I did something I do not regret. And no, I’m not going to tell you what it is. But it is, without being dramatic, the most important thing I could have done for myself during this hard time. And from the moment I did it, there have been no tears. There was even a smile in my reflection this morning. I felt a bounce in my step as I treated myself to a Boston Kreme donut. These past few days, I have barely lifted my eyes from the street – and today shared “Good mornings” with strangers on Broadway.
What did I do? I learned something about my relationship. Wait, let me rephrase – I learned everything about my relationship. The one I made my entire life revolve around, the one I planned on having for the remainder of my days. The same one I tweaked, manipulated, sculpted, forgave, screamed at, prayed for – the same one that has since seen silenced.
The most important twenty minutes of my life, thus far, came this morning. The knowledge that I came away with, that has changed everything for me, is…wait for it…
He is not the one. Or at least not the only one.
Some are stumped as they read that. They must have tried to make me see that in three languages, with smoke signals, on the MSG jumbotron…
I don’t fault him. As a lovely ex-boyfriend just told me, ‘Eileen, he’s not a bad person. He’s just not the one for you.” This whole time, these two years, I truly believed with every fiber of my being that he was the right one, which is why I never gave up on it. I tried everything (and I do mean everything, people) to keep him with me, at the cost of my sanity, my confidence, and my heart.
He and I are both experiencing pain in this breakup– but now I think I see where he’s coming from. The pain he is experiencing is a loss, but a loss that he believes is the right thing, which enables him to get through his days, go to the gym, and continue his life, relatively unscathed. My pain came from thinking this loss was the wrong thing, which led me to a very dark place. Don’t go in there, there are no lights and only two exits, one a permanent one.
But this morning…after doing what I did (again, not telling you) and engulfed in newfound knowledge, I really have to thank him for being so strong through all of this. My fresh understanding allows me to see the relationship for what it was – a glorious friendship, an emotional affair, and we went down swinging.
There will be many more tears, as I pack up my things and leave that life behind. But I am no longer disillusioned about what that life was. It wasn’t the love that I thought, the one I fought to keep, the one I hugged, massaged, cared for, and risked everything. He and I were not in the same relationship. There’s no fooling myself about that now.
But now, knowing what I know, I’m seeing what it was, honestly, for the first time. If you’re only alloted a certain amount of tears per man, I’ve used mine up. My (815) Days of ___ are over.