I Thought I Would Be ELATED.

So I caught up with my ex yesterday…

A year ago, I was EAGER for the day when we would catch up and he’d essentially not be in the best spirits or “got a taste of his own medicine” (by ending things), because I was bitter and heart broken. I imagined myself as Demi, belting out how I was SORRY, I’M NOT SORRY for being better off without him (it is a hot song though, I’m not gonna lie).

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Obviously, time heals wounds and over the months I’ve gotten better, gotten over it, and learned some valuable life lessons.  I’m fine, but hearing that he perhaps is going through some “bad times,” (in regards to his love life) didn’t give me the satisfaction that I thought (a year ago) it would have and I felt like a shitty person for even telling him that I was doing, “REALLY well and was HAPPY” (though I didn’t necessarily reference my current love life, but we’re facebook friends still and I’m sure he’s at least seen clues or references of The Teacher and might have put two and two together by this point) .

It’s been a crazy year since we parted ways. Some ok times and some really bad ones…but I think I’m on the road to being ok. I’m glad to hear that you’re doing well though.

I thought when this moment came, I’d be elated to know that he felt some OUNCE of heartache, sadness or emptiness that I STRUGGLED with for MONTHS after we broke up, but if anything, I felt genuine empathy and a bit of sadness for him. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on anyone, especially this time of year. And while, I’ve moved on (and I am happy), there is still a part of me that wants genuine happiness for him too. Though we didn’t work out romantically (and now I can see that we probably weren’t as ‘perfect’ for each other as we both thought while dating), he’s a good person and deserves to find his peace and happiness too. He’s also continued to treat me with respect and not like a terrible ex, which I appreciate and I’ve tried to do the same with him.

I chose not to elaborate on my love life, but instead offered support and words of encouragement. I hope that he finds peace or some glimmer of hope that eventually things will look up for him. I hope that he finds that special someone that loves him in a way that I was unable to and treats him like fine china.

I have to say that I’m extremely proud of myself for getting to this point. This is HUGEEEEEEE progress!

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Make Nice (and mean it)

So part of my goals for 2018 was to leave any of the hateful, bitter and downright ugly emotions I experienced at the very end of 2017 behind. What time to start new, start fresh and look towards the future, right? Of course, this was way easier said than done, especially a couple of days into the new year, but I’m happy to report that it’s gotten easier and I feel like a much more normalized version of myself (still working on it though).

Of course a HUGE part of this attitude adjustment was to finish the healing process, forgive my ex (and think of the experience as a life lesson) and to genuinely wish him well. The last part took the longest by far, haha. As sweet as he is, for a few months I really wasn’t in the right mental or emotional space to wish him well and that’s ok. I’m HUMAN and I needed to get through it (all the feels) and get to the other side of feeling better. What’s important is that I didn’t act on or verbalize much of my (lack of) well wishes.

So fast forward to present day and things are much better. We’ve actually spoken a few times over the past couple of weeks and we actually chatted via text for a little while after work yesterday. He updated me on his house hunt and told me he had put an offer on a place. Fun fact, his house (should he get it) is less than a mile down the street from my parent’s house. Ha, I’m not sure how I feel about that, but good for him regardless.

The house he has his eyes on is an older house in need of significant repairs and he has it in his heart to completely renovate it “on his own” as much as humanly possible. He’s been talking about this since I’ve known him actually. I remember walking around IKEA with him one night and watching his eyes light up with excitement over all of the possibilities. It’s like his thing. That’s quite a task to take on, but I believe in him and believe he’s motivated enough to make it happen. He’s got a really creative mind and I just know something fabulous will come out of it.

All in all he seems to be a in good place too. I remember him not doing so well right around Thanksgiving, so I’m glad that he at least seems to be better too. Neither one of us went into any specific detail about our dating lives, but then again, I don’t find that to be a topic I feel that I owe him an elaborate narrative on or do I feel the need to know an elaborate explanation on his either.

