Independence of the heart
It’s been nearly three years since I last wrote on my blog at brighteyesphotos.weebly.com/bright-eyes-nw-blurbs. Last I wrote, I'd been dating my ex-fiancé for exactly one year and two weeks.
I, in my infinite sarcasm, I wrote a piece called “Why NOT to date the nerdy journalist chick” – Well, here I am, two years, six months and 20 days later, and I am once again single.
(Think he figured it out from the listicle?)
Those who know me at all know it was never my plan or a goal of mine to date. I definitely did not expect to be in love by 21, engaged by age 22 and devastated and abandoned by 24, but yet, here I am.
I was taken in by a Jane Austen-level pernicious suitor only to receive a soap opera ending. If you mightn’t have guessed, I’m not a big fan of soap operas. I always thought if I found a guy who could stand my ludicrous need to multitask and occasionally biting sarcasm, it would be at a point when I already had my life established, rather than when I was finishing my last years of college and navigating my way across that stage and into a big-girl job.
I did not sign up for the boy meets girl; girl is confidant to boy; boy falls for girl; girl eventually falls for boy; boy eventually packs up all of his earthly belongings without a word and is one foot out the door when girl comes home one day scenario.
That wasn’t my story. That wasn’t even remotely any of the stories I had even fathomed. And it definitely wasn’t something I ever thought would happen after the step of “girl falls for boy.”
Ironically, Mr. Undecided, a.k.a my ex-fiancé, left me exactly three months ago. So you could say this, Independence Day, was the three month anniversary of my unwitting and unceremonious independence.
Needless to say, there weren’t any cakes or balloons. And just for the record, this isn’t meant to be a slam piece, but for what I want to write the aforementioned information needed to be included.
Now that that’s out of the way, on to my topic: independence.
It’s a quality I’ve always felt I possessed, one many have told me they desire and one I am now fighting to regain emotionally.
Sure, I’m independent in that I pay the majority of my bills by myself, I have to feed and clothe myself, yada yada, and I am convinced that I would not be able to do my job AT ALL if I weren’t the least bit independent.
Neither my publisher nor my mother is there holding my hand while I interview for, photograph for and write the entirety of my weekly community newspaper. I’d say succeeding to create the product I do every week makes me pretty damn independent. But, since I was not consulted on my untimely return to single-hood, my heart has not quite caught back up to being so independent.
While my head gives Marvelous Mrs. Maisel-quality remarks about Mr. Undecided and takes in the umpteenth comment from a friend or family member about how “He doesn’t deserve me” and “I’m going to be so much better without him,” my heart yearns for that space next to me in bed to be filled, for a kind face to look at as I wake and when I get home, exhausted at night; it seemingly hasn't gotten the memo that it could be a very long time before its romantic tendencies are reciprocated again.
It’s kind of silly, but I sometimes picture that if my heart was outside of me and personified as a fully sentient being, it would have an expression similar to that my cat always got when he’d finally realize I was packing to go back to college and leave him again. Snowball was always the last to figure it out.
I think my heart is very similar.
It seems ridiculous to me that I should even be so upset at all. Or at least that I should have wanted to hold onto this person who packed up his clothes, cookware and emotions in one bag and left without a word. I was of the Irina Dunn school of thought for so long, insisting to my unhappily single friends that “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle."
I’m almost ashamed to let myself be hurt by it all. But it hurts.
I'm a fish in bicycle withdrawals.
A friend of mine told me recently that he’d heard it takes half the time you’re with someone to get over them, and that he was sure after his last long-term relationship experience it was true.
Great, right? I’m being punished for loving too deeply and for too long after my relationship ended without my consent.
But I don’t think this applies to everybody. It certainly doesn’t seem to apply to Mr. Undecided. And I don’t think every other low-life that ever walked out on their significant other probably has this same conscience.
But that’s no matter. Because this story isn’t about him anymore. It’s back to being just about me.
If this blog or the few people who take time to read it were a friend I’d have been a terrible friend in return for two-plus years.
Sure, to my living, breathing, Skyping friends I was never that girl who ditched plans to be with my significant other. I didn’t make excuses about “well I HAVE to be home at such-and-such a time to see him” because we were individual people and I was invested in my friends too. Now I hope to bring this “friend” back into the mix.
I think maybe I didn’t want to write the way I normally did on my blog for fear of giving too much away and receiving judgement of what I now realize was not that great of a relationship. Mr. Undecided was not always a great partner. I wasn’t always either, but I’m coming to terms with the fact that this whole situation I’m in — being left and devastatingly heartbroken, our relationship coming apart — isn’t my fault. I didn't deserve to have my life upended as it was.
I am only responsible fully for what happens next, and I hope you’ll all stick around to see what I write about it.