Just the other night, I had a conversation with a friend that brought a number of unwanted, but welcomed, emotions to the surface. She had given me a Face Time call and I had answered right away. Now, this may not seem like a big deal to anyone, but for me, this is growth, the part where I answered (answering right away was just a bonus). My close friends know that I’m not a fan of talking on the phone, whether it be phone call or video chat, so in the midst of making sense of my failed relationship, I’ve also been practicing talking on the phone more; Gold star sticker for me.
She and I spoke for about two hours. She is a newbie in the heartbreak game, for the most part. Long story short, her ex-boyfriend, of three years, betrayed her and now her ‘Make Sense of this Shit’ meter is all screwed up. I was once there, so I can relate to her pain especially since we are virtually on the same path in life for the time being. I try to comfort her with my crappy advice, but it is advice nonetheless. I’m a bit ahead of her in this race, which I continue to remind her when she tearfully questions how is it that I can be so happy right now?
My happiness is a tricky thing. I can say I am happier than I was a few months ago, but I still have heart-jerking moments that leave me sitting in a pool of ‘what ifs’, ‘whys’, and ‘how come’ from time to time. When I’m not paying attention, I wander to the deep end. I realize I’m in trouble when my toes no longer touch the ground, but floating seems like the only thing to do. I swallow the rejection all over again. It comes crashing in without warning and before I know it, I’m left with water in my nose and a bad taste in my mouth. Both seem to linger. When I clear my throat, I try to float on my back to relieve the sting and the view above me is more water. It seems easy to hide tears when you’re already wet.
Being happy has been a daily practice for me. The more I choose it, the less I find myself drowning. It’s a hard concept to understand when drowning seems like your only option. I desperately wanted answers. I wanted to know why he had rejected me. Why wasn’t I enough? Why couldn’t he have told me the truth? Why was he still lying? Why was he telling me he loved me when everything he did said he didn’t? Why couldn’t he love me? What wasn’t he saying? Why didn’t he just leave? Why would he do this to me? What was I to him? Did I mean anything to him? If I meant something, why wasn’t it more than the hurt he chose to cause? Why did we meet? Why did I have to love him? What if I never asked him to move in order to be with me? Why would he tell me to keep fighting for us, but end up no longer fighting for us? Why did he have his doubts but still come? Why didn’t he say he had doubts? Why pretend to believe in us? What if I stopped talking to him that one time we had broken up? What if I had given him a real chance? What if he had never made any heart breaking mistakes? What would we have become? What if I had loved him more? How come he didn’t love me more? Was I not beautiful enough? Was my body an issue? Why couldn’t he tell me that my body was an issue?
The waves never seem to let up when my heart wants answers.
Eventually, I stop wanting answers. I asked and asked for a very long time. I could argue that many of the answers I received didn’t seem truthful, so they weren’t what I wanted. Eventually, I stop hoping for a better version of the person that I loved. I waited for years, hoping he’d get it all off his chest, tell me what kept him from loving me and would either a) realize he wanted to spend his life with me or b) choose to go on with his life without me. He gave me neither. Eventually, I stop loving. I thought there was power in my love. Power to make a person stand in their own mistakes and own up to them. Eventually, I realize that none of the magical things I want to happen ever will. So, I try to create magic for myself by starting with choosing to be happy every day, even just for a moment.
At some point, I decided I’d rather get out of the water than risk having pruned skin.