I’m very proud of myself, because several months ago I would have approached all of this in an emotionally reckless and self-destructive fashion. I’m happy I can find genuine happiness for someone without any ill will or petty motives brewing AND without any lingering ROMANTIC feelings on top of all of that. I can talk to him in a completely platonic way and feel nothing there (outside of maybe acquaintanceship–I wouldn’t say that we’re “friends” just yet) . I get joy out of knowing those things are happening for him. It feels great to no longer have a heart saturated in sadness and hate.

Text w/ The Ex

So when I last wrote, I was scrambling to plan a “home cooked taco dinner” for baby face for when he dropped by my place Saturday for our date. I’m not sure what prompted me to cook for him other than the fact that he’s dropped some serious coins on our dates and I feel guilty. Granted, he’s willingly done this and hasn’t been like one of those guys who looks at me like, “you owe me”. He’s admittedly very southern (born and raised) and maybe that’s just normal to him. I guess I just wanted to be nice and look like I’m trying to make an effort not to be appear to be a mooch or take advantage in any way, even though I’m lazy and hate cooking elaborate things.

Anyway, as I was thinking about the tacos I was going to make and everything I needed from the store when I got off of work, I got a text from my ex. I had to take a double take at my phone at first, because while we aren’t NOT speaking to one another, we haven’t been in consistent communication since the holidays–and at least on my end that’s been fairly intentional. Well, I take that back, we spoke that day he was tailgating me on the way to work, which was a month and a half ago. It was also weird to see a message from him (still have him on mute, so I didn’t actually notice it at first) because I had been thinking about the amazing tacos he used to make and just how I was going to mimic them for Saturday’s dinner/date. It’s like he felt those vibes of me trying to steal his shit.

“Hey there. How are you?” His text read. That’s such a loaded question, ha….but unlike the last time he asked me this question, I could honestly answer that I was doing really well and MEAN IT.

We actively texted back and forth over the course of an hour or so. He told me he had gotten approved for a mortgage loan and was seriously looking to buy a house as soon as he got an offer accepted. He had decided that he wanted to buy a house in need of renovations on the edge of downtown in an up and coming trendy area that’s slowly being gentrified. When he shared the good news with me, I couldn’t help but to be overcome with joy for him. The news genuinely gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling inside and made my afternoon. I’m so very proud of him because I know this is something he’s wanted to do for a year or more and he’s finally there. All of those long nights and weekends of OT to save up for it paid off.

As we continued to catch up, I couldn’t help but to notice how far I have come over the past few months. I was able to speak to him and feel no emotion or bitterness, just genuine happiness as if I was talking to an old friend.  I am over the moon happy for him. So, so proud.

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The fact that I’ve gotten to the point where I can celebrate in his successes without hate in my heart is HUGE for me. It’s not that I’ve ever “hated” him during the past few months, but there were days where I wasn’t his biggest fan because I was hurt and being emotionally irrational (rightfully so though. I am human). Ha. Particularly when I was CAPS LOCK mad at him back in December (but in my defense I was PMsing and he did drop several bombs on me in that conversation which added fuel to the fire).

Anyway, before our conversation wrapped up, I did cop that taco recipe from him, which he gladly shared, even though I left the details of “why” I was making tacos pretty vague (just said I had an “event” – which isn’t really a lie—an event of getting my back bent and fractured –  lol).

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Even though I’ve gotten to a point where I’m in a better place with how things ended between us, I still don’t care to share details of my love life with him. That’s no longer his business just as I don’t really care to know about his either. So as long as he’s happy with that area of his life, I’ll be happy for him there too.

Welp. The tacos ended up being a big hit, but I’ll save that for another post 😉 .

Actual Factual Advice

I’m still riding that wave of being (mostly) at peace. After all, I’m not perfect by any means and there is still a itty bitty part of me dusting off emotionally, but I’m so much better than I was, omg! It feels amazing to want to get up, to want to be social, to be able to focus on other aspects of my life that I had been neglecting for months. Most importantly, it feels nice to have the courage to “get back out there” and KNOW that this person nor that situation “ended” me. While I’ve been hurt or a little sad about ended relationships before, this was my first substantial heartbreak because I was so emotionally invested.

