Leaving my skeletons behind

Extracted from my latest Dayre post.. here’s an emotional bit of me I haven’t shared in quite awhile.

Laying quietly next to him the night before, we talked about things like we usually do, throwing topics out there and discussing just about everything and nothing. Then we came across the topic of whether it is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all.

Being someone who loves deeply each time I decide I’m truly in it for real, I would say.. Life would have so little meaning if you didn’t give your heart away. Such love can be in the form of friendship, kinship or relationship. It’s selfless, bold and fulfilling.

But sometimes, it doesn’t always stay that way. Life gets the better of love. Patience turns into annoyance, effort morphs into complacency, kind words evolve into harsh ones and love slips through your fingers without you even realizing it.

I can’t say I don’t envy people who have never felt great loss of someone important in their lives. Sometimes I wonder if it is a blessing or a curse to be the type of person who feels every single thing intensely. Maybe living in oblivion is sad in its own quiet way, but it’s not the kind of sad that leaves you picking the pieces of your heart off the floor.

Most break ups are sad. But some are mind numbingly tragic.

Maybe, one day you’ll meet someone who starts a fire in you that never dies. But the saddest truth you’ll come to know is that you may not end up spending the rest of your life with that person.

Perhaps it’s especially morbid to meet such a person at a young age, because you spend the rest of your days trying to fill the empty hole they left behind. The realization that it’s probably never going to feel the same with anyone else is overwhelming. Suddenly, your life is completely defined by three segments: Before you met him, when you were with him, and life after it all fell apart.

I thought I knew what it meant to be heartbroken, but I did not know what it really felt like until I found myself choosing to lie on the floor instead of the bed to cry, because the floor felt cold and hard, and I just wanted to feel something apart from the hole in my empty heart.

Not eating, not moving, barely breathing, replaying the same sad song for hours on end, replaying everything you could and should have done better, questioning the point of your very existence, questioning God even though you’re not even religious. It’s when you choose to bleed just to know you’re alive.

It’s also when you’re wailing loudly despite knowing there’s no one there to hear your pathetic cries or to give you their sympathy. I thought we were going to have children and the rest of our lives together. After all, that’s the only future I ever knew. People don’t realize that I did not just lose a boyfriend of 6 years – I lost the house we were staying in together, my job that we worked together in, my everyday lifestyle, everything that I knew.

I thought that when the days of uncontrollable sobbing and being motionless in bed for extended periods of time stopped, so would the pain. Today, it has been more than a year since I decided to leave my ex of 6 years.

While I don’t cry over it as often as I used to, and no longer see his face or hear his name in everything I do and everywhere I go and I realize that my life is my own.. it still gets me real down every now and then. Just when I thought I’ve gotten over it, there will come a sleepless night that convinces me otherwise. And then it hit me.

There are some wounds that will take more than just a few years to heal, and there are broken hearts that surgery can’t fix.

I should allow myself to feel everything that I am feeling, and I should feel no shame in admitting that yes, even though a year has passed (it’s coming to 2 soon), sometimes I still think of Sam and everything we used to do and have. Not in a particularly romantic way, but sometimes, just mourning the loss of something really special and great.

After all, we’ve stayed in three different homes together, raised adorable pets together, been through unimaginable shit with each other, built a business and worked together, saw the other person’s face everyday for 5 years straight – we basically revolved every inch of our lives around each other. I did spend more than a quarter of my life with this person, and he taught me a lot of what I know today as a person.

I was supposed to marry him, but due to unfortunate circumstances, I did not. I left him instead. Because despite how truly amazing we could be together sometimes, the bad times would rock and shake my entire world and left me with zero self esteem, and a lot of negative emotions, which eventually ate me up inside. Our lack of experience in dealing with difficult life situations and snarky attitude got the better of us.

Everyday, I am still learning new lessons from my previous relationship. I often reflect and think about what it all means. Everyday, I am finding new meaning. Recently, I’ve found myself thinking about Sam a lot more, and I was confused by why this was happening.

After some pondering, I realize it’s because of a new character making a significant impact in my life story. Shortly after my break up with Sam, I dated someone for 8 months, from late last year to a few months ago.

