I’ve got a confession to make.
I am a hard person to date. There. I said it. Now I suppose there’s nothing to hide behind, no excuses allowed.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and although I’ve only just begun to share who I am with the blogging community and the wonderfully interesting and inspiring people who read these words of mine, I do feel the urge to share these thoughts.
I’ve had 2 relationships that could be considered serious. Both ended in drastically opposite fashion; a manner in which my mind would tend to describe in a quote I once heard on a radio show a lifetime ago. The quote was this: “You can live your life in one of two ways: like a candle burning slowly, or like a comet shooting through the sky.” That Van Morrison guy knew what he was talking about, it seems.
Enter Bachelor #1. We were solid through 4 years of dating, the better part of which we spent “shacked up”. And that raises a worthy (I think) side note: Why on Earth do people insist on calling it “playing house”? I’ve never understood. The arguments were real. The housework was real. The bills were certainly real. For all intents and purposes, it was a “real” relationship… no one ever agreed to it being “pretend”.
I was vulnerable with him, and that was OK. He had created a safe place for me in which I was free to cry and yell and laugh and fume. We always had each others backs. Or, maybe I’m just remembering that we did because the human mind tends to romanticize the past whenever we feel like it is lost from us. “Oh, it wasn’t so bad, I suppose” we tell ourselves, wistfully daydreaming of years gone by. But towards the end, we both knew that this candle had been burning from both ends for quite some time. Yes, the good times were good. Great, even. But just because someone is a great person, it doesn’t qualify them for being the right one.
When our candle finally burnt out, I was left in a cold darkness. Overnight, I had lost my entire life as I knew it. My boyfriend was gone. My home was gone. Our friends turned back into his friends, and they were gone. His family, which had over the years become my family, was gone. Everything changed. This 4 year long relationship showed its scars for the next 6 years, sabotaging any hope for new, healthy relationships to blossom. At one point about 2 years after the breakup, I found myself- despite the countless hours of crying my feelings out on my councilor’s couch- sensing deep down that maybe it wasn’t supposed to happen for me. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be where I was anymore. It was then that I met a women who would shape my life in a very drastic, extremely permanent way… The Amazing Resi. She recognized my need for a massive and immediate change, and she facilitated the most life altering event I’ve ever experienced. I left my home and dedicated the next year of my life to learning how to be OK, teaching my heart how to love and how let go, and most importantly, finding out who exactly I am. But that, my friend, is a story for another day…
Upon my return home, a comet quietly entered my little piece of the sky disguised as a friend, and would exit it in a spectacular blaze of flame and fire, of passion and pain. Ahh, yes, enter Bachelor #2.
He was everything. He’d been a crush, then an acquaintance. He became a friend, then the person who kept me from falling asleep at night because his smile would be stuck in my head. Finally, he became my other. My lover, my home. I was drawn to him as magnets are pulled toward each other. Like a moth to a flame.
I can’t tell you what exactly happened, because to this day, I don’t know. But what I do know is that something changed. It was something in him, but I’ll never know when it started, how it grew, or what could have stopped it. I know that he stopped loving me. I know that there is a possibility that he never did in the first place. I know that I was blindsided by the words that came out of his mouth, and I know that the closure I desperately needed from him was never delivered. It was single-handedly the worst blow that I’d ever been delivered. For a long time, I feared that it was going to be the thing that broke me… But I also know that I survived.
I’ve lived. I’ve loved. I’ve gotten out and seen some of this world, the beauty of it all a mere drop in the bucket. And I’m not done. I’ve barely just begun, in fact.
And, I’ve learned. I’ve learned that heartbreak is a bitch. It hurts like hell but you know what else I’ve picked up on? It doesn’t last forever. It can’t strip me of my will to see beauty. To experience love. And I don’t mean only relationship love. I mean helping a stranger in need kind of love. Giving your seat up for an elderly person on the bus kind of love. Holding the door open for the person behind you kind of love. It’s everywhere.
I used to think that my faith in humanity was dead. But it’s not. Because I see it alive and well every time I watch my dad hold the door open for a lady and how my mom takes the time to smile at every baby she sees. I see it when after 35 years of marriage, my parents still walk down the street holding hands. I see it when my brother sends his girlfriend flowers at work “just because”. It’s in the precious time I spend with my girlfriends laughing and drinking wine together. It’s in the store clerk helping a customer carry their bags out to the car so they don’t have to make 2 trips. It’s in the smiles exchanged between strangers on a train. Heartbreak can’t blind me from that.
So, a candle that burns its life away slowly and steadily will eventually meet darkness. And a comet that lights the dark sky with all its promises of light and explosions eventually crosses the horizon never to be seen again. So I wonder then… what’s next?
Amid the periodic chaos that has been life, I’m beginning to see something new emerging. It’s been there for a while- a sunrise, kissing the horizon, humble in it’s wake of my world, yet powerful in it’s presence. It’s been there a while, I know, but only now can I feel its heat, and watch it ascend into my sky.
As these things have come and gone, I’ve discovered something important. And that’s to always remain true to yourself, to what’s inside your heart. The tricky part is finding a counterpart who is doing the same. But sometimes, just when you think the darkness is here to stay, that’s when the beauty of a new sunrise begins to peek out from half a world away…