I really wish these life lessons wouldn’t be coming at me so quickly these days. I barely have the time to catch my breath from one when KABLAMIE, I’m hit with another. (What? It’s a word.)
In all actuality, I realized something important of late. The reason I’m hit with so many relationship life lessons at once is because I’ve kicked the can down the road for quite some time now not necessarily wanting to deal with the pain it takes to really get over someone. I equate it very much to working out. Which I hate mostly because it hurts. But you do it anyway because you know it’s good for you. So how many of us do that tough emotion or mental work to make ourselves better?
If you are like me, you avoid feeling that pain at all costs. But if there is one thing I’ve learned you have to feel it and you have to go through because if you don’t it just sits there inside of you causing all sorts of problems.
This week I went to South Beach in Miami to see my dear friend who was originally from where I live in Florida but moved off to attend Law School. So she asked me to drive to Miami to treat me to a girls night in South Beach. I haven’t seen her for 6 months.
It was a great thing to spend the evening drinking mojitos, dancing and having some of the best ceviche of my entire life. But on Sunday morning she had to leave very early to catch a flight. I decided to spend the day in South Beach going around to some of my favorite places and maybe explore a few new ones.
As I walked around I started being inundated with a flood of memories and emotions over “he who shall be pined over for just a brief time longer.” NO, I’m not going to pine forever. But like I said, I kicked the can down the road and now I pay the piper.
I’d see a place and I’d think, oh, I remember taking his photo there. And then, oh how funny I remember when he said X while we were standing there. And oh, I loved the mojitos we got at that place. And there’s the little boutique hotel we stayed in. And on and on and on.
So I decided NO DAMMIT, in my best Atomic Betty defiance. I WILL make new memories for myself here. I walked around. Sampled some amazing food. Took some great photos.
It didn’t work.
Don’t get me wrong. The place is beautiful. And I talked to new people because I no longer wear that invisible sign saying my heart belongs to someone else and it was a nice time. But the magic wasn’t there.
The more I walked around the more upset I became. And then I panicked and thought, if he holds the magic, then that means it’s gone forever.
I even begged God to not have one more Audi like his to get anywhere near me. They were EVERYWHERE. I even left SoBe and went to the Sunday afternoon barren downtown area for lunch. Immediately after lunch, I was walking back to the shore, where my car was parked, and turned the corner of a street ONLY TO FIND MYSELF SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE OF AN AUDI COMMERCIAL BEING FILMED. The street was full of them. Out loud I said, as I looked to the sky, “Really God?” That’s when they asked me to leave the street. I’m not even kidding.
By the time I drove the two hours back to my house I had reached full hot mess status. I gave way to the pain and continued mourning the loss by singing REO Speedwagon at the top of my lungs and crying my eyes out.
When I got home I talked to my closest friend and poured out my heart to her for exactly the 5.6 billionth time. I cried to her, what if all the other places I hold so dear, I only love, not because they were magical, but because being there with him is what made it so.
And she said this, “If it was special it was because YOU made it so. He is an empty vessel.” She explained, “did you ever think that just maybe all the magic that you felt was actually coming from you because of the love you had for him?”
She went on to give me an example from her own life of this man that she was going to marry. It was a long distance relationship to begin with, so it wasn’t easy. And to say it ended badly is a gross understatement. This man was the ultimate example of cowardice. She recalled a story from one night with the two of them texting back and forth. She says she was being silly and he would send her emoticons and she would make him laugh by making up little stories about the little “yellow men”. He replied to her “we are so ridiculous. I love this. I’ve never had anyone to just be ridiculous with.” And now he’s gone, she said.
She said she realized all that silliness and laughter came from her. He did nothing. She made him happy that night, she explained, and his happiness is what in turn made her happy.
And then she gave me some insight, she’s really good at that. It was like a shot of anti-biotics straight into a broken heart. She said “can you name one time he put your feelings first or told you he valued you Donlyn? He fed off your happiness like a Vampire and you were the joy in that relationship. Not him.”
It’s the entire reason I asked him to go away. As in completely away. No more of this “sometimes in my life” when it was convenient for him and “sometimes not”. No more just showing up and taking the good, but not sticking around for anything that’s bad. And when I really figure this out and take it from head knowledge to heart knowledge I hope I see it this clearly and all that joy and happiness wasn’t something that walked away when he did.
It still lives…inside me.
And therein lies the magic.