I don’t think being “emotionally invested” is a bad thing. It means that you believe in that person and your connection with them. It means you’re putting faith in things and giving it a go and you’re being vulnerable. A lot of risk comes with that and before this relationship; I realized I had never really been that vulnerable with anyone, even with guys that I *thought* I “loved”. I was always overly cautious, which led me not to be emotionally connected or invested in any past exes. Even one I was with for about a year. I deserved so much better than that.

Not to sound “cheesy”, but this whole situation reminds of a scene in the Black Panther movie where T’Challa (Black Panther) is laying in a bed of snow (he is near death and feeling defeated. While in this coma like state he is speaking to his ancestors who are inviting him to join them in the afterlife) and one moment he’s clinging to life and is powerless and then the next moment he realizes he has unfinished business to tend to, regains the “Black Panther” strength and emerges more powerful than before. I wish I could find that image online, but I’ve searched for about ten minutes and I have other things to do…

Anyway, it’s amazing how when you’re “heartbroken” the world seems like it is ending and the advice everyone gives you goes a little something like this:

“It will get better”

“You’re better off”

“He was a/an [insert insult here] anyway”

“Everything happens for a reason”

“You’ll find someone new/better”

“Smile. It will hurt less.”

Just don’t *think* about them”

“Go out and rebound”

“Maybe you’ll get back together”

 

Let’s be honest, none (well, most) of these things aren’t sinking in to your brain, which is diluted with negative energy and sadness by this point. You are exhausted and you can barely think about tomorrow, let alone “the future”. I really wish when I went through this painful experience I was told:

“It’s going to really HURT and for a while. Like physical pain level of hurt.”

“It’s going to suck and there are going to be days where you feel like you can’t function, but over time you will feel better.”

It’s ok to cry and to feel sad. You’re in mourning. Actually go through the stages of these emotions. Allow yourself to feel this raw emotion.”

“Don’t hold things in. Talk to loved ones or professionals if you can.”

“Blog it out.”

“You’ll go through a roller coaster of emotions. Some days you’ll feel a little better and then several days later you’ll feel sad again (sometimes without reason), but as time moves on you’ll have more good days than bad days until eventually the majority of your days are good again.”

“You’ll long for your ex and even act on seeing them. That’s normal. While reuniting (even on a friendly basis) sounds like a good idea, it’s not (shortly after a breakup) and will set both of you off course emotionally. Wait six or more months and if you’re able to have a genuine platonic friendship, go for it, but keep your boundaries in check.”

“Cut communication as much as possible. Even if you’re cordial to one another, it’s just not necessary to be “in touch” right after.”

“Go out and find new hobbies, experience new things, travel, make new friends. These eventual distractions will prove to be pivotal in your recovery.”

“If going to a certain place reminds you of them, don’t go to that place if it is at all humanly possible. Protect your peace.”

“Stop re-reading their text messages, emails, listening to their voicemails, making googly eyes at photos of them (you both as a couple counts too), in fact,  remove the photos from your phone, or at the very least place them in a “hidden” folder or store them on a hard drive. Social media wise, hide their updates and hide yours from them too. If absolutely necessary (wasn’t for me), delete them from your social media pages. At least for now. Protect. your. peace.”

“When you do dust off and get back out there again, try not to date someone just like them. Try to date someone different from your ex. They might surprise you (in a good way). You will naturally compare your new bae to your ex, but don’t be too critical.”

“Take things slow in your next romantic encounter. Consider the reasons why you and your ex didn’t work and strive to not repeat those things moving forward. Be logical and tell your heart to pace itself.”

“Take your time and only get back out there when you feel as though you’re all better. Don’t date with a revengeful heart or even for the purposes of rebounding or making your ex jealous. Those situations will never end well and might potentially hurt the other person in the crossfire of your selfish behavior.”

“You’re probably going to date a lot of cornballs [see guy #1] and fuck boys post break-up. Go out, have fun, keep an open mind and know your worth. Eventually, your “prince charming” will come around.”

