Those are two words I've been trying to live up to this weekend.
It's been a rough week. The event this weekend is a beauty pageant that The Guy puts on every year for charity. It's a good cause and the people who come to it are of good hearts and this isn't a typical "beauty pageant" in that it encompasses all shapes and sizes and places emphasis on the beauty within.
I have spent all year working on this with him, sending out press releases, interviewing candidates, and putting in my energy and time into it alongside him. When I found out last week he was seeing someone, and that this new someone would be at the pageant, my immediate reaction was to not go. I didn't think I could bear it. I've been in this position before, having to be friends with the person you love, and them dating someone else. It's not an easy ride, and I didn't want another go at it.
However, all week, the thought of not going to the pageant ate away at me. In fact, it pissed me off that I had invested so much of myself into it all year and suddenly felt like I had been banned from going. It was a self imposed ban, mind you. But I didn't think it was fair that this new guy got to go, and I didn't. So, I talked it out with The Guy, who was equally as torn up about me not going but didn't want to say anything as he wanted to give me space. But we managed to break through that wall of communication that he seems to have such a hard time with, and it was decided first by me, and then agreed to by him, that I would in fact go.
So I've been attending all weekend, beginning Friday morning up until this evening. The first person I met was the new boyfriend. I don't have much to say about him. He's nice, I suppose, but I really am not interested in pursuing that avenue. I'm nice to him, engaging him, helping him out with tasks, so it's not like I'm merely tolerating him or shunning him. I'm not embracing him as my new best friend, either.
I know it isn't his fault that I'm hurt.
So I carry on. I brought my A game, pitching in and helping out and showing that I am useful and a part of this. The Guy's mother embraced me in her arms when she saw me, because he had told her that I wasn't going to be there and she was sad about that. So, it was nice to get that reception from her. I actually ended up going over to her house to help pick up some stuff and saw a bunch of baby photos and high school pictures of The Guy.
I carry on with grace and fortitude. I have put on my best pageant smile and am walking the walk. The Guy had told me he was worried I might break down and that if I did, he would too and that he'd be a mess all weekend if that happened. I got through yesterday okay, as it was great to reunite with all the other people who come out every year to help with this event. Today was a bit tougher, when those same people started talking about The Guy's new boyfriend. "Isn't he cute?" one asked me. Meah. I wouldn't go that far, but then of course I'm biased against it.
However, it struck a chord, and it stayed with me all day until it manifested itself as a heavy heavy feeling in the centre of my chest. I knew I'd explode if I didn't run. So, I left a bit earlier than planned tonight, didn't say goodbye to The Guy, and drove the long highway home, tears blurring my vision for most of the journey.
One more day to go, and I would like to keep my head on straight for most of it. Tomorrow is the big show and the grand finale. In more ways than one. I'm not sure what's going to happen after it's all over. Do I need time to get over The Guy? Ignore him for awhile until I feel the love fading? Who knows how long that will take? Maybe I'll never see him again.
Whatever happens, I would like to take the higher road. I could easily turn bitter and depressed, take it out on him, heck not even show up tomorrow and really make him miss me. But I want to be classier than that. I also want some closure, I suppose, and maybe that's what this weekend is really all about. Closure, grace, and fortitude.