This is part 1 of my other summer series: Seemingly insignificant things in my life that in retrospect have had huge effects on the direction my life was taking. (althouh this one seemed significant at the time)
So I figured, since I just blogged about the horrible ex-vasion of my life, and in honor of seeing said ex in 4 days, and also cause this is probably the longest one, so I figured I'd get it out of the way early, that part 1 would be about how that engagement ending totally changed my life.
So here are the ways:
1. Grad school: Some might argue that the reason the ex dumped me is cause I wanted to go to grad school, and he did not want to follow me to grad school. Some. Some might also argue that if we were right for me he would have followed me. But anyways...
My ex dumped me like literally the day after I had started sending out grad school applications. I think me actually filling them out and sending them away made him realize that I was serious about this whole grad school thing.
But being that when I was first selecting grad schools to apply to, I thought he would be coming with me, I selected grad schools in two categories- one was "reach schools" that I thought I had no chance of getting into, but were great programs, and the other were schools I realistically thought I could go to without having to move. Oh and one was in texas, where his family was from.
Well by the time he got around to breaking up with me, it was really too late to change the places I was sending my applications to. I had researched the 9 schools I applied to quite thouroughly, and while I could have theoretically researched more and applied to them, I was pretty depressed and not really up to researching new things. Good thing my applications were mostly done by the time the break up happened.
Then a few months later, so my suprise, I got into 8 out of the 9 schools I had applied to (with the exception of harvard, those bastards). However, having just gone through this terrible break up, I didn't want to move to one of the far away kick ass schools I had gotten into. Yeah, I could start my life over, but I would be completely alone- whereas if I had gotten into a school while still with my ex, I had some idea that I could convince him to go to said kick ass school. Which realistically, wouldn't have happened (lesson learned- don't get engaged to people whose lifegoals are completely incompatible with yours!). But anyways, I was too scared and sad to go away, so I ended up turning down the #1 school in sociology, which is University of Wisconsin in Madison.
On the other hand, I didn't want to stay in NYC. Too many of my friends knew me as "Abandoning Eden and Ex fiance" and running into people who kept asking "so when's the wedding?" was not so fun. I decided I needed a somewhat new start, and ended up where I am now- a drivable distance from home (about a 2-3 hour drive), but not so close that I can make regualar visits.
If I had stayed with the ex, what would have happened? No one can know. But I doubt I would have ended up here. I would have probably stayed in NYC (I got into NYU), or gone for the far away school if I could have convinced him to come with me. Or I would have not gone to grad school at all. Most likely I would have been at NYU.
So there's one thing.
Breaking up with my ex pretty much ended for me any sort of vestige of an orthodox jewish lifestyle. During the engagement we had several arguments (with my dad) over different wedding rituals, and I ended up having a lot more questions that no one could answer. I saw how sexist some of these ritauls were (like the wife not even giving the husband a ring or saying a single word during the wedding ceremony), and things started to piss me off. After me and the ex (who ironically is no longer religious either) broke up, I had no reason to follow anything. A few weeks later I tried non-kosher chicken, a few months after that, non-kosher beef, and the rest is all in this blog.
If I had gotten married, I would have been in the jewish community. I would have probably lived near to my parents, I would have been invited to my parents for holidays, and I would have probably gone. Anyways, now I've pretty much escaped that community completely.
A month or two after the break up, a friend of mine (who I started hanging out with pretty regularly after the break up, given he was like the ONLY friend I had left) invited me to go with him to a jam band concert, and then to a hippie meet up, and then to another jam band concert, and then yet another concert and then to a festival... I took to those concerts like a fish to water, and entered this whole new hippe community. I had always been really into music, but didn't take up going to shows as a pretty serious hobby until my single days. It also helped that I had turned 21 and was now able to get into a lot more venues. Now I go to 4-6 music festivals every summer, and between 15 and 30 jam band shows every year.
4. Spending 3 years on my own
It was approximately 3 and a half years between breaking up with the ex and meeting B, and I was single for pretty much all of it. Those 3 and half years..I wouldn't trade them for anything. I learned how to be totally independent and take care of myself, learned a lot about myself, and got lots of crazy date stories for this blog. But if I had married my ex, I would have gone straight from living in a dorm to living with him. I really value those years on my own, when I had to pay all my own bills, and kill my own roaches and mice, and make my own social life. During those years I became a grown-up. Pretty much.
5. Oh yeah....B!
If I hadn't been dumped by the ex, I would have never met B! While he's not perfect (who is?) B is everything I want in a relationship. Including that he is super excited to follow me to whatever job I get after I graduate from my phd program. And that he wants to be a stay at home dad when we have kids (which is awesome for me cause I hate childcare/housework, and I want my career to come first in a relationship). Plus we have similar outlooks on life, compatible temprements, and similar poltical views (and B is just as big a feminist as me)! While me and the ex had a terrible relationship and would fight all the time (and broke up 3 times), me and B rarely fight about anything serious (our fights are usually like "omg I can't believe you like that music! You are so totally lame!" and 9 times out of 10 are related to something else we are stressed out about).
So yeah I'm going to stop there. But more life-changing events to come!