And just like that

You were gone,

Much like the wave of

Emotion your now-distant

Memory succinctly evokes.

Sometimes, it can be a blessing to have the “one that got away” only a text message away. He, who broke my heart several short years ago, was suddenly my lifeline when Seyi turned out to be a legitimately shitty person. Even now, we are in tune enough for that; still finishing each other’s sentences after all this time. I told him I’d never forgive him if he made me fall for him again…but perhaps I’ve finally (hopefully!!!) learned what Ms. Maya admonished long ago: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

Self-confidence Sunday #14: You Will Never Steal My Joy Again

In the midst of this awful ordeal concerning my ex-boyfriend (which keeps getting worse the more I discover, but I digress), I had a very empowering moment.  I was driving to coach on Wednesday afternoon, simply letting my thoughts go where they would, when I quite suddenly and clearly thought at him, “You will never steal my joy again. You will never steal my joy, my laughter, or my love ever again.”

It isn’t easy yet…but I am free. Free of wondering when he’d call or make time for me. Free of trying so damn hard to accommodate his needs, which I could never do in the first place seeing as his overall purpose appears to be hurting as many women as possible. Free of all the things I did for him because I loved him, from the cooking to the surprises to the cleaning to the lingerie to whatever else in the world I thought could help make his life easier or more pleasant. Free from the anxiety about social media because of all the women…at least now I know that he really was sleeping with them all.

Most of all, I am free of the pain and the confusion, free of the dreams that will never come to pass, free of the lies. So many lies. I am free of the hope, and that was probably the most important part of letting go of this man who was bitter poison packaged as a sweet, soothing antidote.

You will never steal my joy again…and that is quite an empowering thought indeed.

Self-confidence Sunday #13

Although losing him has been hard, today I am reminded of the fact that I can turn this heartbreak into a learning experience and further enrich my worldview, my capacity for empathy, and my understanding of myself. We’ve all been in that place where we thought someone deserved the world and we ultimately ended up rejected, often seemingly out of the blue. It hurts, but it’s an opportunity to take a deeper look into what we want and need out of relationships, what the other person wasn’t giving us that we at first did not acknowledge, where we have room to improve…and where, perhaps, we need to learn to know our own worth and expect more out of the other person. Sometimes, I think we actually get left when we do not expect enough out of our significant others, although that can be a scary thing to do.

I know that after being rejected by someone you love, it can be so difficult not to lower your standards and expectations in fear of being left again. But this time, and going forward, I am determined to stand firm and refuse to settle. It will be a long time before I am ready to love again–or indeed, even to come around to looking at another man that way–but when I am, I intend to do it right.

Readers, what have been your experiences with love lost? What did it teach you, and how did you use that lesson later on? As I go through this process of moving past my own unrequited love situation, I would love to hear from people who have come out the other side and/or are currently working toward doing so. =)

A Hot Mess

I don’t have anything particularly exciting or insightful to say today. For the first time since 2010, I slept through my (5:30) alarm when I was scheduled to work a promotion. Promos are a bit different than your average job in that if you are late, you frequently are not allowed to come in and work your shift because there is a back-up person on-site in the event someone on the roster has an emergency (or flakes). So, I ended up staying home today.

That’s great in one sense because I very obviously need a day off. It’s not so great, however, because that means I won’t be getting over $200 of the amount I had planned on pulling in this weekend. It’s my dad’s birthday though, so perhaps it works out that I’ll be home after all. I certainly have plenty that I need to get done today.

I’m just a little sad today. I hate that I’m still so hurt over the breakup, and it’s upsetting that it disturbs my sleep, my happiness, and (by proxy, since it was waking up at ridiculous times and then not being able to sleep that caused my oversleeping) now my work. I hate that the first thing I wanted to do when I realized I had overslept was to call him. I didn’t, of course, but it still feels like he’s supposed to be my first line of defense when things go wrong. I wish everything didn’t remind me of him.

