What a dense and chewy essay! I have three thoughts:

1) One of the treasures of my life has been the opportunity to forge new relationships with former romantic partners--not with all of them, but several. And in that process, I have twice gotten to have conversations in which we share *and agree* on a narrative of our splitting up that makes sense to both of us, in a process that I have found incredibly healing and positive.

2) Jason and I don't really have an engagement story. It was kind of a gradual, mutual process without any concrete moment of decision. While I'm very happy with how it worked out, that lack was painful for me for many years, which mostly just seemed to confuse and irritate Jason. Until one time we got to witness someone else's public proposal and on our way home Jason said that he finally understood

that what he had denied me was a story to tell and that he'd never before understood what that meant to me. His understanding released my anger and while it still makes me sad not to have that, it's a much softer, easier emotion to navigate now.

3) I got to see Wakanda Forever this past weekend and the thing that impressed me most was how Ryan Coogler managed to craft a collective mourning experience for millions of people to process our grief at the passing of Chadwick Boseman, in a respectful way, making his death part of the vast epic story of the MCU. I think it is a moment unprecedented in movie history and I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for how it was managed. It makes me think of other public narratives and how (and by whom) they are crafted--a rich vein to contemplate.

Thank you for inspiring these reflections and all the others that I'm sure will follow.

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Wow this is super helpful for a lot of things I’ve been thinking about! I can also see how narrativizing one’s own experience can also result in a split from someone else’s experience of the same events -- for example, I feel that my parents often have wildly different narratives for the same situations, and those narratives are reflective of what each of them values, feels insecure about, etc. Very cool post!

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