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What You Can Do About the One that Got Away

So what can you do about the one that got away? 

The past few days have been spent and overspent on thinking, imagining, reminiscing, and everything else in between. A lazy day became lazy days and it will probably extend to weeks and months more, but hopefully not years. It’s one of the benefits of being a freelancer. You have full control of your time. You can work when you want to and you can stop when you don’t feel like working.

What have I been thinking about? - Some weird and crazy thoughts which may or may not be true. As usual, I approach some of the people involved in it to verify, waiting for a reply. I may eventually dismiss such thoughts as mere imaginings sooner or later, but for now I’ll let the memories (or not) keep on coming until my thoughts are completely dry. It’s seems a waste of time I know, but that’s the only way I can face myself and who I am.

Well, this entry is not even supposed to be about me. I was pondering about what to write here should I be asked what to do about the one who got away.

the one that got away
Dark Angel Lovers from shyluc (Photobucket)
I’ve no doubt that you know what I’m referring to. There’s only a chosen few who falls in love with only one person for the rest of their lives. Most everyone have stories to tell about someone special who got away at some point in their life. Be it puppy love, childhood sweetheart, teenage crush, young love, and what not. There’s a beloved person you let go of and still think about even after all the years gone by.

The ‘whys’ 

You may have parted ways because it wasn’t the right time yet or you weren’t the right person for each other during the time being. It could be a mutual decision agreed upon by both sides, or one party leaving the other, and may even be caused by an external force like family, friends, and everyone else – more like the ‘you and me against the world’ drama.

Love another

Regardless of the reason behind the breakup, what happens next and what you do about it is most crucial. You can sulk in a corner, cry like crazy, and cease to live. On the other hand, you may also go out, meet new people, and move on. They say it’s easier to forget a lost love by finding a new love but it’s not always the case. There’s not much effort needed to get over short lived love affairs which didn’t even last the night but for relationships which have been bound by time and emotions, it won’t be that easy to continue living after leaving someone special or being left by that someone.

This is not even about marriage for there are marriages that can happen overnight and end up in divorce sooner than anyone expected. Marriage is not even necessary to forge a relationship like steel. Time, shared experiences, invested emotions, and more are what makes it hard to completely let go of someone. You may not be with them anymore but in your thoughts and heart, they still remain.

We always hear that ‘time heals all wounds,’ but that’s actually not the case. There are lovers who have grown old but never grew out of love for someone they have parted ways decades ago. They may have married another, had kids or grand kids, but have never forgotten that one true love of ages ago, no, not even in their death beds.

So time actually does nothing to make you forget, it only helps you hide the wounds and scars but the pain remains and the love lingers, or is it?

There’s a line from a song which goes like, “I remember the boy but I don’t remember the feeling anymore…” That happens when you finally let go of any remaining strand of hope for reconciliation. Memories spent together may haunt you in the silence of the night but they won’t be there anymore when the morning comes. 

And yet as always, there is an opposite side of the coin. What do you when you ghost of the past haunts you but never leaves at dawn? They only hide themselves in the dark closets of your heart? You pretend that all is OK, but every single dragging day reminds you of the ‘what ifs’ and the ‘what not’s.’

Find love and contentment elsewhere

Some of the things you can do were already mentioned earlier, like love another. Aside from that, you can find love in yourself, in friends, family, and everyone else. You may also seek contentment in career and personal achievements. These are never a substitute for that one true love but they can serve their purpose well. Otherwise, everyone in this world would have married and remained happily in love and there would not have been single people at all. No, some have chosen to remain solo at some point in their life (often at a later stage) in response to the one that got away. But there’s hardly anyone who have not loved one special person of the opposite sex at one time in their lives.

As with any other ideal love story, it’s always best to chase after the one that got away even it means chasing after the wind. When faced with the possibilities of death, most people will take advantage of whatever opportunity there is that remains in search of that long lost love. This often happens at a later stage in life, when death is almost inevitable and old age is slowly withering our bodies but not our hearts. We’ve seen them countless times in movies and read about them in numerous books.

Chase after the one who got away

But it doesn’t have to be always old age and death which must compel us to do something about the one that got away. The mere fact that you’re going to spend the rest of your life not being with the one you wanted to spend it with is already excruciatingly painful inside. You can pretend that everything is fine and find love as well as contentment with other people and things, but there will always be a void inside the deepest recesses of your soul. Something which you cannot explain but always manifests either for the best or for the worst in your day to day life. So if you can still chase after the one that got away, even if it means chasing after the wind, then do so. If you fail, at least you tried.

Leave it upon fate or seize the day?

Some may leave everything unto fate. That old hag, fate, which brought lovers together, will find a way to lead them in each other other’s arms again in the future. That may work as there are random circumstances we cannot explain. We meet people at odd places and events we never planned nor imagined, and yet it happens. But it’s totally folly to completely rely upon fate to decide the whole course of your life, like who you’re going to spend your life with and how you’re going to spend it. Seize the day or take a chance as they also say, otherwise you will never know what happens and you are left forever wondering what could have happened if you did something instead of simply waiting for fate to take its turn.

But why would you chase after the one that got away? There are millions of other fishes in the ocean, you can always love another. You may also simply seek contentment through something else in life. Being alone doesn’t always mean being lonely and sad. But you can also chase after the one that got away because of the fact that life is short to waste wondering what could have happened if something was done about someone. This brings us back to the idea of seizing the day and taking the chance.

When all else fails

Yet what if nothing happens? Is it because you are simply not meant to be or is it because circumstances and other people did not let it be? Either way, it’s not the end of the world. At least you tried your best. You can always learn to love another even if it’s never going to be the same passion and intensity as you had for that one who got away. You may also live immersed in the love of everyone else – family, friends, and so on. Find happiness through other people, your life’s work and art, and anything else which marks your purpose in this world.

Live your purpose in this world

Love, a special relationship, marriage, and everything else associated with it is not your sole purpose in this world. You are meant to be someone and will contribute greatness to this planet in your lifetime, no matter how trivial it may be. He who ceases to live because of the one who that away is betraying his purpose in this world. That one person who stands by you to love and cherish you is not the only reason why you live. Yes, they mean the world to you but they don’t substitute the entire world per se. So cherish whatever there was you have shared together and never regret anything. If you did what you could and it still did not work, move on and accomplish your life’s purpose in this planet.

This had been a very long narrative. I’d like to end it with a note for those who have never ceased to love the one that got away - amidst loving someone new or finding love with everyone else in their life and being contented with success and bliss through life’s work and purpose. It’s alright, you can continue loving this person, the one that got away, even if it wasn’t meant to be and it could never be. The image above had been one of my favorites in years. I still use it in my Myspace profile. It perfectly depicts lovers chained away from each other yet never ceases to love. 

I leave you with these lines from an old post of a love poem collection from this blog:

philosophies of a young lover

if we are meant to be

we shall be

if we allow ourselves to be

if we are not meant to be
we can still be
if we allow ourselves to be

Love is a path we choose to take
we love the one we choose to love
we choose the one to love

choose to love
choose to love

for if lovers are meant to be
they shall be

if lovers are not meant to be
they shall simply love
and not be.

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