Sunday, February 23, 2014

On Closure and Starting Over Again

I just finished watching the latest blockbuster film "Starting Over Again", and I can't quite get over the lessons it has left me with.

While most people were probably rooting for love getting a second chance (hence the title), I sat through the movie knowing it should end the right way-- with proper closure. The "twist" in the end, therefore, did not surprise me, and I left the theater knowing that it was as it should be. And I left thinking all about closure, and haven't quite stopped since.

I was lucky enough to get closure out of my first failed relationship. Years after the anger had passed, I found myself asking him the questions I had wanted to ask through online chat, and he was honest enough to answer. When he tried to rekindle a friendship, I saw him through different eyes and knew that not even a friendship would work out between us. And that was that. The end.

I was not so lucky with my second failed relationship. A bad breakup where no real words, no explanations, no hows or whys were exchanged. I was unfortunate enough to end up with an actor, and until now I'm no longer sure where the act ended and reality began. So many questions arose, and for a long time I felt that I needed to know why things ended the way they did in order to move on.

It took me a very long time to realize that not everyone is lucky enough to get closure in life. Not all questions are answered. Some never even get the opportunity to ask those questions, much less receive an answer. There are many people who deal with untimely death and never get to say the things they want to say-- now that's lack of closure. What I've learned is you need to accept that it will never happen. Well and good if you end up with an opportunity to get that closure, but in life, it's more the exception than the rule. So by accepting that you've been dealt a cliffhanger with no ending, that in itself is an ending. That in itself is closure.

Now, whenever stories of my failed relationships come up, I sometimes get asked if I need closure. And when I think of it now, I realize that the answers to my questions don't matter anymore. It doesn't change anything. It doesn't change the fact that we're over, that we've grown into different people, that I'm happy with my life and who I'm spending the rest of it with. So if it doesn't change anything, who needs it? Why bother? There's no point to it.

I've heard that some people are disappointed with the ending, maybe because the title "Starting Over Again" led them to believe that love would get a second chance. But starting over again doesn't necessarily have to be with the same person-- it's not always about rekindling the right love that happened at the wrong time. Starting over again can also mean accepting the past, picking yourself up, and moving on to a better and brighter future with somebody who takes you for everything that you are and everything that you could be. Now that, to me, is a happy ending.