I'm trying to publish a version of my thesis as a journal article. My collaborators are my (former) professors, and so yesterday I went to campus. I was on campus a lot this summer, but summer term is hot, still, and lazy compared to fall and spring. Somehow, I got used to summer. It's only been since May, but I'd already forgotten how hard it is just to park on campus. Parking is so bad that while in grad school, I called it trolling for a parking space. By my second (of 4) semester there, I gave up on all parking lots except the farthest, largest one. Even this lot is split into 3 sections, which I dubbed far parking lot, far far parking lot, and far far far parking lot. Some mornings yes, I wound up in far far far parking lot. I like to walk, so I gave up minding the distance. And hey, walking to the far far parking lot with Bud after our shift ended is how I came to know and like him.
Anyway, going back to places I've moved on from has never been fun for me. I always look for the people I used to know. Even if I meet up with someone still there, it's bittersweet. I'm a Navy brat, so I know something about moving on. It's why I forget things so easily. If I didn't live so close to town, I would never go back. This approach results in a lot of broken/casual friendships and few consistent/strong ones. I don't want life to be this way, but it is. Adopt said philosophy at your own risk.
But most of yesterday's bitter-sweetness came from this summer with Bud. Somehow, our relationship tainted the whole town for me. I'm fine when I'm not there, but when I go, I pay more attention to my physical appearance than when I was dating Bud. This is because if I run into him (1% chance), I want him to regret. It's best if I never see him again. After I leave, I'm a little down for the rest of the day, for the next couple days. I think this particular breakup has taught me many important lessons, but the most important is understanding another person's sadness. My other breakups were so gradual that the pain was prolonged, not as intense, but more durable. Others asked me why I was sad before I realized that I was. This latest breakup, it had been a while since I dated and so I wasn't prepared, so it was sharper, stronger, and I'm a different person anyway. Maybe I can't handle partings as well, the older I get.
But finally, finally I'm at the point where I think I'm ready to be with someone else. Before, it would have only been to take my mind off Bud. It's sad that it took me this long, because there was another guy, but it's too late now. So right now there is no other guy, and I'm left with the memories of Bud and a bunch of job applications. And running. As long as I have running.