Sunday, May 3, 2009

Was it a waste?

It's been about 2 months and 2 weeks since I left him. When I think of how that time has passed, I think of all the positive things I've done, the change in me, and the clearer way in which I see myself. Then I think of the last nine years I spent with him. What was I doing? Was it a waste of time?

We were together for nine years and that seems now like an eternity, my whole adult life. I spent my twenties with him, pretty much every year of them. Sometimes I feel like all that amounted to nothing. I mean here I am, living with my parents, about to live on my own for the first time (no roommate, no boyfriend), I'm trying to change careers, I'm finding myself all over again, I'm starting from scratch.

I was sitting in a friendly, oddly comforting, dark, divey bar in the middle of the afternoon, catching up with a friend who I hadn't seen in years and who is also going through the break-up of a long-term relationship. She said to me, "I'm starting to think I've wasted a big part of my life." I knew the feeling, I told her that sometimes I felt the same way. But then we looked at each other in disbelief, both saying, "How could you think that? You've done so much!"

I've always seen her as a woman who charted her own path, fiercely independent, never answering to anyone. It never seemed like any part of her personality was silenced. She traveled, made lots of friends, explored new hobbies, became a dancer. I asked her how she could think that was all a waste. And then she said to me that she was starting to realize that all those years weren't wasted. It wasn't her life that was stagnant, it was the relationship that never evolved. I remember how I began to see other relationships around me grow and I watched my own remain unchanged from one year to the next. I wished desperately for a change because I knew I was growing and I wanted the relationship to grow too.

So we both looked at each other, seeing women that in our eyes did wonderful things with the past years, and we knew we couldn't view our lives as wasted.

I wanted to pursue Interior Design and I worked hard to get my BFA.

I wanted to travel and I went to Italy, London, Paris, Hawaii, Costa Rica.

I met incredible people, had wonderful experiences, had horrible experiences, and changed my life over and over again.

I was a waitress, an art gallery assistant, an art exhibition installer, a museum's assistant curator, a line cook, an instructional designer, and an interior design student.

I've fallen in love and had my heart broken.

For the last nine years I was truly loved and I loved back. I took part in one of the greatest experiences of my life and for that I am grateful.

I've allowed people to come in and out of my life who have taught me, guided me, scared me, and pushed me.

And I've made a friendship that became one of the greatest gifts and because of it I've grown up to be the woman I am today.

No, none of this was a waste.

I finally made a change because of how much I've grown and I plan to spend the rest of my life evolving and growing without any limits. Constantly changing. Constantly growing.

photo by Robert S. Donovan


  1. I love that you started this. I commented under the screename JulietR on your Blogher entry, Dissolving. Thanks for commenting back.

    I too am coming out of a relationship but it was only one year, a second compared to your nine. But nonetheless, it was the first man I truly loved and therefore am heart broken.

    I write to him when it gets too hard. When we were having difficulties I started blogging to him and passwording it. One day I told him about it and he was able to read everything I felt when we hadn't been speaking. Now I know he periodically checks it and that's ok. I like knowing I can talk to him and share myself with him... and it prevents me from calling him. haha

    How are you holding up? What made you embrace this change in your life?

  2. Hi,
    I'm glad you wrote me and thanks for reading this. I really love connecting with people who are going through the same thing as me right now.

    I started this blog about 2 weeks after I moved out of the apartment my boyfriend and I shared. While we were going through the breakup, I sat in bed one night (it was Feb. 3rd actually) and I opened a blank page on my computer and starting writing the things I was feeling. Then I dated it. I was able to look at my feelings on the screen and I could look at the date, and I felt like someday it wasn't going to be February 3rd anymore. Someday I was going to get past all the pain I was going through on that day. After I did that, I started to think about recovery.

    I wanted to document this process because I wanted to see how I would recover. I also felt like other people were probably going through the same thing that I was and I wanted to connect to them.

    You asked me how I embraced this change in my life. Well, I think I knew that I needed to focus on my recovery if I was going to be okay and so that's what I've done. It's not easy and I have bad days or bad weeks, but I'm trying to learn from what happened and I'm trying to focus on myself.

    Please keep me posted on how you're doing!



Related Posts with Thumbnails