It will help a lot when I’m back on my normal dose of Adderall. I wasn’t on top of things, so when my insurance switched (and it turned out I had to go in for the actual in-person consult instead of picking the prescription up) and my schedule got crazy, I just didn’t get it all done before running out. I have such a hard time sleeping–and doing just run-of-the-mill life things–without it. I didn’t start taking it until I was 22, but I really wish I had started much, much younger. It would have saved a lot of anxiety, issues with self-esteem (because really, how could I be such an overachiever yet remain chronically unable to clean my damn room, no matter what I tried?), stress, and frustration.

I know it’ll get better, but it sure feels like I’m not doing anything right in life right now. I’d like to curl up and sleep, but I know there are more productive, empowering things to do. Maybe I should cut contact with him after all…

Everything Changes

One thing that has really struck me about the process of moving on (or whatever it is that I’m doing) is that my emotions and energy can vary extremely widely from day to day. It seems that this often is dependent upon my sense of control over the situation and whether or not we have interacted (or interacted positively). When I am patient enough to let all interactions be initiated by him, it is a lot easier to feel competent, confident, and in control of what “us” is for me and of my life overall. He no longer dictates my emotions to that degree if I let him be the one who approaches me.

Last night, even though our team lost, I had a wonderful evening after coaching just hanging out at a bar in uptown with other members of my city’s alumni network. I met other former Vandy athletes as well as talked to a couple older alums, one of whom immediately got my contact information and has already mentioned several ways in which we could work together. I remain absolutely blown away by the genuine caring, helpfulness, and selflessness of the other VU alums with whom I have interacted. This job search process has been hard, and sometimes it really takes a lot of the wind out of my sails, but the reassurance, planning, and networking other grads have provided has really been the equivalent of a life saver. Someday, I will have my career together and will be able to do the same thing for other emerging professionals. <3

Last night, he texted me while I was out at the bar, and then for about a couple hours afterward. With the way he was talking, it made it sound like he was missing me, but I was careful not to get into anything similar to talks of “us.” He was a bit less careful, but that’s fine (and I played dumb when necessary). The ball is in his court as far as that goes; I’m not going to pursue him. It’s just so dumb that hearing from him through any medium still makes me happy, still makes me feel reassured and at peace. -_- Dumb man…

I got to stunt and tumble some at open gym tonight after work, and I left with this nagging need to get my head on straight and get all my skills back (and then some)! I’ll work with the other coaches when time permits, but I’m considering asking him (yes, seriously) at some point to work with me… He still wants to get together and stunt again, so I may as well ask for him to help me get rid of the mental craziness I’ve developed around my tumbling while we’re already out and sweaty.

He may be a ding-dong sometimes in relationships, but he’s also an incredible coach, sooo… I think I’ll hold off on asking at least until he contacts me again though, since that seems to be better for me. Maybe I can offer some of my editing and marketing skills in exchange, which he could surely use for his business? Then it would be less of a favor from a friend/ex (or whatever we are) and more of a business “deal.”

I know I’ve had some rough knocks this year, but it just feels like life is about to get so, so much better. Everything will be sorted out, I’ll be working in a job that will provide me with challenges and opportunities to learn new skills, I’ll be coaching, out exploring all that Dallas has to offer… Goodness, I just can’t wait to be on salary and able to help my parents financially instead of just around the house. I’m planning on taking my first “real” paycheck and fixing the plumbing in their front bathroom. Someday soon, I will feel like a “real person” again. 🙂

 

Self-confidence Sunday #12

I’ve talked a lot about how the break-up affected me (although there’s still plenty left for me to say about that, don’t worry/sorry 🙂 ), but I think I hit a bit of a turning point very recently. Tomorrow will mark one month since he left me, and I’ve decided that tomorrow will also mark the day my life begins anew, the day I will let my tears begin to water seeds that, once nurtured, will blossom into grace, wisdom, empathy, resilience, and opportunity.

