Tag Archives: breakup

Hello Next Big Thing

25 Feb

 

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There comes a point when you are getting over someone, when you are at the lowest depths of loneliness and self-pity that a sudden burst of energy comes on, a result of finally having exhausted all you have left to mourn for someone.

You might call this closure.

I am finding that in order to reach closure, I have to grieve; it’s inevitable. It’s the only route through this mess of feelings to true liberation.

It feels silly to say that: grief. No one died. Other people have been through far, far worse than getting dumped by their fiancé. It makes me feel insensitive to people who really have lost someone.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am not one of those people who embraces this process – I am much better at avoidance and distraction. Going through this whole transformation of self-awareness to become a more ideal woman has effectively helped me avoid grief. The idea of “grieving” a man I wish I hadn’t loved makes me incredibly uncomfortable. I even threw myself destructively into a two-day romance I wasn’t ready for in the hopes of moving on. Besides, superheroes don’t cry. They suck it up and forget about it.

But then I got that coat in the mail. Without warning, the physical presence of that damn coat brought me face-to-face with Mr. Poison and the feelings I buried when I left Boston. I thought I could outsmart the questions about what I did wrong, the memories of the best times we had, the mental rehashing of all our fights, and all our makeups.

Listen here: grief does not discriminate. It affects everyone, for every kind of loss. You can’t avoid it, no matter how far or fast or hard you run.

Having realized this, when I got home the other night after giving that coat away, I let myself cry hard and long, to deeply feel the pain of the loss.

I’ve never cried like that before, but maybe that’s what’s been missing in my ability to move on from things. It forced me into emotionally dark spaces I wished I didn’t have to visit, but the end result is true catharsis that has given me a freedom I have never felt before.

It’s the freedom to finally say: goodbye Mr. Poison (for real this time).

Someone recently told me that when you grieve a relationship, you are really grieving the part of yourself that was inherently tied to that person. Whether you like it or not, you become someone a little bit different when you’re in a relationship, perhaps a better version of yourself, perhaps a worse version of yourself. Either way, you somehow can’t be that person around anyone else, so without his presence to influence you, that part of you dies.

And so this new grieving process also allows me to say: goodbye girl I used to be.

Hello next big life thing. I’m ready.

-Jennifer

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Mission: Be Benevolent

18 Feb

Benevolent

Sometimes you choose the mission, but as I’m sure many an action hero can attest, sometimes the mission chooses you.

I hadn’t planned on undertaking any new endeavors this Valentine’s Day. It seemed as good a day as any to work on being incognito. And by incognito, I mean laying at home watching cheesy romantic comedies (even the International Woman of Mystery has guilty pleasures) and eating popcorn for dinner. Don’t get me wrong – I did treat myself to a nice bottle of wine and some chocolates. I’m not a complete barbarian. If anything, I’m the best date I’ve had for Valentine’s Day in quite some time.

However. As if sensing my intrinsic happiness from afar, it seems Mr. Poison was not to be outdone.

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Maybe This Was a Mistake

22 Oct

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I don’t know anyone here. I’m out of shape, out of money, and out of adrenaline. Without anyone’s validation, this new life feels flimsy.

If things don’t work out, I will have even less than when I moved here. Leaving Boston, I foolishly thought things couldn’t get any worse. Being dumped by your fiancé, in and of itself, is not even close to rock bottom.

Now I see that things could get a lot worse and that is a place I don’t have the energy to rebound from. If I hadn’t spent all my money and decided to start a new life, that reality wouldn’t be on my horizon.

I miss Jake – his humor, good taste and the way he made me feel special.

He was dramatic, and our relationship was rocky, but the make-ups were always rewarding. When things between us were good, they were the best.

One Saturday, he woke me at dawn and whisked me away to New York. He planned the whole day – took me to a little known museum, a tiny, tasty restaurant, and we wandered a charming and underappreciated neighborhood. At night, we met up with his friends in Brooklyn, where we got drunk and danced to a local band at a hipster bar. He stole glances at me from across the room.

There was the first time I celebrated the holidays with him and his family on the Cape; he was affectionate, proud to call me his girlfriend, and introduced me to his family dog as if it were a big deal.

Sometimes when I was getting ready to go out, he would kiss me softly and tell me how lucky he was.

His embrace wrapped me in warmth and comfort. At those moments, I never felt so much joy and happiness. Every good moment we had together I bookmarked for later so I could relive the happy memories.

His attention was like a drug and in its absence, I felt sluggish. Before we lived together, in those early days, sometimes he would go days without so much as texting me. Even when we were together, he withheld – emotion, attention, compromise. In those moments, I longed for the times when I felt loved.

There are never any normal moments in that kind of relationship – just highs and lows.

