185 days ago, give or take it’s been about six months, I legit thought I was going to die of a broken heart. January 29, 2018 will forever be a day I’ll remember, because it changed the trajectory of my life forever.
Two weeks from then we were supposed to get engaged (or thereabouts). A month from then, we were supposed to go to San Francisco as his belated birthday present to me (a trip he got everything back from and all I got was a card with an empty promise). Five months from then, we were supposed to take a picture at my law school graduation because we fucking beat the odds that law school would kill our relationship. Last weekend we were supposed to celebrate me being done with months of studying leading up to the California Bar Exam (until the results come out in the fall, fingers crossed I’m one and done).
We had so many plans; plans that will never happen because on that Monday morning, he decided (at the advice of his parents, mind you), that after almost five years together, seemingly overnight, I wasn’t the person he could picture forever with anymore.
Well, today, and I never freaking thought I’d ever get to this point, I want to thank him.
Thank you for breaking up with me.
Thank you for giving me a new lease on life, because the way we were heading wasn’t something either of us truly wanted. Our priorities weren’t in line, and despite out best attempts to make them fit, we couldn’t. I don’t think we ever would have.
You wanted kids yesterday, but I wanted a career first.
I wanted you to be more proactive about your side hustles, but you wanted to spend that time on your surfboard.
You wanted us to spend more time with your family, but you resented me for wanting the same with mine.
We wanted each other, but not in a way that was sustainable for either of us.
It feels like a lifetime ago that we were designing that ring and making dehydrated soups for your parents’ birthdays; now I can barely remember your voice.
I’m not going to lie, it stung when I saw that you’d moved on…but so had I. I don’t know how your new relationship came about, but I hope she makes you happy. I hope she holds your secrets close and comforts you when your fears feel overwhelming. I hope she stands by your side when your family stresses you out and that she remembers you hate ketchup in and around anything you’re eating. I hope she takes your breath away in the best way possible, but most importantly, I hope whomever you end up with (if it’s her or someone else), that you’re happy.
You were my first great love, and I will forever be thankful that we each took a chance on a stranger and met that night at Tap Room. That you gave me a hugshake because you were too nervous to pick between a hug or a handshake. That you went looking for me until 4am the night I got roofied, lost control of my car, and almost died. That you answered every call I made from Germany that summer, when I didn’t know I was dealing with an aggressive onset of PTSD symptoms. That you had cold water and hot tea ready for me every time I’d come out of the bathroom after getting sick from GI issues. That you never stopped encouraging me to work hard in law school, even when it beat me down and I felt like I couldn’t get up.
Thank you for believing in me even when I couldn’t.
Thank you for loving me when I couldn’t.
Thank you for breaking up with me, because knowing you and loving you and losing you has made me a stronger person; and I will forever be grateful that I met you.
Thank you for letting me share our story, because I think this is the last time I’ll reopen that part of my heart.
Thank you for breaking up with me, because the depth of that loss has made me realize that some of the best things in life are worth finding and losing so that others can find them, too.
I could not be MORE PROUD OF YOU if I were your own mother. This is really when I think you can say you are over something: when you can see the good and bad, rhapsodizing neither. It wasn’t right, but you see things through to the finish. What if you had gotten married? Had children? Owned property? At some point, the unsustainable collapses, and all those other, associated items both bear and cause collateral damage. I wish you’d think about writing a book – not about this, but a life guide for other young women who are struggling with similar early life issues, and need to hear your voice. You are, really, the bestest.
I can’t imagine if there had been more collateral damage. That’s kind of what I had in mind with this blog – a place for people trying to navigate issues hardly anyone talks about, because as in the instance of a breakup, that’s great people are there for you in the initial aftershocks, but how about a month, six months, down the line. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement! <3