Being the ex isn't so bad.

My ex is that person I used to be.

ON BEING THE 'EX'
by Amanda Joann Smith

Being the ex isn't always depressing. It's actually kind of nice sometimes.

My ex is that person I used to be, the Amanda who existed before attending college, signing for home loans, birthing two kids. Like many exes, mine is someone I both love and hate. She was imperfect, immature, had an enviable amount of non-responsibility, and she was a lot thinner. God, I miss her sometimes! Especially when I'm awakened by my two-year-old, screeching from the bathroom, "Mommy, can you wipe my butt?!" Yeah, he makes me yearn for my ex-self. Big time.

My ex got to sleep in. She didn't have to make anyone breakfast--or wipe anyone else's tush. She only had to think of herself. She could also look in the mirror and make only a brief list of complaints. Now, after many years and two baby deliveries, my list--and dress size--has quadrupled. How depressing. My ex had confidence, flair, and the cocky attitude of a rock star. She knew she was worthy. I'm always wishing for that person to visit me again, even briefly.

But, my ex also cared much more about herself than she did others. She was often thoughtless and stupid. She acted first and thought later. She could be unapologetically brash and bold and bossy and one-sided. I hated all those things about her. That's probably why I slowly left her behind and moved away toward a new, mostly improved me.

Like many separated parents do, I see my 'ex' in my daughter now. She is stubborn but sweet, immature but well-intentioned. Also like other parents do, I hope my daughter embodies only the good that my ex possessed--and none of the bad. Only time will tell.

My ex is almost gone now, a distant memory. I get a glimpse of her occasionally, when PMS sets in and I act irrationally, or when I have an unusually confident moment and come out of my shell. Sometimes--very rarely--I get to relish in her lack of responsibility, like when a saint offers to babysit my children for the night. That's when I let her out to play! Yes, that's when I get to be my former self, when I become an ex. And I realize: being the ex isn't always such a bad thing.

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