I visited my parents two weekends ago and found a cd holder containing all the cds I used to listen to the "first time the man and I dated," which was in winter/spring/summer 2002. I was working for my parents' business and listened to cds from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep. I listened to the same cds in the car and on the four-hour commutes to visit the man. Let's just say that I annoyed anyone who happened to be in my presence because they were required to listen to my rotation of music. I had to burn an additional copy of each disc so that I could have one in the car and one for at home/work. Back to the found cds - they were the copies that I had buried in a drawer at the end of the summer when the man and I parted ways.
I must admit that I was the one who decided to, in a complete act of cowardice, end things by cutting off all contact. This wasn't too difficult because we lived in different states and I was starting my senior year of college. I had been in 20-year-old "love" with the man, but the timing was wrong and I was in many ways too immature to behave in a healthier way. I decided that a clean break was needed before some event occurred to take the decision out of my hands. Long story shorter, the "breakup" was very hard on me and I haven't listened to any of that music since then. Until now. Even though we've been dating again for somewhere between 2.5 and 3 years, I am only now able to stomach listening to the music that reminded me of the bad place I had been in at the end of that summer - and the subsequent mistake of the next relationship into which I leapt.
Back to the present. Now, in my new car, I have all six cds on rotation and listen to them daily without regret. I can now see that the man and I would never be in such a good place now if we hadn't split up then. I did a lot of growing up in the two years (nearly to the day) that we weren't in each other's lives and I can see that ending things was the most responsible decision I could've made. Perhaps by not acting like a civilized adult and discussing things with him then, I left an opening for us to begin speaking years later.
I'm happy to say hello again to the cd collection that I kept buried for nearly five years. This is my "new" summer 2007 playlist (previously titled "Summer '02"):
Atticus: Dragging the Lake (various artists)
Blink-182: Cheshire Cat
Blink-182: Dude Ranch
Blink-182: Enema of State
Blink-182: Take off your Pants and Jacket