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“You Seem to be Handling Things so Well!” : The Truth

15 Jan

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Exactly a week ago I sat here, and I lost you. I’m in the same exact spot, except now my apartment is messy and it looks like a tornado hit it. Appropriate, I suppose, since it’s also the way I feel. A mix of new things have ended up on tables, couches, floors, and counters since- but it’s still there. The bag and sunglasses you got me that I love are on the sofa. You gave them to me as you came to let me go. How can I use them without thinking of you? I love them. I don’t want them. You insisted. The gift bag and tissue paper are on the floor. I’ve been looking at the bag and glasses on the couch next to me all week. For some reason today i noticed the tissue paper on the floor, it’s the first time I really looked at it, and that’s when it hit me, and I lost it. The tissue paper, the sleeping medicine wrapper from after, your t-shirt in my laundry room, the letter i wrote you 4 months ago. It’s all here. I meant to put it in a bag to give to you but never did it.

Tomorrow Maria Luisa will come and clean. There’s something awful about the idea of coming home to a place that looks unused. I used to enjoy it, because it was always right before the weekend, but I was always with you on the weekend. Clean apartment meant it was time to see you. To sleep with you. To wake up with you. Tomorrow, and from now on a clean apartment is just me. I have to live here without you. We never actually stayed over here, but now I do have to, and the loneliness of it all is killing me.

The girls say I seem to be doing really well. They say much beter than with B. B blindsided me and they were here for the intial few days. I didn’t love B. I was alone for 48 excrutiating hours for this with you. Nobody else was back yet.

I’ve been keeping busy- beach, work, friends, fitness classes…I was laying in bed today thinking “maybe I’m okay- not ready- but okay”. Then the power nap wasn’t enough and I skipped going to my yoga class just this one day…..and that’s when I walked into my living room and saw it there and was hit hard and fast with the devestating truth. I haven’t been handling things well- I haven’t been handling it all and sooner or later it will all hit me and I will REALLY lose it.

I unfollwed you on Facebook and Instagram. I avoid walking by your street when I come home. I deleted our Whatsapp conversation. Suddenly the most important person to me in this whole country is no longer mine. I no longer have access. I can’t see you or I’ll want to fall back into waking up with you- and I can’t handle that rejection. I can’t stand being demoted. Really, I lost access to you months ago, but it’s real now. There’s no bounce back this time. I wish I could be friends with you like you want, but I can’t see you that way again. I fell in love with that person. As soon as I start remembering that person I’m going to be torn apart again. My only hope is to keep you at a distance as someone who didn’t see me for more than 5 minutes after a month of being in different countries before breaking my heart.

I know we can never go back. It’s broken, I’m broken, but I don’t know how to go forward either. I want you to come over so I can tell you all about it, but you can’t help me.

I can’t get you out of my dreams either. Any spare moment for my mind is another trap, it wanders right to you. Nights and weekends, nights and weekends, those are my enemies now.

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I don’t know how to do another year and a half without you by my side. Putting my life in order without you is awful. I already booked that resort trip for April and can’t cancel it. No trip, no cruise, no camping, no dog walks, no hikes, no sex, no How I Met Your Mother or Orange is the New Black marathons. No movie education, no gallo pinto on Saturnday mornings or stealing sips of your coffee. No more Cartago Sunday’s or business beach trips. No more gossip. No more falling asleep on your chest after an exhausting week. No more stupid jokes or movie quotes. No more singing in the kitchen or watching you do impressions. Nomore watching you stand naked in your room or rock paper scissoring to see who had to unpause the computer. No more cooking lessons or pizza creations or Whatsapp picture convos. No more pillow barriers or dengue jokes. No more ice cream with an absurd amount of whipped cream in bed.

I loved the way you used to calm me down. I loved the way you always made a joke out of things. I hated how you laughed when I cried because emotion made you uncomfortable. I hate that i cried even more. I hate that I made major decisions with you in mind because now I’m stuck with them and not you. I love how my injuries and general body messes didn’t freak you out. I hate how you stopped talking to me. I hate that I couldn’t reach you and that I had to try so hard. I hate that you stopped looking at me and being gentle. I loved how considerate you used to be. I loved how you loved my friends. I hate that we had our best moments with them, not alone. I loved the sex we had during the World Cup, in Nosara, after my surgery, and the last day of Thanksgiving break. I hate that you stopped touching me. I hate how I went home and got all new clothes, all excited that you’d have something fresh to see and some classier looks on your arm- and now I have things and not you. You never saw them. I hate that overall I wasn’t worth enough for you to want to make it work.

