So I had a revelation the other night.
I was visiting people whose house, it turned out, was right next door to the building where the last woman I had a relationship with used to live. I had taken the Metro into the city (because believe me, you don’t want to deal with parking in that neighborhood) and was using the Maps app on my phone for walking directions. As I turned on that street, I remembered, not without a bit of shock at the coincidence, the time she and I spent together.
I remembered every little thing I loved about her, from her bright, genuine laughter to her brilliant academic mind, from her gorgeous dark hair (I’ve always had a weakness for women with dark hair!) to the hidden sensitivity that she only showed when she felt safe enough to. I remembered how she had everything I looked for in a partner (Two PhDs! Black curly hair! Speaks four languages!).
She was perfect… Except for the fact that she did show a slight lack of enthusiasm at the idea of having twenty-five cats, but hey, nobody’s that perfect!
She and I last spent time together in September 2017. Two days after I last saw her, not helped by a series of miscommunications (no thanks to you, Mercury in f*cking retrograde!) and very nasty PMS, I made the fatal mistake of questioning her integrity and honesty, even though I knew it was a dealbreaker.
I instantly realized how wrong I had been and regretted my words, but no matter how badly as I tried to fix it, it was over.
I won’t go over the period of depression that followed the break-up (coupled with a few other devastating events). That is, thank goodness, over, and it’s pointless to dwell on it.
Instead, I’ll tell you how it all changed the course of my life for the best.
It opened my eyes to how my trust issues from an emotionally-abusive relationship still affected me to this day.
It made me stop putting everybody else’s happiness and expectations before mine, and find the courage to leave a place that made me terribly unhappy.
It broke my cycle of jumping directly from a relationship to another, a cycle that started when I was a teenager. Today, for the first time in over a decade, I’m not in love with anyone, and it’s a new, liberating feeling.
And it took me to the ocean, where I made wonderful new friends and learned to heal through yoga, Reiki and meditation.
In all, I may have lost an amazing woman, but I finally learned to love myself in the aftermath.
And the other evening, as I walked past the entrance to the apartment building, I traveled back in time for a split-second and almost expected her to appear, calling my name, from her first-floor balcony and hurry down to let me into the lobby.
At that moment, I sensed this deep, beautiful truth coming not from my ego but from my higher self. So I removed my gloves and quickly typed it, with frozen fingers, on my Notes app:
“You met one another at a time you were not ready to make one another happy, and you parted ways so you’d both heal and become the best, happiest versions of yourselves.”
No proselytism intended, but after having been fiercely cartesian for several years, I now believe in a higher power, which I interchangeably call God, The Universe, or Love. That universal power that is in each and every one of us, and that connects us to people we haven’t even met.
And I believe there is no such thing as a coincidence. If I ended up by that building the other night (and I’d never had gone back there if I had known, since I prefer to avoid places that might make me sad), it was because I was meant to have that realization.
I can’t tell whether this woman and I will ever get back together (we would have to talk about the twenty-five cats thing, and that may cause a brand new hissy – no pun intended – fit).
But what I know is that our paths were meant to cross, and despite the painful moments that followed our parting of ways, I am grateful to that.
Because I’m simply not ready to be in a relationship right now. Before I can love someone else, I want to become the best, most healthy, loving version of myself I can be. At the moment, I feel I’m about halfway there, and frankly, I’m really enjoying, for the first time since I was fourteen, making my own plans and decisions without having to take into account another person’s needs and goals.
On that matter, I noticed how self-sacrificing I can be in love, and how unhealthy this can be – it creates a situation where the other person becomes accustomed to having their needs and wants always put first while I become more and more invisible.
All in all, there are a lot of things to fix and probably even more things I need to become aware of. And I’m taking my time. I’ve been told by a lot of relatives and friends that I shouldn’t take too long to settle down in my life, but I’m still young and would rather give myself a few more years than waste more time in unhappy liaisons.
I fully trust that once I am ready to be in a healthy, happy relationship, the perfect person will come into my life. And while I can’t wait to meet her (or see her again, who knows!)(but seriously, please be an animal lover)
(and no Leos, Cancers or Pisces!), I commit to fully living in the moment and enjoying the healthy, happy relationship I’m building with myself.
Much love to you all,
Photo credit: William Farlow.