You called me 30-minutes after it happened.
I would say that I was dating someone for 6-years and every time they told me who they were I wouldn’t believe them. It took me until the week that my MFA dissertation was due.
It happened way before the actual event which I think is really common.
We went to Japan to celebrate our 5-year anniversary and when we got back it had been such a horrible trip and I’d asked him when he came back if he still loved me and he said, I don’t. I decided I don’t know if that’s true and I stayed with him for 6 more months and during that time he was developing another relationship.
I was coming out of it and I was having to put up this show for my MFA and I was having to go through all these motions in order to succeed and do the thing that I came to do. I was sort of in this position and I was like, you have to do this. You have to finish this.
You come from this long legacy of women who have endured a great deal of hardship and disappointment and frustration and every time they have come out of it and they have blossomed and there is no reason that that cannot be you. I learned that there really was no reason I could not be the beautiful gem that the other women in my life were. That there was nothing wrong with me and nothing deficient. They had been through the nasty swamp that I was going through.
There has been a rediscovering of the garden that I felt was within me all this time. I’d kind of closed the gates. I was like, yeah! I’m really funny and I moved to NYC without a job and nobody came with me. I’m adventurous. I’m exceptionally brave. I can walk into most rooms and find somebody to talk to. Having come from that relationship was ridiculed a lot and discouraged and seen as a betrayal to my partner by shining brightly. It was a rediscovery that I’m bright and shiny and I’m this little beautiful, brilliant gem, and all this time I’ve been allowing it to collect dust in the corner of the closet.
I lived my life every day like it was a movie because I decided my life was a movie and I was the star. It was exciting but it was also like a huge middle finger. I think you’re like this too, I’m going to do this out of spite. You tell me I can’t do this? You tell me this is something only special really go-getters do? I’m going to go do this.
I think that a lot of being single for me was rediscovering. It was a lot of trial and error.
I had never been the sort of person who dated casually and had to pick the people I like. It was just like the one person in class who expressed interest in me and that’s who I date. I have a say now.
I found that the eggs I was attracted to and the eggs that are good for me were different and finding the people who were those two things was very difficult.
The person I’m dating now, I couldn’t see myself with them in my early 20’s because they were persistently kind and persistently understanding. Previously I was more interested in people who were mean to me and ignored me. I was like if you’re the worst person ever and I can make you love me then I’m worthy.
My chest is lighter for sure and I have a lot more confidence in how I react to other people.
I noticed that when the person I loved the most was critical of me I viewed everyone else as benign exceptionally critical. Now I think I trust that my friends love me no matter what because I trust that my partner loves me no matter what.
I think that I reacted almost typically in that I wanted to isolate myself. I wanted to be alone all of the time and heal. Kind of like a cat when they go away to die. They crawl under the couch or run away to the woods…but you’re not dying. Being with others in your pain is not only the greatest gift that you can give other people, it’s also one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself.
Listen to what your heart is telling you.
What you are thinking and feeling, what you are noticing is real and it’s not made up and you are not crazy. There are a lot of flags that you can’t read right now. If you feel like things are not how they should be, they’re not, and you should listen to that.