I got back a couple of days ago from a well-needed escapade to Bogota.
The reason I was there was to celebrate my 20-year college reunion. I had not seen most of my college friends since graduation, so I was excited when I got a message about the gathering.
It was a small group of us – a lot of people live abroad, but I was pleased to see that everyone looked happy and were doing well for themselves.
A few days before my trip I contacted my college boyfriend. I had not seen him in 17 years and in all those years we probably had 3 or 4 e-mail exchanges.
I asked him if he had time to meet up for a quick coffee while I was in town and he said yes.
I don’t know what gave me the courage to contact him after so many years. He always said to let him know when I was in Bogota, and I never did until last week.
Perhaps my newly acquired desire of closing chapters and tie lose ends or my hope to be less passive and more genuine…
I was nervous to meet him and tried to keep my expectations low – I had no idea that spending a few hours catching up would leave me feeling hopeful about finding a good man and falling in love someday.
We met for lunch and for me it seemed like the years had never gone by.
We caught up on what had happened to each other in the last 17 years.
Watching him talk across the table, I could not help but imagine how my life would have been like if I had married him.
I don’t even remember why we broke up. We were together for almost 5 years and I just think timing did not work to our advantage. I had recently moved to the US and he was moving to Australia at the time.
I was young and thought I needed to live a little more before settling down, and did not feel capable of handling a long distance relationship.
We talked about our families, he showed me pictures of his kids and I showed him pictures of my son.
I was happy to see he is in a good marriage.
He said I was very important to him and not only had I been his girlfriend, but also his best friend.
He also mentioned how when he found out that I was going through breast cancer he cried for hours.
We reminisced about the parties we went to, the people we both knew, the places we visited, the trips we did together.
We laughed for hours about all our crazy adventures like our 4-hour walk to the Roman Catacombs.
I was pleasantly surprised to see how much he remembered of our time together.
We had a great relationship. We loved and respected each other and we had a lot of fun together.
I’ve been trying to figure out what to look for in a new spouse and now I realize I had a much better vision of what a partner should be when I was very young.
I am not sure if I will see him again anytime soon, but spending those hours with him in Bogota was surreal.
During the 15 years I lived in the US, I did visit Bogota in many occasions, but this time it felt different.
As chaotic as Bogota is as a city, and even though I don’t see myself living there again, everything about it brings back beautiful memories that I will take with me forever.
I rekindled my connection with old college classmates, spent time with good friends, went to nice restaurants and partied like it was 1997 again.
It was a fun, fulfilling and healing trip, but I missed my son so I am very glad to be back home.