The aftermath of your disintegrated relationships burn, it's up to you how to handle the remains.
Even in a toxic relationship, we have the tendency to hold on and place our own perceived reality of it onto a makeshift pedestal for one universal reason; Fear. Fear of losing the comfort of home after so much time that has been invested, fear of being alone and having to start with someone else all over again (if finding someone else is even a possibility), fear of the unknown vast land of Singlehood that gets painted in dark dreary colors no matter how much everyone may profess that you needn't worry since there's 'plenty of fish in the sea'....ugh. I was guilty of this feeling time and time again which resulted in a revolving door of dead end relationships that always left something to be desired in my emotional bank. Four months have whizzed by since I was last part of a couple and I was certain that with every activity I had injected into my existing harried schedule that I no longer had time for that Fear to rise up again, and it hadn't, but last night in a sea of jubilant drinkers, friends and strangers, I found myself for the first time since November acknowledging that gut wrenching pull of accepting that I was lonely.
I finished up my meal to make my way back to the car. Street lights shone on the sidewalk in front of me, exposing the same cracks and character I couldn't help but recollect that not too long ago, were once trampled over by myself and that certain plus one. Was it Him specifically I missed? No. The unfortunate downfall of a breakup is that the memories of shared excursions to different outings fail to dissolve with the fallout of a relationship. They linger right where you left them until you happen upon them again without thought, like pocket change that vanishes between couch cushions. Sometimes it's a happy surprise to find it again and you're either convincing yourself it's 'new' money or you're kicking yourself for not noticing the loss in the first place, angry that it had been there all along and you were just too preoccupied with everything else to give notice and now the value is diminished. A good or bad end result is always a 50/50 call.
I have grown stronger without the negativity that my Ex supplied in heavy doses while we were together, but once in a while on rare occasions like last night, I almost miss having that frustrated interaction or argument with a partner. Not a certain someone per say, but just another adult in general who isn't 'just a friend' to fill the gap of silence between me and a weekend in the city, the city Him and the boyfriend who came before him, pulled me into and opened up my heart to the glory it provided. Even aware that I don't live there and that I'm not tied to anyone that would have me there every week like I used to be, the desire for new adventure always lingers and beckons me back so that I may try and create new relics as my solo self that is no longer codependent on the leading man in my world.
The ironic thing is, it's not even just my last boyfriends' memories that plug away sporadically in my head. The wounds cut far deeper in my past, and they show up mercilessly without having ever giving them much thought in years. Whenever I'm driving and see license plates in front of me with the last three letters UMM, when I hear the blaring horn of an oncoming train or see specific graffiti tags on landmarkers and walls my heart palpitates furociously in recollection of the four years I shared with the male who used me emotionally and physically as his personal punching bag. Every time I step foot into a Walmart grocery for food, I scoff at the time I once was an employee at one of the local stores and muddled my way through one kinda/sorta boyfriend, a one night stand, and two lazy, mooching, cheating liars, all of whom were fellow coworkers. Regardless of whether or not I want to have these triggers affect me anymore, they have all engraved themselves long ago, and if I was to shut out every square inch of the paths I had taken with those men, I'd literally be confined to my room forever. Certain places may be off limits for a while at first when a relationship closes its doors, but you can never learn and grow past what used to be if you never brave the fight and face the beast someday again.
So even though I profess happiness in an almost sickening volume that may or may not drive friends and family into exhaustion from time to time, I do have my moments and days where yes, I'm human and fall into saddness. It doesn't come swiftly and persistent like it once had, thank goodness, but the grief still surfaces, I am just better now at keeping it under a low profile. There's no shame in having a down day because if we didn't know what it feels like to be disappointed, how can we know and appreciate the marvelous moments of great fortune when they arise? I don't force and feign being happy for onlookers, I truly am in a solid place with my solitary circumstance. And anyway, no one is ever truly alone with friends and family resting in the wings, and those I have a thriving cornucopia of. So even being rested up on the barstool last night and feeling like Alanis Morissette in her 'Thank You' video with a blurred collective of Tacomans whizzing by and life moving along around me (except for the whole nudity bit), mixed emotions of bliss and future woes stirred within and I welcomed its presence.
The point of writing this specific anecdote was more of a private journal entry of thoughts to share that usually I would keep to myself. I wanted those who are walking the same dirt road of unknown future that I am to know that yes, Happy is the preferrable chosen state of mind that 9 times out of 10 I keep, but, I'm not afraid to allow and show the emptiness that resides deep down where Love has come and gone as well. Isn't that similar connection a necessary bond to assure us that no matter what we're all in this together? I adore couples in my midst who have definite adoration for one another, and I will silently envy their bond in the same breath. I will spend my own money to see a movie or show I planned far ahead for and lavish in the fun and excitement it brings, and yet I will catch myself looking at the empty seat or placing beside me fantasizing how much greater it would be if I had that special hand near to hold and share all of that passion with.
But for now I am embarking like many others in identical shoes, on a journey greater than the single status I carry, building a foundation that will solidify and be a strong base of beginning for the relationship that waits me down the line. Guys continue to rise to the occasion with overbearing sexual advances that leave me annoyed and pushing more and more interested parties away. I want nothing to do with being just another notch on a bedpost. I relied too long on using my sensuality as a gateway into companionship, and it has done nothing but brought me trouble and heartache. I catch myself from time to time easing back into that fly trap maneuver and quickly regress. I'm more than the face and body that I posess, I'm an entirely unique, unconditionally loving woman with a heart great enough to carry the weight of the world, and it's all right here and waiting for the right man to come and embrace it, when the right time is upon us. Yesterday I spared a small amount of time to wallow what is gone in my past, today I am fresh and anew with vigor, and tomorrow could bring a spell of either or both. Regardless of where my thoughts and feet take me, I'm going to trek it all with welcoming arms and a smile bright enough to be seen beaming across a crowded room because every day is worth lavishing in, whether I am taken or not.