I hate that I thought I really was doing okay- but I’m not,

and you’re really gone.

…to those who wait

3 Apr

Good things come to those who wait.

Though I should know who wrote that, I haven’t the desire to search for it right now- I have some thoughts to express. As it turns out, I’m not very good at the whole waiting thing.

As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts, loss seems to be  a common theme in my life this past year. In reference to the relationship kind, that’s been more prominent than ever.

I am grateful for all of the lessons, the failures, and struggles these relationships inevitably come to face. I have grown from them and am at a point in my life where I can recognize what I’ve had to learn and change from. It makes the loss a tad more tolerable. It doesn’t make it any easier though.

As it turns out, I actually met a good guy and we shared a mutual physical, intellectual, and moral interest. We had been hanging out very frequently and had come to be in a very open communication, both expressing how we felt and what we needed.

Sure, it sounds great… but it’s never that simple.

This wonderful guy and I met through the guy I was previously dating. They don’t actually seem to be fantastic friends, but they’re friends nonetheless.

Now, as this huge improvement in my selection of guys is one of the good guys- his conscience has gotten in the way, and has halted the progress of our relationship. And by halted I mean severed completely….

Why? Why must the universe tease me with what I can have and then rip it away?

Clearly…it’s because I choose not to wait. It’s not that I can’t – it’s that I won’t. If I had heeded warning not to date B (previous guy) I was supposed to meet M (current..or recently un-current if you will). I did it anyway. There was something in front of me that seemed fun and like it was going to work well- plus I’d never met the other guy before and set ups are awkward and I may never meet him anyway and who knew if things would even click so if I were to wait I’d be losing out on what was actually there?

Then things ended with B and I could have eased into what felt like an eternally long friendship waiting for the right time – but that would go against my impulsive need to express and go for what I want, after all, I missed out on so many things in the past from waiting for the right time, or the right circumstance or the right sign. I waited on everything and everyone else.And when I did that I lost out.

So this time I continued to go for what my gut told me. I expressed what I needed and I made my interests clear. A little progress was made. Then I had to have an answer about where it was going- and the response was not what I wanted to hear. And I lost. When I did wait and it seemed like good things came my way they ended. When I didn’t, I lost. So what’s the deal?

Waiting, I’ve concluded, is a total spoonful of words to help people who are uncertain or afraid feel better about their slow actions, or lack there of.Unless waiting is to help stop us from murdering the neighbors sumo wrestling at 3am… I guess it has it’s purpose. But in safe, typically sane circumstances waiting is bullshit.

No matter what side I enter from, whatever I had has been doomed to failure. Because I’m not done learning. No matter how long or short those good things last- they come to an end regardless of how long I restrained myself from what I wanted.

The consequences aren’t always pretty, but they serve a purpose, but for now – for me – waiting will just be doing what my gut tells me to, when it feels ready.

The Art of Goodbye

14 Sep

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Goodbye

I should be a pro at this by now.

  • Parents got divorced when I was 11, I don’t really understand how this is traumatic for most kids-it’s just something that happens, but then again my parents were pretty cool about it. Either way, I was pretty unaffected.
  • I moved in the middle of 7th grade with a fair amount of overly dramatic tears. (To be fair, I was the poster child for the moody withdrawn tween- but they DID make us move on my birthday AND start school on April Fool’s Day. To top it off we moved to our “rival school” …because that’s a thing in middle school…C’mon, that’s just cruel!) I was over it about a week later.
  • I left high school without caring a bit about leaving because I knew the few people I actually cared about I’d still see. I think I cried at out senior night for sports though.
  • I graduated undergrad at most, little nostalgic for “the good old days” and then didn’t even attend my grad school ceremony because I didn’t feel that attached to my peers.
  • I’ve watched friends continually commute between the states and elsewhere.
  • I’ve bawled my eyes out every summer upon leaving my camp staff and campers for that “one last time” and then for the actual last time.
  • I’ve had my fair share of gut-wrenching, head throbbing, heartbreaks that I swore I’d never recover from.
  • I’ve parted from my family at the airport curb at 4am, fresh out of grad school, suitcases in hand, leaving not for vacation, but to start a new life in another country. I hadn’t even lived at home for the school year or summer since freshman year.
  • I’ve come home and said goodbye to friends, potential future husbands, and family exactly 2 times since I moved to Costa Rica a year ago.
  • I’ve taught or interned at 5+ different schools and become invested in students that I eventually had to leave, even though I just wanted to keep watching them grow through the years.

