Monday, November 23, 2015

Saying Goodbye

This post is my way of voicing my feelings about the end of my relationship. It has nothing to do with books or writing, but it has everything to do with me.

Being single after fifteen years feels like I've had the wind sucked from me. I have told people and myself that the break up was mutual; it wasn't. My ex told me after he came back from visiting his family that he wanted to move on. The mutual part was that I didn't disagree. We both had been living as friends—good friends—for a long time. We had tried to fix the problems, but neither one of us really tried all that hard. It was because we knew that we didn't really belong together anymore. I want only the best for him, and I hope that he finds someone who can be the person I couldn't.

After he told me he was leaving, we were going to live together for about two more weeks until the closing of his house (He had arranged this while he was home). We spent many days not really talking, mostly on our computers. To be honest, that was what most nights had been like for a while. With the finality of everything coming, I had a hard time talking to him about anything. Even though we are friends, this transition pushed so much front and center for me. I felt inadequate. Impotent (in a life sort of way). Regretful. Apologetic. I wished I had either been the man he wanted or had had the guts to pull off the proverbial Band-Aid and end the relationship years ago when it probably should have ended.

It's been three days since he moved out. I took off work the day before to help him pack and load the truck, and to achieve a little closure. After Friday morning, I wouldn't see him again for G-d knows how long. That day I was there was so hard. I fought back tears all day. The fact that this was an amicable parting made it harder. I had no reason to be angry, not really. He was doing what he needed to do for himself. It would be for the best for both of us.

That night, after we picked up another piece of furniture that he was taking, we grabbed dinner. More awkward silence. Then, the most punctuating moment happened. When the server came to bring the bill, he brought separate ones. We've always received one bill or been asked (to which we replied "Same check.") We just looked at each other when the separate bills sat on the table.

It really was over. Two separate bills. Two separate lives.

The next morning, before I left for work, we had a few hugs with tears. He had to move the truck from the driveway so I could leave. When he was about to step into the truck, I gave him one more hug. More tears. That was the last time I would see him. If only I'd had a reason to be angry at him. I could have cursed his name as I drove to work. Instead, because we left things so amicably, I was inconsolable the entire 12 minute drive to work. I almost had to pull over I was crying so hard.

That night, I spent the evening with friends at a winery. That meant so much to me. It helped raise me up a bit since I had been dangerously close to losing it throughout the day.

I know the road ahead of me will be one of new adventures, new people, and perhaps, someday, a new love. Right now, I need to figure out just who I really am, what I truly want, and what I need to work on. Perhaps it's because I'm older, but the idea of self-discovery isn't that scary. I welcome it. I need to learn what it is that makes me who I am. In the process, I need to let go of the sadness little by little and replace it with hope—for me, and for him. He spent almost a third of my life with me, and he's left an indelible mark on my heart and soul. I can never forget him. I wouldn't want to. Right now, as I type this, tears are trickling down my cheeks. I still love him, and he loves me, but it wasn't meant for us to be. I can only hope that he can forgive me my failings. I'm not to blame for this—we both are—but, I have to take responsibility for what I did and didn't do. Only then can I prevent this from happening in the future.

Coming home to an empty house (well, there's always my cat, Shayna), when it's quiet, makes it obvious that he's never coming back. I have to be okay with that. I have to say goodbye, so that we can both move forward. It's just hard.

Charles Kettering said, "You can't have a better tomorrow if you're thinking about yesterday all the time." I have to move beyond yesterday and focus on tomorrow. I want better for myself.

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