5 posts tagged break ups
Today it dawned on me that over the past several months, I’ve spent a lot of time talking about the “getting over him” process, but very little about what comes after it. Maybe because I don’t feel like I’m there so I just haven’t added anything else to my agenda. The more I think about it, though, the more I realize that maybe there really isn’t a “there.” And if I wait for this elusive “there,” then I’m likely to be finding myself looking for my denchers after sex and not just my panties.
Not to say that I’ve been holed up in my bedroom eating Lean Cuisines this whole time, sobbing into my bedsheets. That only lasted for the first couple months. I’ve been plenty busy and I’ve dated and broken up and had more than a few nights *ahem* sowing my oats around the greater Los Angeles area.
But opening yourself to someone new, being vulnerable again, after you’ve had your heart torn in half then ground into the pavement until it has morphed into a fine dust, well that takes guts. Because two years ago or not, I still remember the tears and the pain of laying in bed not wanting to move and I promised myself I’d never let myself feel that way again.
And then I remember the most vulnerable characteristic I possess— the fact that I’m a human being. And at the end of the day, we just wanna be loved. And love.
So what comes next? I guess after all the debris settles from the last love-induced leap, all that’s left to do is walk right up to the next cliff and toe the edge. To open your arms wide, hope for the best, and let yourself fall.
It has been 647 days or 1 year, 9 months, and 9 days since I took to the internet to share my every OCD, homicidal, self-piteous feeling after my breakup with my ex. I know this because I just used a website to calculate this, which evoked a mix of emotions, not the least of which was shame that I still scan Facebook on a nearly weekly basis for traces of him.
But something has changed because when I come across proof that he does still exist— a smiling picture here and there of him and his girlfriend, his new business’ website, and even Youtube videos— two emotions sweep over me and neither of them is longing. Honestly, I can only explain my continued digital hunt as a bad habit, a tic of sorts, something to occupy my time while avoiding looking for a grown-up job that will utilize my degree.
You see, I don’t fucking miss him anymore. I really don’t. I’ll admit I am at once jealous of his new life without me and of his happiness, but more than that I am RELIEVED. Because I have changed— all those terrible qualities he used to accuse me of, I have,for the most part, grown out of— and when I see his arrogant grin smiling out from pictures, I know he hasn’t.
It may have taken me nearly two years to get here, but I have finally reached a point where I can say I DON’T want him back. I mean, if it wouldn’t be so insanely weird I’d probably climb to the top of the Hollywood Hills and proclaim this fact to the world because it has taken for-fucking-ever, but in an effort to appear sane, I’ll just share it here.
In these past two years, reading feedback and even hearing it in person from friends, I have come to the realization that most people, if not all, will experience at least one relationship that will send them barreling toward the edge of Crazyville and if they are lucky, the best they can hope for is for it to be a short trip.
But for many of us who experience that long journey of clawing our way back to join the rest of humanity, there is that lingering nutcase that remains hiding inside of us. The psycho-child who you hide from future boyfriends or girlfriends and even close friends that secretly continues to look him or her up online or holds onto pictures of the two of you and insists that you still miss him or her. The psycho-child that quietly insists that if he came running back to you, you’d drop everything and be with him.
Well, I’m here to tell you, ignore the psycho-child. Unless of course you want to be miserable, in which case, I guess go for it? Because two years out, it’s pretty unlikely that you really truly miss him or her. I sure as hell know I don’t. I miss a thought, a feeling. That intensity you get when you fall in love as hard as you must to end up as heartbroken as you do in the end.
But him? Hell no, I don’t miss him at all.
I try not to get sappy because I truly believe you have to find humor in pain, but this really sums up where I’ve been after seeing my ex with someone new. Just reminds me that we ALL go through this at least once in our lives (even beautiful, talented woman like this.) And if you don’t, well then I’m sorry.
Because I wouldn’t trade all the peeing in the shower, driving down the highway singing at the top of my lungs, running around our apartment naked moments that I shared with my ex to have avoided any of the painful nights feeling lonely and heartbroken without him.
Because at the end of the day “it’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Perhaps I’m calling myself out as a true child of the early 90s, but for a greater part of my childhood I couldn’t wait to be fourteen like the girls in my beloved Babysitters’ Club books. Seriously, my life goal at ten was to wear a training bra and watch other people’s screaming children after school. Sixteen wasn’t even on the radar.
Never would I have imagined that I’d ever reach the ripe old age of twenty-something and actually start to feel left behind in life. But lately, it seems like everyone I know is finding that special someone and getting engaged. Almost daily, Facebook bombards me with updates about high school acquaintances preparing to embark on their new life with their soul mate. I’ve managed to preview at least half a dozen different wedding albums this summer and before this year I couldn’t have ever fathomed that my newsfeed would include people’s sonogram pictures.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not bitter. Okay, maybe I’m a teensy bit bitter. It’s just that one of the reasons I left my native Midwest behind for the usually smog-concealed big city lights and sprawling traffic-jammed highways of LA was because I swore to myself I would never end up married and pregnant before thirty like I knew most of my schoolmates were destined to.
But, although I’m not sure whether to blame falling madly in love with a completely inappropriate guy then losing him or the inevitable jump starting of my biological clock, I found myself all of a sudden wanting just that last year. Suddenly, I found myself drooling over pictures of girls’ engagement rings and sitting in a darkened theater watching the documentary Babies by myself in the middle of the afternoon.
Everyone knows you can’t force love to happen, although you can get artificially inseminated and make a baby happen, but I’m not sure a turkey baster is the best way to solve my feelings of crippling loneliness. So in the meantime, I will clench my eyes shut and turn my head when I see Modern Bride Magazine in the grocery store aisles and sweetly congratulate my old friends on Facebook and try to remember that I live in the city where, if you’re lucky, dreams come true and I am young, single, and surrounded by thousands of in-shape model-actors.
Not to be Captain Obvious, but moving on is much easier when you’re sipping mocktails on the beach on the other side of the world. Since I’ve been home, the combination of jetlag due to the 12 and a half hour time difference in India, no gas or money to go anywhere, and renewed 24 hour a day access to the internet are not helping my goal of being a happily single woman.
After my second sleepless night in my sister’s bed, as mine is covered in souvenirs and half unpacked suitcases, I have come to the conclusion that I am going to need to formulate a plan because it’s 5 AM and I am running out of things to Google to occupy my busy brain and my fingers are itching to find out what he’s been up to while I’ve been gone. It seems like the more I realize how far away I am from the beach where I made my recent resolution, the easier it is to forget it.
It’s kind of like New Year’s. The farther away we get from that “start over” date, the less resolute we get about the promises we’ve made to ourselves. But I refuse to be the girl who swears to go to the gym three times a week on January 1, then has scaled back to watching exercise infomercials in her sweats on the couch while munching on her third bowl of cereal by the time President’s Day rolls around. I refuse.