By now, I should be good at goodbye.

I’ve done it enough after all.

The problem is that the more I do it, the harder it gets. I thought it was supposed to be the other way around. Maybe I’m just getting soft in my “old age” (I never used to cry at movies, now the slightest emotional scene between family or lovers has me in sobs). I’ve been puzzling this one over for awhile. As I’ve gotten wiser and started to understand how things work more, I figured I should be capable of letting go more gracefully but that’s still not the case. I’ve come to conclusion that that is exactly the problem. I understand.

Think about it for a minute.

The more you experience, the more you’ve seen. You know more emotions, you’ve become aware of the expanding variety of possible outcomes of every action you take. You’ve seen love and you’ve seen loss and maybe even felt it. You’ve built even stronger bonds and you’ve weeded out the weak ones. No longer is the world a place of a few options- it’s not just “don’t worry I’ll see you soon” -there’s very real chances that you may never see someone again. You now know that as much as someone means to you, you may mean just the same to them.

I think this reality hit me a little too hard when I actually left home for the first time. I’m not talking about college or summer camp. I could always go home and see the people I needed to see during that time. I’m talking “I’ve got a real job and a permanent residence that is not my parent’s house. I’ve got a real job that I’m contracted into and I’m not a few hours drive away, and I’m no longer a constant part of your life.”

When I leave now, I know that I’m really leaving. What’s worse is that I’m so much more thankful for them now and every time I visit home I get so much closer and feel like maybe I’ve made a mistake, maybe I should have stayed. I almost feel guilty for leaving them and living my life like I’m supposed to be doing. Like if something happened and I wasn’t there I don’t know if I could forgive myself. The same applies to friends. I’m missing out on their lives and growing away from them.

“Growing apart doesn’t change the fact that for a long time we grew side by side; our roots will always be tangled. I’m glad for that.”

-Ally Condie, Matched

As for the men. I meet a guy, I have to leave him or he let’s me go because i’m leaving anyway. It’s as if I’m watching my future get cut before I’ve even been able to choose what my future is going to be. I want roots and wings but can’t quite find a way to make them co-exist. When I finally settle down I have this fear that I’m bound to be isolated and alone in the sense that I was neglecting my relationships and they’ve all died or been taken care of by someone else. I’m choosing to leave, but to what cost? I’m essentially taking the time and care to build something and then in a quick ocean crossing destroy it. It’s exhausting.

So this art of goodbye? I’ve only been able to boil it down to a few things.

  1. To even get to the point of saying goodbye means you’re still living and exploring. We’re supposed to do that.
  2. I know I wouldn’t want anyone to stay idle for fear of saying goodbye, and I’d want them to get out and explore, so I have to try and stop feeling guilty for leaving.
  3. Leaving doesn’t always mean you don’t love someone or vice versa. You can let go and know that you loved the best you could, or you have the option of staying in touch but with an understanding that things will change.
  4. Maybe it’s crazy, but what’s meant to be will be. We’re all on this erratic path and we never know where we’re going or if we’ll return. Someday though, it will feel like you’re where your supposed to be. When it no longer does- move on. It’s okay to go again.

I’m not sure exactly how long this will work, and I never know what is the right choice until I’ve made it, or how to make saying goodbye hurt any less (even if it’s justified), but I can tell you this: life was much easier season by season.

-Sara

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PS- The title of this post was inspired by a random book I pulled off the shelves a few years ago called The Language of Good-bye by Maribeth Fischer. I highly recommend it.