You do not see what you should. You only see how good it can feel and spend all your time waiting for the other person to make things wonderful again. Being with someone who withholds his affection, someone who dates and loves and commits on his terms, is a terrible place to be. I see that now.

That doesn’t make this move any easier. Moving to a new city is harder than I thought, especially at 29 years old. I miss having social commitments, having somewhere to be. I miss cooking with someone, waking up next to someone. I miss the feeling of being in love.

Ugh. Listen to me – I am such a cliché.

Enough.

–Jennifer

Running with James Bond

26 Sep

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I’ve been here a week now and reality settled in about an hour ago. It’s Saturday night, and in my empty apartment, I’m hate watching yet another James Bond marathon.

The sounds of the people around me, none of whom I know, makes me feel alone. The drunken twentysomethings on the street make me miss my friends and social life. I’m no longer part of Boston, but I am not part of Denver either.

The city lights outside my window usually comfort me with the promise of human activity, and I suppose they are better than no city lights, but knowing that there are all these people out there, just there, right outside my window, makes me feel the unbearable weight of everything that just happened. I promised myself I wouldn’t do this. James Bond never would have sat home on a Saturday night.

It’s been nine days since Jake dumped me.

Two Thursdays ago, he got home from law school as I was finishing up a work report. He was home later than usual and hadn’t responded to my texts asking where he was, if he was okay. He quietly set his bag down, took his jacket off. He looked disturbed, and seemed in a daze. He sat down on the chair across from me.

“Hey.” I tried to catch his eye.

He stared unblinking for a few moments, then looked straight at me. “I can’t do this anymore.”

“What do you mean? Law school?” My heart raced and the blood rushed to my face.

“No. I can’t do ‘us’ anymore.”

“What?” I furrowed my brows at him.

“This is too much. I’m sorry, Dee. I just can’t. I’ve been walking around all night and I just – I’ve had to change so much.” He stopped for a moment, rubbed his hands together.

“In the midst of becoming the man I really want to be, and this was the hardest three years of my life, and God, I’ve had to study more than humanly possible, I’ve had my intelligence tested, I’ve also met all these incredibly interesting people, and it’s opened my eyes to the world, and got me thinking about what I want, and I—“ He stopped and looked back up at me.

“What the fuck? Are you saying?”

Jake took a defeated breath. “I’m not in love with you anymore.”

My chest tightened. My face was hot. I felt dizzy. Tears streamed down my face, onto my neck and the blanket. My mind raced and slowed at the same time, hyper-focusing on certain words and memories. I felt immobilized. He stayed where he was.

“Leave,” I finally said into my hands.

“What?”

I looked up, shooting invisible daggers at this face. “Get the fuck out.”

Jake nodded. Put his head down, hands on his knees, pushed himself up and walked to the door without looking at me. He put on his jacket with confidence.

“I’ll be at the pub if you need me.” He slammed the door behind him.

Maybe it was the pain, maybe I knew this time he meant it, maybe my heart couldn’t handle it, but something compelling came over me that I’ve never felt before. With remarkable clarity, I knew exactly what I had to do.

I ransacked our apartment, gathering everything I couldn’t live without. I pulled everything from my closet and dresser and, thinking about all the woman-on-the-run books and movies I’d consumed, I combed the apartment for paperwork and mementos. I packed my laptop and power cord, took off the ring and carefully packed it into my purse.

The furniture, dishes and most of my books stayed behind. Everything I didn’t want ended up in “donate” bags that I left in a corner of the bedroom. Then, I straightened the entire apartment. Terrified at getting caught, I worked at Super Woman speed.

Two hours later, I left my keys on the kitchen counter, lugged my suitcases downstairs, and hailed a taxi.

In the taxi, I logged into my bank account and transferred all my wedding money savings to my checking account. It was about 10 p.m. and there wouldn’t be any more flights tonight, so the taxi dropped me at an airport hotel.

From my hotel room, I texted just enough people to let them know not to worry.

“Jake dumped me. I moved out. Heading out of town. Will check in in a few days. Don’t worry.” I received several texts back but couldn’t bear to look at them. I also couldn’t help but notice that I hadn’t received any texts from Jake asking where I was, and haven’t received any from him since.

I had to leave as early as possible the next morning. I looked up the earliest flights, and Denver caught my eye. The expanse of empty land between Boston and Denver appealed to me very much.

The TV put me to sleep in my plush hotel bed, and when I woke, I was ecstatic about the idea of Denver. I felt strangely powerful. It was the exhilaration of running fast with the delusion that you are winning.

It was a flimsy feeling, because beneath it, a hole was burrowing itself where Jake used to be.

I need a distraction, a goal and a plan.

Every night is Saturday night when you are James Bond. Or, better yet, an International Woman of Mystery.