Yeah, it didn’t work out. I’d hate to call it a rebound, but I guess I was lonely, and he was enthusiastic, appearing at the right place at the right time. I thought that was what I wanted. Several months in, however, I realized it was a mistake, and called it off when I could no longer keep up pretending that it was going fine, when it wasn’t. We weren’t suitable for each other at all.

But this time around, dear dayre, it’s different. Right from the start, I could tell. This guy makes me feel things I never believed I would feel again. Emotions that I haven’t felt since 7 years ago. He tugs on heart strings from parts of my heart that I did not know were still alive. It made me flashback to when Sam and I first got together.

I felt overwhelmed with a ton of emotions. I was shellshocked that this was even happening. I thought my love with Sam was a once in a lifetime sort of experience, so how could it be that I’m fantasizing about a future with this new guy the way I used to with Sam? Immediately, I recognized what I was feeling.

I felt guilty, like I was replacing Sam. Or rather, the placement of Sam in my heart, in his good memory. While unpleasant thoughts of how everything went to shit still do haunt me, at the very core of it all, I choose to remember him as the guy who taught me what love was. Even after he left, that’s how I always saw him.

I always knew I would be able to have relationships after Sam. I’m generally a cheerful person, and I have lots of love to give, so it wasn’t going to be a problem to find someone to have a relationship with. I just kind of expected that I would have relationships that could never match up to what Sam and I had. I assumed I would get into relationships, watch them not work out, get the hell out of them, rinse and repeat.

But what I did not realize is that my undeserving, malfunctioning, fucked up piece of shit scumbag heart could still, by the grace of God, love someone THAT wholeheartedly again. Somehow, this guy makes my broken heart feel whole again.

And that actually scares the shit out of me.

I was scared of several things. Firstly, the higher you go, the harder you’ll fall. All that vulnerability I took so long to harden my shell just to cover up for, is now being exposed once again. Of course I’m scarred, and naturally think of the worst case scenario. I can tell this would ruin me all anew if it doesn’t work out. And this time, I’m not so sure I will be okay again. I barely made it out with my sanity and dignity intact for the last one.

Secondly..

What makes it even more terrifying is that he’s been one of my best friends for more than a year, and I was very close to him even before we started dating. In a way, he’s been my rock and support, consistently being the best to me, always lending a helping hand in my time of need and making me smile without fail.

So if we don’t work out, I stand to lose one of my closest friends in this lifetime.

Thirdly, I guess I’m royally screwed because I feel like he could be the new love of my life. I don’t know, I could probably even marry this guy. He seems like he would make a great dad and husband. Perhaps it’s too early to tell right now, but that’s how deep I’m in it already. And I’ve only felt this way two times in my entire life: once with Sam, and once more with him.

Let’s give the new guy a name. Let’s call him D. My relationship with D the last two months has shown me how I’ve grown as a person, and a partner. I’m noticeably more self giving, patient, understanding, gentle and willing to compromise. Much more so than before. Only someone like D could bring out these traits in me and encourage me to be the best version of myself possible, because he’s such a great character himself.

So yeah. Basically I’ve been thinking of Sam more often these days because I find myself going through similar experiences with D as I had with Sam, and I’m frightened by the similarities. Can you blame me? It ended so badly for me the last time and I’m just afraid history will repeat itself.

But no love ever came without sacrifices and risks; I should stop this negativity and focus on the good. Because, God, I want to be happily in love again. I want to hand my broken heart to someone else to mend, and not have to bear this burden all by myself.

While I’ve learnt to discover happiness in doing certain things alone, I think generally I am a very social person and it saddens me not having someone special to talk to me about all the thoughts that swim in my head before I sleep at night, or just having someone around for a cuddle whenever I feel like one.

Someone I can devote all my time, affection and love to. I love myself, I do, but I find much greater joy in loving someone else. I used to think that was a sign of weakness, not being able to be happy alone, but now I think that’s just bullshit.

Some people are happier being single, and the world can accept that, so why can’t we agree that it’s perfectly fine to admit that you’re happier being attached? I don’t mean get into a pointless relationship just for the sake of being one (which is possibly what I did for the previous guy I dated) but actually being with someone who becomes your better half. How is that not an ideal situation to be in?

