#tb: reclaim the self.
The following was written in 2010; nothing has been changed. Like what you’ve read? Enjoy my #tb (throwback) blog series as I count down the days until my second book, How to Make Lemonade, is released TOMORROW!
DAY 30: RECLAIM THE SELF
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I had the pleasure of adding another male to my hate list yesterday.
Since my breakup, I wouldn’t necessarily say I jumped into the dating pool head first (I understand I’ve got a bout of crazy to clear up) but I haven’t been sitting at home either. After previous breakups, I often wait awhile before meeting new people and going on dates. There have even been times when I’ve met someone I really liked, but worried if it was too soon, because I never want to find myself in a rebound situation.
I figured my most recent ex probably moved on to someone new before we even broke up, so why should I hold back? A little over a month ago, I started going on dates with a guy I met out at a bar. Things were clicking and he was working the magic—taking me to dinners, buying me flowers, bringing me bottles of merlot…
Then he delivered the blow via text-message: “Honestly, I feel like a barely have enough time for myself, let alone a girlfriend. I like you, but I feel like I’ve been spread really thin lately.”
Remember last week’s final episode of The Hills, when the background behind Brody rolled away? Umm yeah, that’s what happened to me. Instead of standing in my kitchen reading that text message, I was standing in my ex’s dining room as he poured me a glass of wine and said, “I’m too busy for a girlfriend, y’all are so needy.”
Obviously what happened after that was three years down the drain paired with months of emotional repair.
My solution to relationship drama is simply to eliminate it. I understand there is a give and take with dating, but I know enough to understand that Mr. Right isn’t going to tell me he’s too “busy.”
I’ve given you my rant on the busy excuse before—it’s just a nicer way of saying “I’m just not that into you.” Everyone is busy. We all have work or play or television or volunteering or drinking to do, it’s just a matter of how we manage our time. Some people spend all their time reading, while others may work 60 hours a week, and some people, believe it or not, spend time with their significant others. Imagine that!
I prefer a balance of all—I need time to myself, some time with my girlfriends, and time with my boyfriend. But I haven’t found the right guy who is interested in that just yet. And that’s okay.
In the meantime, I’m cutting my losses, and reclaiming myself. I haven’t slowed down since my breakup, and I think I need a little relaxation.
Months out from my breakup, I am doing well, despite a few setbacks. When people go through a breakup, often the solution seems to be to run out and find someone new. However, going on a bad date freaking blows worse than sitting at home with Ben and Jerry.
Last week, I had a jarring reality check when my route to work forced me into a detour, passing my ex’s house. How fabulous!
But hey, such is life. When it rains, it pours; I don’t have an umbrella, but I’m patiently waiting for the sun to shine.
DAY 102: GET THE TRUTH
Sunday, August 1, 2010
One of my favorite episodes of Sex and The City is in season two, when Carrie is pushing for a commitment with Mr. Big. He tells her he has to go to Paris, on business, and he doesn’t know how long he’ll be there. Carrie gets upset, they fight, and Carrie crawls back to Big to try and solve the problem.
When she arrives at his apartment, she’s wearing a black beret and holding McDonald’s bags with “Le Big Mac” and “Le Filet de Fish.” Her answer for him moving to Paris is trying “Le phone sex” and if that doesn’t work, she’ll simply move to Paris. To which Mr. Big says:
“I don’t want you to uproot your life and expect anything.”
In response, les sandwiches end up smashed on the wall behind Mr. Big as Carrie comes to a tough realization:
“Why is it so hard for you to factor me into your life in any real way?”
While I understand this isn’t the most upbeat episode to love, I know I like it so much because I can truly relate. If I had a dollar for every time I felt like that in a relationship, well, I’d be a babillionaire.
When I go through a breakup, I never say a relationship is a waste because I always learn something from it. But, it’s time I get real—I’m sick of learning the same lesson (ahem, that men are shit).
Last night, I found out what I suspected all along: my recent ex is already in a relationship. As much as it killed me to hear, it was something I needed to know. I can now complete the puzzle.
My ex didn’t breakup with me because of what he said. He was cheating on me. He found something new.
Immediately, memories I had of him fit together…Getting her number, yes. Talking about her at dinner, yes. Visiting her in secret, yes. Buying wine to drink with her, yes. I was suspicious all along, and when I asked him for the truth during our relationship, he lied to me. Frankly, I would’ve killed for a glass of wine when I heard the news, but I’m still on detox, so I had to face my emotions sober—something I rarely do.
The pain I feel now is not out of jealousy. In fact, I can say in these last few months I have everything but missed the lies, the shady behavior, and the excuses. What I feel now is rage. Rage because a man like him deserves no happiness, no love, no company. Sure, maybe it’s a rebound babe, but that isn’t for me to analyze. That isn’t how I deal with loss, but I understand everyone is different.
My shoulders are heavy with baggage. I never want to be the girlfriend to my next boyfriend who questions the man I love, but with these lessons I’ve learned, what kind of woman will I become?
A relationship that I remembered respectfully has now been tainted; it isn’t time that defines a feeling, it’s the people involved. And the person I was in love with was someone I made out to be a genuine man, who was genuinely a fake.
When The Ex and I broke up, I figured he would be relieved that he had more time for his busy schedule that he always used as an excuse not to see me. But no, instead he had more time to spend with another woman.
What I do hope is that I will continue to get over this wasted three years of my life that I thought was a relationship, and come to meet someone true, with a clean slate and an open heart. I have so much to offer my next love, and I will do everything I can to not turn cold and bitter.
I keep getting the vibe that my ex thinks I should be more thankful that he dumped me, putting me one step closer to “the one.” He’s right. So thank you for treating me like the shit on the bottom of your shoe, thank you for cheating on me when I thought you loved me, thank you for lying to me, thank you for being the biggest waste of time in my life thus far, thank you for breaking my heart and thank you, thank you, thank you, for allowing me to discover the real man you are and setting me free because of it.
Before I close the door on this chapter, I have one last business deal to take care of—getting rid of my final piece of physical baggage. Once that’s out of my life, and I use the cash to treat myself to something amazing, I feel I can officially turn the other cheek with no looking back.
Aside from that, I’m leaving karma to deal with The Ex. And as for his relationship, well, I’ve never been one to stand in the way of true love, as long as you don’t get in the way of mine.
“I believe that my life’s gonna see the love I give return to me.” -J. Mayer
Posted on December 1, 2013, in The Ingredients and tagged college, college life, dating, drinking, ex boyfriends, fighting, first date, heartbreak, Holly A. Phillips, How to Make Lemonade, life, love, relationships, sex, single, The Bitter Lemon, young love. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.