Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Reflections of a Breakup IX: Realizations and Fears

We closed on the house two days ago. The waiting is over and now my new life is mere days from reality. The day that had always seemed so far away has come and gone, and it didn't bring the relief I had long expected. Deep inside I knew this would be the case. In the days leading up to the event, dark clouds began to gather in my mind, foreshadowing the sadness that would soon envelop my state of mind at the death of my relationship with J.

The end of an era is here, and regardless of the fantasies I'd long had for this new life, this final step towards separation slapped me with the reality of the situation in which I find myself. This is really going to happen! I am going to own a house all by myself! I've never lived alone, on my own. I'm scared, about money, yes, but I'm mostly afraid of being alone. I'm going to miss him and I still can't help but wonder if he's going to miss me the same. I think that's the part that haunts my thoughts more than anything else, but I need to let it go.

Living through this breakup, I'm only beginning to learn about myself. I always thought I knew what I wanted in life. I thought I knew what would make me happy. In retrospect, the notion of an ideal position in life always existed in the back of my mind, but I never recognized it for what it was. I'm not unlike the majority of people. I think what most of us covet more than anything is attention. The craving to be recognized and acknowledged is within each of us. We all need to feel valued, and gaining the interest of those around us helps us to attain that feeling.

A lot of things would make me happy: money, good friends, a good job. What I want most in life is to be loved. I want to be with someone who makes my face light up at the sight of him, and whose face lights up at the sight of me. I want someone who'll finish my thoughts with his, to share secrets and interests with, to impart love upon one another and never leave each other feeling unfulfilled, never starved for attention. Maybe I had that for awhile. Maybe I had it for longer than most. Will I have it again? We'll just have to see...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Reflections of a Breakup Part VIII: The Beginning of the End

Since my last entry, the frustration with life had come to a climax. Tom Petty once said that “the waiting is the hardest part” and he was not kidding. Living under these conditions, my ex and I still under the same roof, both looking to put the past behind and move forward, has been excruciatingly difficult. Each day seems like an eternity. Home is no longer home. It’s become a place that I dread coming to, and the situation hangs like a dark cloud over life. Unfortunately, we haven’t had a choice. As things develop with time though, the outlook is getting better. Although the upswing is near, the darkest days still have to be endured before we can reach the light of the new day.

This week was a test of things to come for me. My ex left the house for five days to watch a friend’s dogs while she was away on vacation. The situation provided a practice run for what is to come. I’ve never lived alone. Sure, my ex has gone away for periods of time before, but that was different. My mindset was different towards this short week. I approached this opportunity differently than in past. This time, I put it in my mind that I was already alone, imagining a fast forward of sorts to the time when I’d be alone for real.

Looking back, the week was a good experience, one that’s left me anticipating my new life with excitement. At first, it was awkward and uncomfortable. Once I had gotten home from work on that first day and settled in, something definitely felt different. Having lived with another person for over sixteen years, I’d developed an unrealized sense of comfort in not being alone. I always felt safe and secure in having another being in my space.

TV time was the one time of the day we mostly spent together, and I never realized the comfort that I always felt in having these shared occasions until that evening. Once I had eaten and sat down to watch some television, I began to sense the void missing in the house. It was an unfamiliar and uncomfortable feeling. Eventually, the phone began to ring and I found myself passing the time in a way I hadn’t in a long time; catching up with friends. When I hung up after my third conversation, an epiphany came to me. I learned that being alone will arouse a long-suppressed desire in me to reconnect with people I’d neglected as a result of having a significant other.

The diminishment of friendships as a result of romance is an unfortunate casualty of relationships. I commend people who are able to stay connected to friends despite the presence of a significant other. The ability to balance the two makes for a healthy lifestyle and probably a happy and successful marriage. After the phone calls, my unease at being alone had subsided and for the rest of the week I embraced what is to come and I am excited at the prospect.

On Wednesday, I received an email from my mortgage broker with the word “mortgage” in the subject line. Butterflies suddenly appeared fluttering away in my stomach. It was the last in a long list of emails that I opened (I’m kind of wimpy that way!), and needless to say it was worth the wait. Although I had really expected it, I was still pleasantly surprised to find out that my mortgage was approved. One of my mantras in life is always to be wary of the unexpected. No one knows for sure until they know for sure! So now I know for sure. This is really going to happen. Soon this purgatory will be behind us and the rebirth of our lives can finally happen.

I only wish we could fast forward to the day after the final separation. I know as the closing draws nearer, my emotions will run the gamut. My mind has been aflutter with thoughts since I received that email. Closing on the mortgage will be a bittersweet moment that I’ll remember for the rest of my life. On one hand, impending freedom sends waves of excitement and anticipation through me. The future belongs to me! Wherever my life takes me, it’ll be up to me to steer its’ direction. But I have to place those thoughts in the back of my mind, for now. There will be plenty of time for that mindset, once the separation is completed.

In the meantime, there’s all this stuff to go through. The division of our things will be difficult. I really hope there’s not too much trouble there. I’ve already resigned myself to just let go of things, not to cause any further rift between us. I’d like to close this chapter with more of the sweet than the bitter. As it is with life, though, I’m sure unforeseen things will cause some conflict. I only hope that they’ll be minimal, so we don’t walk away from this embittered.

I can already feel that getting to the end will be really hard emotionally. I understand now that this breakup was inevitable. In the six months or so since the breakup, I’ve come to have very mixed feelings towards my ex, but all in all I still love him dearly. I’ve said before that we are kindred spirits. We share many of the traits that I’m proud to possess. We’ve been through a lot together, from difficult times to wonderful ones. The patchwork of our twenty years together emblazons a vivid and sentimental spot in my mind and in my heart. I will miss him, for sure. I only hope that one day we can find a way to remain in each other’s lives again.

I dread the immediate future, yet look forward to its aftermath. Today is the day we begin forging the rest of our lives as individuals. I can’t wait until it’s over!