And that’s exactly how I feel. Despite only dating for two months, I feel like D is my better half already. He has always been the ray of light to guide me past difficult times, and he makes me want to become a better person, for myself, and for him.

Sam might have been the love of my life up till I was 23, but D could be the great love of my life, for well, the rest of my life. And even if it’s not D, although I hope it is, I should be open to the idea that love doesn’t die when the relationship does. Love is a form of energy, and it should be transferred into different forms and reinvested in new people.

I’ve held relentlessly onto precious memories of Sam and I, safeguarding and regarding them as the best I’ll have in my life, leaving little room for anyone or anything else to enter. But I shouldn’t hold onto something so tightly when its already over.

I shouldn’t be worried about D becoming something to “replace” what I’ve been holding dear – he is in fact, a whole new category and placement of his own, earning a rightful and massive spot in my heart, creating new memories to replace some painful ones that currently exist.

Maybe it’s time to give yourself a break, Jess. Perhaps it really is time to stop asking yourself each and every day, “Why did something so good end so bad? Will we ever have the chance to start anew? Will I ever be as happy again? Why did you say and do the things that you did? Why couldn’t you have done any better?”

Because you know what. The past, truly has come and gone. Like there’s literally nothing I can do about what I’ve already lost.. That’s gone with the wind. What I CAN do is actually take the hard lessons and truths I’ve gathered from my relationship with Sam, and apply it in this new one. Don’t screw it up Jess. Let’s not make the same mistakes again, you know you won’t forgive yourself this time. We’ll be the best that we can be. We totally deserve another chance at being happy again.

And make me happy, D does. Dear dayre, he makes my heart sing. He makes the bad days better, and the good days the best they could possibly be. When I gave up on myself last year, he didn’t give up on me. He holds me when I cry, listens tirelessly when I talk (too much), kisses me when I least expect it and smiles at me for no reason. And when he smiles at me, I can never not smile back at him.

He’s a constant ball of positive energy, and seems to absolutely adore every quirk I have. He laughs at all the weird shit I do, even the horribly unglamorous and dorky stuff. He makes me feel like I can truly be myself, because someone loves me just the way I am. He knows about my past, my dark secrets and my pain. But he looks at me and smiles as though I am perfect.

Sometimes I feel real emotional when he does that, because I know that when he looks into my eyes, he doesn’t see the rain that I hide behind them. He sees rainbows, twinkles and fireworks and most of all, he just sees a girl he loves more than anything he’s known before.

He doesn’t look at me with sympathetic or frowning eyes like he recognizes the broken person I am, all he knows is that I make him complete. He accepts me with all my emotional baggage, scars and tantrums, and gives me renewed faith in many things I gave up on.

There’s just something really beautiful about that kind of naivety and innocence. Starting on a clean slate. No past to worry about, just the potential of a future to look forward to. Just so many chances to make things right this time around.

I may not have believed it was possible to do so before, but I feel like I am slowly but surely letting go of my pain and regret. I’ll never forget the crazy beautiful devastating memories and all the lessons you’ve taught me Sam, but my heart has had enough of crying over what we were.

We are no longer. We only exist as separate entities now. You in your own world, and me, in my own.

To think, my world used to be you. And now, I have a whole new world without you. Looks like the world is bigger than we thought it was, huh?

I really hope you’re doing well, and being happy, wherever you are. That’s all I ever wanted for the both of us – to be happy. Even if that means living without each other’s presence. We have memories to last a lifetime. Thank you for being a part of my life, and in some ways you will definitely always be. But I think I’m ready to start a new chapter now.

And this one will begin not with tears but instead, with a smile and a hopeful heart, and you will not be the main character no more. I may not know what the ending is, but ultimately I am the author of my own life story, and I can rewrite the ending if I don’t like it enough – that is the most empowering thing I’ve ever felt.

To realize that your heart is even more resilient and powerful than any other part of you that exists because it can stop beating completely, and then burst back into life one day again… is indeed a life changing thing.

I’m leaving my skeletons behind, memories in my heart, and regrets to the wind.