I have a friend who I’ve … kind of avoided ever since I became single. Not because of anything she did, but mostly because I look at her and see her live a life I wanted for myself. And I was envious. Not in an “I hope she loses it” kind of way, but more “do I not deserve it as much as she does?”. So I laid low and kind of just avoided seeing her because it kicks off this feeling of being sad for myself and then being guilty for using her life to feed my own pity party when she’s just living her own life that has absolutely nothing to do with me.
Yes, it was a weird time for my mental health. And so, in order to not get triggered, I just avoided her the same way I avoided the pandemic.
M was born on the same year I was. We have similar degrees and even ended up having the same job (which is how we met). She got together with her husband in the same year I started my previous relationship. She got married to a wonderful supportive husband (I third-wheeld a lot lol) and had cute kids. And yet, she still had the time and energy to pursue things she was passionate about. They travelled together and built a life together.
While our life trajectories were eerily similar, clearly, our life paths were not meant to be a parallel of each other. I know, I know. I’m romanticizing her life and all I see is the surface level.
But on the same month that I found out that my most recent ex had fully moved on (back in 2021!) and is in a new relationship (via an instagram story reshared by another candle brand of all places – because I went no contact the moment we broke up and told all my friends that unless it’s life or death, I never want to hear any news about him).. M gave me the honor to be one of her son’s godmothers.
To say that it was jarring is an understatement. It’s been two years – in fact, that’s such a long time. Long enough to feel that I’ve completely moved on. I don’t have ill wills for my ex, and would always wish him to be in a relationship he deserved. But it was hard not to feel stuck and resentful about how life has turned out for me.
I wanted a house with a garden. The dogs. The cute kids. The husband who will let her wife’s single friend third wheel happily and treat her as one of his kids (lol).
And while I know that logically, no two people can live the same life, but for a very long time, I had found it hard to not feel sad when I look at them and look at where I am. It was like looking at all my hopes and dreams and knowing it can happen for someone. But it did not happen for me.
When M reached out last month to ask if we can share a booth at a bazaar, I had to brace myself to feel lonely. Or defeated. Because I knew deep down that I would be spending lots of time with them again. And I would probably have a hard time getting out of that funk. Once again, I would beat myself up, wondering what was wrong with me for someone to be with me for a long time, and never truly see me as a life partner.
But today I received a message from her husband, with detailed instructions on how he helped her automate and digitize her shop because in his words “yan lang kasi yung macontribute ko para padaliin yung buhay nya”. And he wanted to make sure I’d have access to it too because that’s the kind of people and friends they both are to me.
And all I felt was genuine happiness for M.
While I don’t have a husband. Or the kids. Or the house with a garden. I have people in my life who feel the same way about me – in the form of my sister, my brother, my friends. It took a while for me to come around, that this is enough. My cup is full.