Losing him hurts, but not because we were perfect together and I was just blissfully happy 24/7 and thought we were going to be together forever, etc. For me, it was more the hope and the promises and the plans, the feeling of time and money “wasted,” the rejection and wondering why he didn’t want me anymore…and that Lord have mercy, I was going to have to continue missing the man.

Much of our relationship (the last few months especially, as his jobs and business hit their busy season) was marked by me missing him. It was a blessing in some ways, because when we broke up, the first week didn’t feel like that much of a difference. But what hurt when we were together still hurts now that we aren’t, and it’s a confusing experience.

I tend to cut people off after a relationship ends, in order to fully heal and move on. He didn’t want that, and his worry when we broke up was that I wouldn’t be in his life anymore. I’ll continue playing that by ear, depending on how things go for us both moving forward, but maybe that won’t be necessary this time.

As for me and the “new life,” I accidentally have a date set for Tuesday night. I thought I was just going to casually meet up with the guy after I finished coaching, but it was made clear later in the conversation that that isn’t what he has in mind. So what the heck, I’ll give it a go! I have decided that I don’t have to forego meeting new people and having new experiences simply because I am hurting. Quite the contrary: I think that is what I will commit to doing. I keep coming back to the fact that there are so, so many things in life that I have yet to experience, and I don’t want to miss my chance.

This week is big for me, filled with interviews, phone calls that will hopefully turn into interviews, coaching, that date (crazy to even think about that), events I’m working, and more. It may not be easy, but I am determined to get up, dust myself off, and begin working full-tilt at making my life the one of which I have always dreamed.

No Greater Agony

Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” With this, I wholeheartedly agree. Lately, when the hurt feels like too much, I have this unmitigated need to put it all on paper. The problem is, I have to give myself permission to write about the things I want to write about and then brace myself for the waves of emotion that will come as a result. I have to admit, I am much better at weathering storms when I can stand out in the downpour alone where no one can glimpse my tears. If I write about them, there is evidence forever that I am not invincible and that things hurt more than I prefer to remember or admit.

Plenty has happened even in the past three days, and I struggle with whether or not to put it all down in black and white, a permanent reminder that I am human and sometimes weak and sad and hurting. Most people don’t see that side of me. When things get hard, I work harder, hit the squat rack, and run lots of sprints. Everyone tells me I’m so strong and that they wish they could handle life’s “minor” hurts the way I handle tragedies. But they don’t understand that sometimes, it takes more strength to acknowledge and show your weakness than it does to push through.

Maybe it will be good for me to get the feelings out. As far as S. and I go, I keep coming back to some of the wonderful memories I have with him, the way he’s made me feel…and I wonder if it’s okay to let those thoughts come up and appreciate them for what they were or if it’s better to remember that things weren’t what they seemed and try to avoid any extra mourning if possible. Perhaps I shouldn’t have let him reel me back in the other night. I suppose we both had our moment of weakness, but I certainly don’t regret it.

He’s a good man. I wasn’t wrong for loving him, and I wasn’t wrong for loving him fully. It isn’t my fault that he hasn’t learned to return that kind of love, that he hadn’t had anyone do those things for him before. But Lord have mercy, sometimes it sure would be easier to chalk all of these things up to me being stupid or naive rather than admitting that you just can’t love someone enough to make up for their lack of communication, for them lacking the courage to give of themselves as purely and freely as you. God, I just thought that he was strong enough.

I can’t hate him. He wants to be in my life (and as he said last night, he cares about how everything is going with my job search and he cares whether or not I’m off “hurting myself”–i.e. tumbling, stunting, etc., he cares about my cat and my family, etc.)…and I just have to decide what is best for me. I usually cut people off after we break up so that I can actually heal. But if there is the possibility of us rekindling something later (if we both want it, which would remain to be seen, of course), I don’t want to shut my heart off completely to him. More than anything, I don’t want to lose him from my life. His presence, his voice, just him, make me happy and at peace even though we aren’t together right now.

