Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Letting go and holding on.

I've been thinking a lot about what to write lately. Basically, it's been a much tougher time than I would have anticipated and I haven't been able to find the right way to explain it here, or even to myself. So in the interest of documentation, here goes...

The breakup began around the beginning of January last year. For a long time I designated January 5th for when it all began. I'm not sure exactly if it was that day, but January 5th always seemed right to me. I didn't move out until February 16th, so that's when it will be officially the One Year Anniversary.

So to commemorate this time last year, my subconscious has decided that every night I have to have some kind of dreadful, nightmarish, gut-wrenching dream about my ex; every night since New Years Eve.

Every. Fucking. Night.

Why? Well, maybe I'm paying off some karmic debt. Maybe I did some really heinous shit in another life and now I'm being punished. Or maybe, it's a reaction to the fact we haven't seen each other or even heard each other's voices for a whole year and well, that just feels weird, and in all honesty does seem sort of unnatural. I don't know. I just know that these dreams are pretty unpleasant and they definitely keep him at the top of my mind when I really just want to push him back.

Having these thoughts and dreams gets me sucked right back into wanting to contact him. I often become absolutely convinced it's time. I even have a whole scenario for how our first meeting is going to be. What to hear it?

OK, so I call, no, I text a simple message that just says, "Meet me at X place at Y time. It's time we talked." Nice, right? Simple, to the point, no drama. So then we meet and I walk into the place and I am looking awesome, looking 10 times better than he could have ever remembered me. Then I sit down in front of him, he bursts into tears, takes my hand, apologizes for being such a DICK, he then tells me that he knows that he didn't handle the aftermath of the breakup well, that he knows he wasn't considerate of me, and he is totally ready to participate in a shared narrative of what went wrong and what he and I have learned in this past year and how we've both grown as people, blah blah blah. Then we hug, say goodbye, and wish each other well. And there it is, folks, closure. I will have said the things I needed to say, heard the things I needed to hear, and with that I will have closed that chapter in my life and moved on knowing that we loved each other once, it mattered, it was a big deal, we are better off without each other and we can both go on to live separate, yet fulfilling, lives.

Okay so let's take a minute to let that resonate. Sounds good, right? Healthy. Adult. Cerebral.

Well, here's the thing: That. Is. Fucking. Crazy.

That shit is never gonna happen. Ever. It just isn't. I've alluded to wanting something like this from him, and he hasn't participated. Besides, how often does anything happen the way we picture them ideally happening? I would probably either, (a) trip on my way through the door, (b) burst into tears and humiliate myself, (c) throw something at him and run out, or (d) blurt out some string of incoherent words in fit of hysteria; take your pick.

So if my ideal closure fantasy isn't going to happen, then I really need to let it go. But it's hard to do. There are times when letting go feels so close, but things like holidays, birthdays, and especially the breakup anniversary muddle my brain and make me think that the thing I need the most is not to "let go" but to talk to him, and that's the opposite of letting go; that's "holding on." I sometimes get so close to letting go that it makes me nervous and all I want to do is hold on. And by holding on, I mean that I want to acknowledge that he exists outside of my memory and what I really want is to know that what I participated in for one year shy of a decade (my entire young adult life to date) actually mattered, happened for a reason, and was not some huge colossal waste of my time. In the end, I want to hold on because letting go feels like it all didn't matter, or that it didn't even happen at all.

I guess what I'm really looking for is validation. Validation that all those years mattered for something. But I have a feeling that letting go doesn't mean that those things didn't matter, I think letting go means that those things don't matter anymore. And that's a tough thing to admit. It's hard to say that something so big doesn't matter anymore.

I can tell myself a million supportive, smart things about how letting go is up to me and not dependent on him, but still the draw to contact him is very real because of that nasty little word that hounds so many of us going through breakups, "closure."

I, and I think many others, believe that in order to let go you must first have closure. But here's the thing about closure, it's only something that both people have to be willing to give, you both have to want it, and I'm guessing it takes a great deal of effective communication. And there I think is where my plans fall apart. Communication wasn't our strongest quality. So what makes me think that we could communicate now? What makes me think that something magical would happen now, one year later, that would make us both effective communicators and logical, clear headed, non-emotional, purely friendly individuals coming together for the greater good of this thing we call "closure?"

The answer is that nothing magical is going to happen now. We are who we are. And since that's the case, then I should let go because I'm not going to get the closure I want.

But maybe, someday I'll get a different type of closure. Maybe it will include him, maybe it won't. I have a feeling that whatever it is and whenever it happens, it won't be my ideal closure fantasy, but whatever it is will get me closer to letting go.

In the meantime, I'll keep in mind that I'm doing the best I can, I'm moving on with my life, the last decade wasn't a waste of time, it made me who I am today and for all intents and purposes I really like who I am today, and it also taught me some valuable lessons in how to be a better partner and what to look for in a future partner. With a lot of support from some of the wonderful people in my life (you know how you are) I can remember that closure and letting go is something that has to come from within me and not from anywhere else. And when I feel like I'm getting closer to letting go, I will fight that pull to hold on.

So, Dear Followers, how do you perceive yourself "letting go?" What does it look like to you? Do you think you need closure to let go? Or, are you doing fine without it?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hello, 2010.

When the clock struck 12:00am on January 31, 2009, I had a reaction I didn't expect.

I breathed one big Sigh... of relief and then I cried, just a small bit. I felt a surge of emotion I didn't see coming. I got emotional not because I missed my ex at that moment really, but because I was just so relieved. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I made it through the year. It was over and I really felt like I accomplished something huge.

The whole year of 2009, starting within the first week of January, was centered around the breakup; getting through it, dealing with it's aftermath, and trying to let go of it. It was a year that both changed me in so many positive ways and was also very hard. This time last year, I could never have imagined what happened was going to happen. I had no idea what my life was going to be like, who I would meet, where I would live, or even who would remain in my life and who would be gone. It's incredible to think of just how different everything is now.

My relationships with my family, my best friend, and everyone else for that matter, all got stronger as a result of me being totally honest with myself about my relationship and what was happening in my life. I hadn't been honest about my relationship before, I was in it and I was trying to stay in it without really facing it. Remember my post, Stockholm Syndrome?

So, 2009 is over. I learned a lot, I cried a lot, I laughed a lot, and I started a new life.

Hello, 2010. Nine is moving on.

Not sure who this image is by, but don't you love it? It seemed fitting.


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