So, I've been having a couple of recurring dreams for years now. One much more than the other. In the more recurring of the two, I am in Madrid, Spain. On holiday, not living there (as I REALLY did for three years after university). And it is time to return to the states. So I must get to the airport. Immediately. Only something always happens. Either I've left my passport back at my flat, or I must make a stop at El Corte Ingles to pick up that soap I liked (and some marzipan), or I have to pick up something from a store I can't find and I find myself wandering the narrow, winding cobblestone streets and alleys near the Plaza Mayor. Usually, I have called for the cab too late, or I'm in the cab but it's taking too long to get me to the airport, or I'm wasting time trying to get in one last "copa" before I hit the road. Typical. Nevertheless, I DO make it to the airport and then it's never REALLY the Barajas airport, but slightly more confusing. Often I am left at the wrong door, just as my plane is set to depart, and I have to run through the airport (a la O.J.), navigating various airlines, passport and ticket checks (oh, did I mention that I never have my ticket in these dreams) and practically running onto the runway to catch my flight... whew... back home to America.
In the second dream, I am in Santa Monica, California. I am breaking and entering in the home of my ex-boyfriend. It is an apartment. Not the same one he lived in when we dated, but somehow, after all these years, I know where it is. And even though we haven't spoken in years, I know that he has purposely left the sliding door on his balcony cracked so that I can let myself in. And I do. And I am able to snoop around a bit and get a sense of his life. Why I want to do this, I don't know. But I feel some sort of upper hand, some sort of advantage over his current wife or girlfriend. That I know she exists, but she doesn't know I exist. Nothing much else happens in these dreams. I usually just leave after a bit and go do something else. Return to my life. Wake up. Something.
Present day. Reality. Not a dream. Said ex-boyfriend messages me on Facebook. Doesn't friend me. Just messages me. My response is, "Why are you looking for me?" (I know he's married with a kid, thank you very much Google, but I still have no idea why, the minute I put my maiden name on my Facebook, he of 300 friends needs to message me.) His response is, of course, just curious, and how are you and yada yada yada. I messaged back to say that it was ironic that he wrote me on the very day we left L.A. And he messaged back again, "Married? Kids?" To which, I did not respond. At this point, I'm pretty sure, once you message someone on Facebook, you allow them to see the basics of your profile. So he must have peeked, right? He knew I was married and probably saw my profile picture, too.
A week or so goes by and now he requests to ADD ME AS A FRIEND on FACEBOOK. Oh, joy. So, I figure, I'll add him, but I'm BLOCKING him from almost everything on there. No need to get back in touch, but I don't want to be the bitter ex-girlfriend either (and lord knows I should, I got treated badly enough...).
So that night I had one of my recurring dreams. The Spain one. But this time, there's a twist. And I promise you that I am not even clever enough to make this up. I really dreamt it. HE is with me in Spain, and we have to travel back together. We are a couple and we might even be travelling with his family. (His mother was evil personified, btw.) So all the usual travel nightmares ensue, and I wake up more confused than ever.
A couple of days go by.
Ex-boyfriend now messages me on Facebook to say that "he was thinking of me the other day, and he wanted to apologize for how he treated me when we were dating (not that it matters now), and he was so happy to see my beautiful daughters and was my life fulfilling and wasn't Facebook a trip, XOXO... " I kid you not. I couldn't have made that up either. Shit. This blog post was practically writing itself! (Incidentally, he also put an apology letter on my car, oh, about ten years ago. I got it. I read it. But I never contacted him about it. So this was a little deja vu-ish.)
Well reflecting over all of this (and stewing over it a bit too, I might add), made me have an ever-so-tiny epiphany. I think I know what it all means! (You, my brilliant reader, may have known this already, but I am a bit slow, so this revelation is new to ME, anyway...) I think it means that, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn't delay my departure. Both from Spain and from that SoCal relationship. I stayed in Madrid too long. I made a HUGE mistake at the end, and if I had left earlier, or not made so many damn side trips on the way to the airport, I would have made a cleaner break from Spain and the whole experience. Same with SoCal. I was in and out of that relationship so many times it would have made your head spin. Because I was determined to make something out of nothing. And in both scenarios, I had little self-confidence. I wasn't as sure of myself as I am now. I let a lot of people get the better of me. But worst of all, I didn't give myself any credit. I was never the prize. Or so I let myself believe.
But there's one more revelation that came out of all that. As I contemplated what to say back (if anything, as of this moment I have stayed silent), I realized something pretty valuable. One of my friends recently asked me, upon my relaying the "ex-boyfriend is messaging me on Facebook" part of the story (the friending hadn't happened yet), if he was "the one who got away". To which, of course, I replied "no!" I've always felt like my husband, Drew, was the one I was meant to be with (in Jewish, we say "Beshert") and I look back on the ex-boyfriend with more bitterness. Maybe because I let him be an asshole to me for so much longer than I should have. But he was definitely NOT "the one who got away."
But it occurred to me. There's a damn good possibility that I'm his "one who got away"... And that? Is an ending I can live with.