Perhaps it began one day many years ago, when I was dumped by a guy via a text message a day before my birthday.
Or maybe it was somewhere around when I was stood up by the SAME guy twice (seriously, sometimes I wish I’m making these things up but unfortunately they really happened).
Or perhaps it was a string of bad luck on the dating front**, of false promises and falling for words instead of actions. Of being too gullible or becoming an accidental doormat (although these days I have come to learn that when people treat you the way you don’t want them to, it your own fault for letting them do so).
Whatever it was, on a lazy evening not too long ago, I was sitting across the kitchen bar watching a nice man make me dinner. He bought the groceries and made me a Greek Baked Frittata (which was delicious, in case you’re wondering), and then he did the dishes. There was absolutely nothing wrong with this picture. In fact, I was quite fully aware that I had probably hit gold and this was a good, happy thing.
But whatever it was, as I sat there feeling rather content I also felt a slow and steady crawl of troubled thought. The troubled thought was concerned that something catastrophically bad was going to happen next. Because there had been many incidences in the past where this trend was true, I was half convinced that this was the way of my world for me. It had built a cynicism in my head where I was always suspicious.
Oh my God, he just made me dinner, what will he say next? That he has an irreversible disease and will have to 'disappear'? That he has two other girlfriends? That his face was actually made in Korea? That he actually doesn’t like pasta (oh God no)? I ate my dinner with a wild mind wondering what was going to happen.
Nothing happened next. It was a normal, nice date and we had a good dinner, a good laugh and nobody revealed that they were an ex-convict.
The point to this story is the inevitable influence of your past towards building the your current perception of the world. You wouldn’t notice it, but it subtly and discreetly shapes you to make you who you are at this point of time. The downside is it can make you too cynical for your own good, too afraid or too careful. I never knew how much all these things have created the ‘crazy chick’ inside me that was often brimmed with hesitance when the time comes to let someone in, until that day I was sitting at the kitchen bar.
But the light at the end of the tunnel is that these crazy string of unfortunate events will also teach you how to know better. One should never think that the past was unfortunate. The past happened so that you learn from it (which, I suppose, makes it a fortunate thing really). Subtly, it will also show you how to spot a good one when you see one. Or what to appreciate in a person. Or what is worth fighting for. Or what behaviour is deemed unacceptable, something that you may not have understood before. Or in my case, how to fully understand that past pains happened for a reason, creating a myriad of pathways that you walk through to get to where you are today, as a much, much better version of yourself for others, and vice versa.
**PS: Of course they were the good guys too. Here I'm just highlighting the bad ones from the past.