Many academics, scholars, or whatever you want to call them have theorized that there are either seven ‘basic plot structures’ or 36 ‘plots.’ From rags to riches to overcoming the monster, these common plot stories can be found in many stories. As time passes from last year, and the many events that happened between Hunter and myself start to become lessons rather than just bad memories for me, I find that many of my friends and I share similar experiences. Whether that is having an ex who left us in a weird way or struggling with the fact that we are now single, I see so many similar threads between our stories. As if real life only has 36 ‘plots.’
In these times when I am sharing my experience and what I have learned from them, I get a sense of déjà vu. Last year, many of my friends and even strangers would hear about what was happening and give me the support they knew how to give me. I remember wanting, so badly, for someone who had broken up with their ‘complicated friend’ who cheated on them, but still lived with them to tell me it was going to be okay. As if that whole situation was common or normal for other people.
Deep down, I knew what should have happened and what I should have done. I did not do any of those things. I was so paralyzed by all of it, it was the first time in a long time that I had felt like a child again with no control. I did not have enough foresight to realize I had always had aspects of control in the situation. I will be honest and say that when I listen to Ocean Avenue, or curl up in my bed, or drive on I4, I get déjà vu. I think about my time with Hunter, sometimes I even miss him. I will hear him say something snarky masquerading as sassy in the back of my head. It is okay for me to miss him because you will always miss the people who were once important to you. As long as I know I am better for not having him in my life, that is okay, it is human to miss people.
The control I have now is letting myself be human and miss someone who was once important to me. These feelings come and go, it is natural. Sometimes people ask me if I am ‘over it’. I do not think you truly get ‘over’ anything; I think you learn to accept and cope with it. I forgave myself for the fact I did not enforce my boundaries and kept someone toxic in my life. It was a lesson I needed to go through and learn. As a result of that lesson, I have promised myself to be better for myself. I enforce my boundaries, and I remove or distance anyone who does not respect them.
One of the things that can make me miss someone is listening to music. Certain songs I shared so close with and to my memories of those people. Olivia Rodrigo’s song, “deja vu”, is a bop. It has topped record charts, and it is a great song to scream along too. It is a fun romp into the topic, a visit into the concept of someone not being over someone and pursuing someone who does things alike to that person. Do not get mad or upset at yourself for wondering if your ex-partner or ex-friend is with someone new, or what they are up to. It is a natural thing to be curious about. I would tell you to check, but sometimes you are not ready to see the answer. You may never be, but I think being able to let yourself ask and wonder is important.