This one’s for you, dear L, who makes me certain that my writing is not in vain. Breakups are difficult in so many ways that we can lose clarity to sadness. In some cases, like yours, the grief process was already in motion when the actual act came to fruition, and now it’s a matter of untying all those things that seemed like knots but were, in fact, loose ends. The returning of items, the unmaking of plans, the re-imagining of the immediate and distant future, these steps are traumatic in and of themselves. The wondering what you might have done differently (absolutely nothing), the wishing he would just see the light that you so clearly see. I’ve been there–we’ve all been there, which doesn’t always help but perhaps on some level it does. When I’m in romantic pain, the truth is that “he” is both the problem and the solution – the only person who can provide the particular brand of comfort that I think I need at the time. It seems impossible, sometimes, that two halves of what seemed an imperfectly perfect whole just aren’t going to fit together, but there are myriad factors that have to be in place for a connection to work–chemistry and compatibility you have; to quote Mark Knopfler yet again, “It was just that the time was wrong”.
And that sucks. And, as is the case with most relationships — friendships too — that I’ve had, this one seemed to be born of great kismet; the celestial bodies aligned just so and you walked into that bar (or boarded that train, or sat down in that dog run) and BOOM – there he was. And while it’s good–while it’s blissful–you think, how did I get so lucky? What if I hadn’t walked in or boarded or sat down — he never would have found me.
But he did. He found you, he swept you up, and he put you back down, forever altered. In a positive way, for now you know some of the elements that are not negotiable for future relationships (and there WILL be future relationships). When I think of what I’ve accepted in the past, how I’ve let myself be treated, the second, third, fourth, nineteenth chances I’ve given,and then I spend time with people who actually like me and behave accordingly, I realize that much of my romantic history has been predicated on feelings of being inherently flawed. Still, every relationship I’ve had has given me something (such inappropriate comments could be made here) of value. Truly.
There is no quick fix for heartache; unfortunately it takes time, and fortunately, we can not will time to move faster. But we can waste it, so let’s not. Let’s make plans. Plans are good.
If I could take the pain of everyone I care about and repurpose it into something of beauty, I would.