I think, more than anything, I need to spend as little time thinking about him as possible and focus on accomplishing as much as I can, improving myself as much as I am possibly able. Maybe that will make the hurt go away, and one day I’ll just wake up and not need (want? whatever, either way) him anymore. Either that, or I’ll simply be carrying on with all these untold stories.

Self-confidence Sunday #11

Courage is Like a MuscleToday hasn’t been altogether easy. I think I got so used to seeing him on Sundays that my heart is still in that routine. It’s the third one without him though, so maybe it will get easier soon. We talked a bit last night, and texted a little this morning. It’s always good to hear his voice.

And that’s great and all, but I think my next step needs to be to learn to bask in this pain, live in the Longing for a while, and then use those miseries to motivate myself to make my life one that I love, that I’m proud of. No matter what…even if it all starts off as a way to ease the agony of this loss.

Maybe things don’t need to be easy. Maybe I needed him to come into my life, make me happy, make me hope and dream and love and plan…and then leave me, making me feel so out of control that I am desperate to make needed changes to my life. Maybe someday, I will thank him for this.

Sometimes it feels impossible, but then I remember that I’ve done this before, it will get better, and that I won’t ever let myself be down for too long. I have books to write, a full-time job (in a new field) to find, abs to recover… You know. And just in my city, there are so many lovely restaurants and coffee shops and museums and attractions to visit! Let alone the fact that someday I want to travel the world.

I still have so, so much life left to live, with or without him; I just have to have the courage to try. And, as the meme above so eloquently reminds me: “Courage is like a muscle. We strengthen it with use.”

Sprint-Crawling Along

I haven’t really decided how well I’m doing about ol’ boy and this whole breakup business. Some days I’m just fine (well…especially when he calls), and some I feel like I’m a disaster. I’ll get upset about things he posts on social media for no–or at least, very little–reason because they make me feel again like he could have the time for me if he just made the time. But as he said the other day when we talked, (when he said he “better go” before: ) he blamed me for taking up his time and “making him want to sleep” because I was the only available one to blame, lol. That man is something else…

He has been sounding a lot better though; I had been worried about how stressed and exhausted he was the last month we were actually together. He called me Tuesday on my birthday, but I was coaching. I called back a couple hours later, before going out for dinner and drinks with the other coaches, but he didn’t answer. He did call me again the next day (which I again missed during practice, so then we played more phone tag because he was coaching too), and when we spoke he mentioned that I must have been too busy drinking to talk to him.

It’s just funny. He’s been initiating at various times on Facebook, Snapchat, text, or by phone (not every day though), and I’ve been trying really hard this week not to make the first move. I think it’s very important for me not to chase him. I guess I have no idea whether or not he’ll ever even be open to getting back together, but I think I need to operate as though he is not while simultaneously evaluating whether or not that is truly what I want (even though my heart is yelling at me that I’m being an idiot).

What I do know is that it will never be a good thing to date someone who is less into me than I am into him, and who will not treasure me, cherish me, love me, respect me, and communicate with me consistently…and feel lucky to have the opportunity to do so. I cannot, cannot, cannot(!) compromise on that. Sometimes, I think I get so caught up in loving someone so freely and purely that I forget I need to make sure I’m with someone who is equally (at least most of the time) smitten and committed…because I just took it for granted that he was since he was the one that initiated all that and fell for me first.

Sometimes, it really hurts that he left, period. He told me he wouldn’t unless something big happened, like if I cheated on him or something, and I really, truly believed him. But it feels like he gave up on me, gave up on us, just because things got hard for him in life; like he just didn’t fight for us. For someone like me who is already working through some abandonment issues (working hard on those, I might add, and making lots of progress!), that can be a really scary and hurtful thing. And maybe this is stupid, but even after this (almost) three weeks apart, a big part of me still trusts him and feels that everything will work out and be okay.

I wish I knew where he stood, but that’s when I remind myself that that needs to be irrelevant to me right now. It matters where *I* stand, what *I* want and need, and I have to operate like I am back to my old routine of being single and fabulous and ambitious. It’s just hard to go back to that when simply hearing his voice makes me happy so effortlessly.