I have finally reached a place of love and peace in my life. I lack nothing, nor do I need to search for something I don’t have. I have everything I need or want. There is no drama to divert me from reaching my happy place. I feel insanely content and at ease in my once fragile heart. I laugh, I learn, I thrive, I converse, I support, and I love. Being with my partner has brought me to a place of strength and commitment that helps define who I am. But it’s not the whole story.
The story starts when I met “Mr. Big”. Not Kerry’s “Mr. Big”, MY “Mr. Big.” I was 22 years old and was just looking to have a good time. I had had a string of bad relationships and wasn’t looking for a new disappointment. He was charming and quietly interested in my free spirit versus his buttoned-up demeanor. Yet, there we were in a bar curiously attracted to each other. I was there with my work friends after hours wiping the slate clean with cocktails and contempt, a bit disoriented. I finally approached him and said, “I didn’t vote for you” which was one way of breaking the ice. I don’t remember how he responded, but it started an inevitable conversation.
He became my teacher, and I was a voraciously student. As we learned about each other, I realized that the façade that accompanies dating didn’t exist with us. I could be myself, my honest, expressive and messy self. To him I was funny and interesting on a level that no one had ever cared to recognize or acknowledge. It was astonishing to me at the time, that two very different people land in the same place. I was starting to believe in myself and in fate. Sure, I had dated good men with kind hearts in the past, but the timing was always wrong. I wasn’t ready to let them in. Being with “Mr. Big” prepared me for every relationship I would ever have moving forward. He taught me how to love. And for that, I will always be grateful.
Decades later I sit quietly scrolling through Facebook late one night, and someone mentions “Mr. Big.”. Memories flood back; some good, some bad. I remember how outrageous I was with the breakup, my lowest point ever. It wasn’t really me. I was so messed up between having severe depressed for years and losing a person who I truly loved. I remember him telling me at the end that he’d always be there for me. Maybe just a formality. It was such a waste for him to say that, to lead me to believe that. The reality was that we both needed to move on to remain sane. No cliches necessary. A clean unadulterated break would have been best, but we were so attached even while splitting up. Things were complicated, and we lingered for much too long.
So, without thinking it through, I looked him up on LinkedIn and sent a quick, light whimsical note. I said that I hoped he was well and that life was good to him. Provided a short anecdotal overview of my whereabouts and finished with an invitation to get in touch with me. Why did I do that?!? Do I really want him to contact me? Absolutely not! I am in a good space, in a solid long-term relationship. I felt like this could be construed as a sad and pathetic communication. Dear Lord! It was a just a simple gesture of friendship and appreciation, checking in after all these years. I wonder what he must be thinking!
I realize that I’ve glued together pieces of my past with sticky messy fingers in an effort to append, support or confirm who I am today. My 22 year old self learned valuable lessons in loving others and loving myself. Did “Mr. Big” really do all that? Well, he may never know, but he got the ball rolling. In my heart, I hope my partner was someone else’s “Mr. Big.” Because since I’ve known him, he lovingly and naturally brings out the best in people, all people. If she’s out there, thinking about their special memories, she should check in. He would be grateful and humbled to know in some way he was important in making her life better.
Thank you “Mr. Big” for helping me to find “Mr. Right.”