Tuesday 05.07.2013

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What a difference a year makes, huh?
A year ago today I wrote the following update to my Facebook page:

Shawn Porter
May 7, 2012 near Philadelphia
This is really hard to say, and I’m asking for a little space on this- I appreciate the support but I just kind of need time to process all of this… Claire has decided to end our relationship. The wedding has been canceled.  As of a few hours ago, she’s moved out of the house.  …Claire had no faith that we can change. Maybe that I can change.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year. My life is so different now than it was when I posted that. I’ve grown leaps and bounds as a person (while also shrinking; I like the dichotomy) in the last year that looking back on how things were is so very strange. I’ve spent so much time trying to own MY issues that I didn’t really deal with the reality of hers. I blamed myself. I blamed her. Instead of healing I was blaming. Instead of moving on I was making leica jokes.

So instead of letting things get me down knowing the ‘big day’ was coming, I spent yesterday helping out Natalie with some move-in stuff for her new place. I’ve never been able to stay friends with a girlfriend after the romantic relationship ended, but things with Natalie and I are going great. The same comfort level that we had as a couple is there with our friendship. We drove up to KOP to pick up some furniture, then made an IKEA trip to buy her a new bed and she treated me to pho that had so much tripe that it was insane. And amazing. I had worried when we first started hanging out again that it would be ‘weird’ but it’s been perfect. Obviously I wish we would have been as good at communicating when we were dating as we are now, but I think things worked out like they were supposed to and I’m really happy to still have her in my life.

I told her, sincerely, that she was the first former girlfriend I’ve ever cared about enough to want to stay friends with and while I don’t want to be too self congratulatory for behaving like a grownup, I do find myself proud that I’m able to get over how I normally deal with loss and separation when a relationship ends and to see someone as a person and not an ‘ex’.

I spent today seeing Iron Man, working out and inviting a crush over for dinner and a movie. It was nice cooking for someone, watching Beauty is Embarrassing and fooling around like teenagers. I like how our friendship is filling out; we’ve casually known each other for a couple of years but we’re just now getting to really know each other and it’s been really great.

People come and go out of our lives. It’s a fact of life. From the day I met Claire I wanted her to be in my life for the rest of it. That didn’t work out and it derailed me for a little bit; but as I grow and learn I realize that she’ll always be a part of my life- a story or anecdote, a reminder of being the catalyst for changes I’ve made- not FOR her or because of her but still tangibly on the edges of the memory. Ultimately, the greatest thing she ever did for me was to leave and for that, I’ll always be thankful.

For my part, I want to thank everyone who I’ve leaned on over the last year, who listened to me whine and lament and dealt with the hurt, the anger, the disgust and finally all of the obnoxious PMA and health/fitness stuff. I know it’s been a crazy ride, and I want to thank everyone who’s stuck with me for doing just that.

Photo: Home Cured Duck Prosciutto

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