I don’t particularly want to wallow in my breakup, neither here nor in real life, but jumping back into regular blogging as if nothing happened feels awkward and insincere. I feel the need to make some sort of segue, tie everything up with a pretty bow, and then move on.
Of course, life isn’t always quite that simple. Historically, it has taken me months, if not years, to get over a person — and none of those people were ever my boyfriend. I’ve been through this kind of song and dance enough times to know how it goes: the day after is always just as bad, if not worse, than the moment when you either realize or are explicitly told it’s over, but then the second day is not quite as bad, and the third day is better yet, at least from a raw emotion standpoint.
It’s after the raw emotion, though, that things scab over. Or rather, you’d hope that they’d scab over, allowing the wound to heal nicely and promptly, maybe leaving behind a little bit of a scar to keep you from forgetting, but otherwise causing no problems. I’m a bit of an emotional hemophiliac, however: my blood doesn’t clot well, and my scabs don’t stick around as long as they need to. I keep bleeding, and wounds become infected, ugly, gangrenous.
I become resentful.
Or at least, I usually do.
Maybe it’s too early to call anything definitively. Maybe it’s because this situation was so different: he was my boyfriend this time, not just someone I more-or-less silently pined for. He gave me a definitive reason for not wanting to be with me, instead of a vague, “Sorry, Bethany, but I’m just not into you,” or nothing at all. But I don’t feel resentful this time. I feel…okay.
I have my moments, of course. We had plans through March, none of which will come to fruition, and it’s hard to either do these things on my own or do something else entirely instead of thinking, “What if?” What if we had gone to that event. What if we had gone on this date. What if he had met my parents. What if, what if, what if. I’m still staying very far away from Taylor Swift, and I have, once again, become sensitive about seeing couples do things together. And sometimes, when my mind is quiet and unoccupied, or I just don’t have it in me to look for the positive, I get sad and cry. However, there has been something oddly freeing about this whole experience. For a very, very long time–much longer than I even knew my now-ex-boyfriend–writing felt like a chore, a burden, something I had to do because it was the only thing I knew how to do. I occasionally hated what I wrote, but by and large felt very “meh” about everything I wrote. It wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad — it was just boring and uninspiring and mediocre. I felt like there was some sort of block, a dam, if you will, keeping me from doing what I had always done. But when he left, it’s as if he somehow accidentally took that dam with him. He couldn’t have known he was doing it–I didn’t know he was doing it–but something about this deeply emotional experience made it so I couldn’t stop writing…and not just write, but write well. Write first drafts I love and am proud of. Use turns of phrases and writing techniques I hadn’t thought of in years.
Suddenly, I want to share my writing and experiences with everyone. I blogged at 1 a.m. and left nothing out. I wrote an essay, submitted it to Thought Catalog, and they published it in less than 24 hours. I smashed the wine glass from the wine walk in Utica, and I not only wrote about it, but I took photos–calculated, intentional, this-is-not-just-a-quick-shot-but-something-I-thought-about photos. I haven’t done that (attempting to use photography as a creative and artistic outlet, that is — I don’t recall ever intentionally smashing any glassware before this point 😉 ) since college. This guy left me because of who I am as a person, and somehow in doing that, he freed me to be more me than I’ve been in ages. In the most ironic turn of events, it’s made me want to be more me: to be as Bethany as I can possibly be, instead of Bethany-trying-to-please-others. It’s kind of hard to resent someone for something like that.
I may not be great (yet), and I may not even always been good, but the guy who left me because I didn’t care enough about dreams has, in leaving, suddenly made me want to go after my own. To create, to share, to engage, to experiment, to take chances, to do new things, to put myself out there. To find the positive in every negative.
To live, and to live fully.