Two years. I can’t believe it’s been two years since I found myself at the receiving end of a gnarly long-term breakup.
That day, I couldn’t even fathom getting through twenty four hours, let alone a week, a month, or longer. Now, it practically feels like a lifetime ago.
I wrote this post shortly after it all went down – 5 Things I Learned From a Breakup.
If I could go back to that day and give myself a hug and tell that girl it was going to be alright, I would. That girl had no idea that one of the worst times in her life would all make sense . . . in time.
I remember one night in early February 2018, driving to an evening law school class, and I spontaneously burst into tears because I was passing our (soon to be) old apartment. (I had a lot of those impromptu waterworks shows . . . ).
I remember nights I would reach for my phone to tell him about something from my day, only to realize he wasn’t going to reply. Or the two times I did text him. The one time he never responded, and the other he said “he wasn’t ready” to talk to me again. (Narrator: they never did talk again).
What people don’t tell you when you’re going through a breakup is that it will hurt. Like, eyes burning, chest tightening, gasping for air, hurt.
Now let me clarify: It didn’t hurt because I wanted him back. Okay, maybe for like five days it hurt because of that, but after those five days, it hurt because he’d been such an important part of my life for nearly five years and in an instant, he was gone.
That kind of loss takes time to understand and time to move on from.
For some people, breakups are a lot like a death, because in order to mourn the loss and move on, you have to treat the absence as permanent and accept the fact that you may never get the closure you’re looking for (or think you’re looking for).
Some people remain friendly with their ex’s . . . and sure, that’s possible if you end on amicable terms. But for many people, breakups are hot, fiery balls of fury that leave no room for niceties and cordial catch-ups after all has been said and done.
It’s wild to think about all that’s happened in the last two years. Two moves. A new relationship. Graduating from law school. Taking the bar exam. Finishing construction on the house. Getting engaged. New health diagnoses. Planning a wedding. And a whole lot of crap (both good and bad) in-between.
I think this will be the last year I do one of these recaps, because while this breakup was pivotal, and in many ways altered the trajectory of my life, it was also a chapter that I think I’m finally ready to put on a shelf as I start to write a new one.
The first recap I wrote in 2019, One Year Later, was kind of like coming up for air and assessing the damage after the breakup. I combed through posts I wrote in the wake of the everything, as well as talked about what it was like to start dating again. (Narrator: it was scary).
This year I wrote posts like, We’re Engaged!, and New Diagnosis (SIBO) + New Problems (More Shit), and The Truth About a Rescinded Job Offer. In a lot of ways, 2019 was setting the foundation for building a new future with someone who is my complete opposite. What I bring with emotions, he balances out with logic. What I lack in adventure and daredevil-ness, he exudes from his Peter Thomas Roth-washed pores. I guess what I’m trying to say is that 2020 is going to be the year I graciously shelve this season of my life, but not without prefacing I am glad that I didn’t get everything that I wanted in 2018. I’m glad that proposal never materialized.
The breakup was tough, but I think it’s left me better for wear (ya know, instead of worse for wear?). Relationships, self awareness, patience, self love . . . they will always be works in progress. I think the key to finding a partner for the long haul is meeting someone who chases dreams and goals alongside you, and when you get tired along the way, is there to cheer you on, help you back up when you fall, and above all else, doesn’t give up when things get muddy.
That’s all the wit I’ve got for now. Off to another doctor’s appointment . . . Google says it’s probably cancer, so fingers crossed it’s not. Half-joking, half serious.*
* update: it wasn’t cancer (yay).