Hello spambots! I keep meaning to post, because things have happened, both in my head and the world outside of it, but I often have trouble organizing what I want to say into words and stuff (and I spent how many credit hours and tuition dollars studying how to do this very thing?).
As the few of you who are not bots are aware, I broke up with Eli this past summer. Rather, Eli broke up with me (subject-object order is important). It was something that we had both independently agreed should probably happen. After six years, you should know whether or not you want to continue a relationship to the next “level” of commitment, whether that may be marriage, or moving in together, or whatever that looks like in your world (being able to watch each other poop?). And we had been coasting for some time, drifting along opposing tides, with no particular motivation on either part to pull back towards the other. The break-up was unequivocally a good thing.
Still, it’s awful even under the most amicable and reasonable circumstances (no screaming, no throwing bottles against a wall, and minimal ugly-crying transpired on my part). It always sucks to get dumped, even if you agree with the general results. You rewind endlessly over things that were and weren’t said, analyzing the footage. What could you have done differently to make this work?
When you’re with somebody for a long period of time, you accumulate habits, social circles, and inside jokes. It’s not just you and him/her; there’s another, living breathing thing that evolves over time and has its own consciousness and memory. Not a child but not quite nothing, either. And then it dies, abruptly. You divide up your mutual friends and whatever collected detritus, and part ways. There is no funeral. You get a mourning period of about two weeks, after which you’re expected to move on and get over it.
I think I am doing well in this respect. I actually feel genuinely happy with life, even ecstatic sometimes – over trivial things, like a little patch of sunflowers in someone’s garden on the bike ride to work, or an overly friendly toddler yelling “hi!” at me over and over again. Starting over in a new town is scary, but I am forcing myself to go do things and meet people. I’m in an improv class, I’m running a half-marathon next weekend, and my weekends are full. I keep myself far too busy to dwell on perceived failures. I don’t look and act a sobbing mess, but of course that doesn’t mean I’m a robot.
There’s this museum in Croatia which displays artefacts of failed relationships. If I were to contribute, I’m not sure I would have anything tangible to put in it. All our inside jokes, which made sense only to the two of us and would just take forever to explain to someone else, wherein it would lose its humor. Stupid shit we did together. Patches of dirt and grass from all over the world. I guess a copy of Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible” – I certainly can’t listen to it any more, as I discovered to my dismay when “Ocean of Noise” popped up on the radio one day while driving (did I say that ugly-crying incidence was minimal? Ahem).
The museum idea is cathartic. I wish it was possible to have a mental garage sale, so I could clear out space in my mind for other experiences and memories. I have met a few people, and there is this one guy I’m sorta-kinda-okay-I-really-am-crazy-about, and we went out for a beer one day after work and he is perfect, except for the minor fact that he is, oh, a full six years younger than me (oh god I am so old). I do so enjoy talking with him, but it’s a little tricky telling anecdotes and remembering to edit out instances of Eli – because nothing is sexier than hearing someone repeatedly mention an ex-boyfriend, right?
I worry that I am not ready to start the whole process of falling in love again. Despite my game face, I still feel a bit raw and not ready to be judged, and further complicating matters, I’m also a little uncertain of who it is that is currently inhabiting this body and brain. It’s a different person from she of six years past, and of course the both of us are very different from the person who started this blog about a million years ago. Maybe when I get to know the person who is here in the present day karenology, I’ll be ready to introduce her to gentleman callers. Hopefully that’ll happen before I get too much older, and they all lose interest (did I mention I am old?).