In my short weeks of single-hood, I have already begun to understand more deeply some truths I had not considered or had been blind to. It’s amazing what stepping away (from any given situation) can do for your own thought processing of issues. And I’ll admit, those first 2 weeks after the breakup I didn’t see “much” being wrong–I just knew he was lost and that ultimately, I knew I shouldn’t ever be with someone who continuously questioned whether they wanted to be with me or not. Indecisiveness to that level only brings so much more pain to both individuals. That to me now, looks like something was very wrong.
With a little more time passing by, I realize how harmful things had been for a while and that sadly, we were not who the other person had thought we were. In many ways this was a “disappointment” from the idealizations and hidden expectations we had held in our hearts for one another. More so for me, I had been programmed to think quite early on that he would be the father of my children and that we’d build a one-of-a-kind home out of shipping containers because simplistic living was actually a commonality we shared. For years, I had believed that he was the one for me because we’d always talk about the future, so I had all the hope and faith in the world that after every stupid argument, we’d be okay, we’d find a way to work it all out. But those arguments became more and more about the stupidest shit–all on things we could hardly ever agree on, and yet, there was love. My goodness was there so much love and care for one another. That, I could never deny. Yet, things were just spiraling out of control and though we kept saying we needed to communicate better and we would talk for hours on how to attain better communication, it’s like we were unable to reach it. This idea of “better communication” seemed like a light that we were forever chasing in the darkest of tunnels–at least that’s how it seemed towards the very end of the time we were together. He is right about this: “When we’re good, we’re amazing together but when we’re not good, it’s hell.”
Having space and no contact with him since that day, here is a list of truths I have discovered about myself and my own little life philosophies:
1. I hate running // The only reason I wanted to really do it was because I thought that’d be a good way to connect with him. He’s quite a dedicated runner and has been running since before we started dating. I thought, “Yes, I don’t like running but I could learn to like it. I would love to eventually be able to run next to him, plus it’s good way to exercise.” Fun fact: It’s not for me–at least maybe for right now and I shouldn’t have tried to “like” running for someone else. Sure, I adore the dedication and strong-will runners have to continuously push themselves to reach PRs, but honestly, I’d rather bike…but I’m scared I’d experience a hit-and-run by some lousy bastard, but that’s another story…If and when I do want to take up running, I want to do it because I decided to.
2. Love transcends time // And no, I am not trying to reference Interstellar as the main example, although that is a fantastic movie. What I am referring to is your first love, which usually occurs around your pre-teen years. I know that’s when I did. I was 14 and I was in love with my best friend. I knew he had had a crush on me for most of middle school and then one day in early November of our eighth grade year, I told him I liked him a lot. I am of the believer that we had a true and pure love then, but of course, dumb stuff happened and we didn’t talk for years. Although to this day we are not on any talking terms, I think about him often, smiling of the beautiful memories I had about our years growing up in school and hiding our relationship from our friends and his parents. It has been practically 10 years since I was with him, but I would say that I still love him. He’s always held a place in my heart and that won’t ever go away. He holds an old part of me, regardless of a decade having passed. Likewise, my most recent boyfriend will still hold a place in my heart as time passes forever.
3. I will only drink with you when I want to // I grew up with an alcoholic father so drinking has never been an activity I’ve partaken in “for fun.” Really, I just don’t participate 99.8% of the year. My drinking consists of maybe two 3 oz. drinks a year, and no, it’s not straight up liquor. I’ve actually condoned drinking a lot and have been very judgmental of people who get shitfaced all the time. I find their reasons of doing this rather childish and unoriginal because although most may call that socializing/cutting loose/running away from their problems/oh-I-feel-the-peer-pressure-to-do-what-everyone-else-is-doing/LOOK-AT-MY-MAD-DRINKING-SKILLS as-I-shoot-back-more-than-I-can-handle/ and that it’s fun,there is a limit for everything. I will seriously only drink with people that don’t ask me to participate because the moment that I don’t drink, they don’t question me on my reasons and that’s awesome.
4. Life will open up for you if you allow it to // For a little over a year, I have had this feeling in my gut that life has got to be so much bigger than what I’ve experienced thus far. And by that, I am referring to the potential my life can have–with the people I surround myself with, who I chose to love and let go, what opportunities I am given and whether or not I will take them. In such a small amount of time, I have gotten out of a long-term relationship, I have secured an amazing summer and school [paid] internship with the American Cancer Society, which could lead me to have a greater chance for employment right after my Masters program (which then could potentially offer me a relocating job within the United States!), and lastly, I am going to be living by myself starting in August. These are all huge open doors and life has definitely offered me vast options for growth and learning.
5. I am constantly learning who I am // Ever since 2009, I have been in a relationship with someone–so, that’s a total of 6 years of being emotionally committed to another person. That is a lot. I am 23 years old and I can tell you that I have learned so much from the past 2 relationships I had. Internally, I feel like my soul’s age is 40+. For one thing, I have come to know what are the qualities I will be looking for within my next S.O, but goodness, a few years are going to need to pass before that even happens. Plus, I know exactly when to make a run for it 🙂 . Secondly, I now recognize the harmful patterns I followed when I entered a relationship–maybe out of inexperience or just being naive–but, I always changed from being myself in the relationship, to then adapting to this weird, unrecognizable version of myself. I laughed at things I did not find funny and had probably never heard of; I invested time to unconsciously become a version they might like rather than be the quirky, bohemian, and blunt girl I am. I molded myself to the other person’s likes and interests, barely letting a piece of me get a say in the spotlight. Fuck that. Now is the perfect time to really get to know who I am, who I want to become, and have the sufficient strength and trust to remain to my true self whenever the next good man comes along.
6. I will always be the hopeless romantic // Plain and simple. I will always dream of a hopeless romantic kind of love. The one where you can make love across a room by just looking at each other; when both of you choose to carry on your whole Sunday in bed snuggling, talking, kissing, and sleeping; where you can be comfortable with each other’s silence; where reading together is a common activity to do in front of the fireplace and then lazily be brought to sleep by the hearth’s warmth; to not take one another for granted; leaving small notes for one another; where both individuals are equals who regard each other with ultimate respect and love, which is then reciprocated at any given opportunity–and so much more. Yea, I tried being all rational about love, but clearly, love is not rational. I don’t think it’s in the essence of love to be so “clear cut.” It is meant to make you feel drunk and happy and I know, I know… “good luck finding that” will usually be what everyone else says. And yet, that’s the higher kind of love I have dreamed of and will probably forever dream of.