin to crumble? Was it always this way and we chose not to see it? Were we clinging to an ideal that we thought we could create, when in reality it was never meant to be? Were we ever, ever truly happy?
I have to believe that we were happy in the beginning, and at many points along the way, but was it the right kind of happy? I’d have to say no, it wasn’t.
It was happy to fit with someone else, happy to belong to the crowd of pairs surrounding us, happy to find someone out there that wanted the same things out of life and had similar dreams for the future that we could work towards together.
The happiness we had was more like finding that great job. The position is one you dreamed of, the pay is good with hope for a better future. You get along with the boss and the people in the office, so each day gives you something to look forward to. But you don’t “love” the job, it’s a good fit and it gets you what you want out of life. It’s not always ideal, but it also doesn’t suck. You’re happy, for the most part. It will have its rough days, but it will pay off in the end.
But we were missing something. We weren’t completely, perfectly matched. We negotiated, made sacrifices and plotted our course together the best we could. But it became more difficult with each change and each move. It was no longer the great job we had expected, it was becoming “just a job”, with no real return on our investment of time and resources. We were trudging along, waiting for that “big promotion” that would bring us back to that excitement of our first days. Hoping that it would get better in a new location or with new experiences. Starting over again and again, only to realize that we had basically made a lateral move with a few new perks.