“You may have days where you are not your ex’s biggest fan [2]….EVEN if you guys ended things mutually or in a very peaceful way and they treated you like gold while you were together. That is OK. It’s natural to have a bit a resentment, try not to act on it though.”

“There will be times where you’ll be worried about them. Wondering if they’re ok, if they’re lonely, if they feel guilt, if they have second thoughts, etc. Yes, they probably do indeed have these thoughts and go through these things, but it’s not your job to “protect” them anymore.”

***

I could easily go on and on with this, but what is most important is that I made it through the worst of it and I am on the other side now with a renewed sense of self. I don’t regret meeting my ex or even being in a relationship with him, not for one second. I’m glad I let my guard down and took the chance to let him into my world. Imagine had I not let my guard down, I would have potentially missed out on having someone really amazing in my life. I would have missed out on truly understanding what it feels like to have someone love me unconditionally and to meet my effort 110%. I cherish those moments that we shared and I feel honored that of all people, he chose to share those moments with me. I wish him all of the success and happiness in the world, I really do.

One of the best gifts he gave me was learning how to truly love and trust and ALLOWING someone to love and trust you in return. I just hope that moving forward I can approach love in that way with someone new, which I’m sure I will in time. And if I never do, at least I can say I did have the pleasure of experiencing it.

Protecting My Peace.

I’ve had a really busy couple of days (socially) in the past week and as I sat down to write this blog entry, I realized just how tired I really am. I think I have officially depleted my social energy for a good 24-48 hrs. I think part of my exhaustion is coming from trying to be everyone’s best and most loyal friend, which has come at the price of often splitting my time across numerous social events that overlap, foregoing regular sleep schedules and contemplating just when I’m going to get around to taking care of the basic chores around my house.

Since the breakup (that I felt at the time was “devastating“), I’ve been blessed to welcome (and re-welcome) so many wonderful people and new experiences into my life, that I probably would have never met/known/experienced/crossed paths with had I not gone through that enormous heartache. I’ve been assessing it lately, but not in a, “woe is me, I’m still butt hurt behind this, fuck this guy,” but more of a very peaceful, “everything happens for a reason and I’m a better person because of it and I hope he is too”. All in all, I learned a lot from it and was able to have this extraordinarily fascinating person in my life that I’m excited to see (from a distance) continue to blossom as he swan dives into his 30s this year. He has a good head on his shoulders and a heart and gold and I know he’ll go far in life. He kept me on my toes, showed me what it was like to love unconditionally and helped me realize that I definitely deserve all of the love and positive energy that I am putting out into the universe in return and that I should never settle for anything less from anyone. I just feel blessed that I was fortune enough to cross paths with him on this journey we call life. Hopefully he took something away from me too and I hope he’s treated just as well as he deserves to be treated or I might possibly have to cut a bitch .

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Ha. No, I’m not high or anything like that, I’ve just been mostly at peace with it. Maybe I just needed to get past valentine’s day before I could officially “let go” of whatever remnants of “hurt” that were still lingering.

It’s funny, because just as I’m finding more peace with the situation, I’ve been able to make room for someone new. Well, I shouldn’t say, “new”, more like the notion of someone new. As I’ve mentioned previously, I am actively dating again, but slowly and a little more on the casual side. I’m not looking to dive head first into a relationship for a while. As my friend Greg put it (in reference to himself in terms of dating), “I’m a little rusty and need the practice.” It’s been interesting so far, but lately, I’ve been spending a little more time with one guy in particular (I believe I reference him here).

I haven’t really thought about this guy in an extremely serious sense and I don’t get butterflies really, but he’s been a lot of fun to be around with and reminds me of what it’s like to just go out, have fun and chill. He’s really kind and makes me laugh. We’re just about able to make an adventure out of pretty much anything that we do together. While on the goofy side, I like that he’s a very chivalrous guy. He still opens doors, uses his manners, dresses up for dates and all of that classy shit. He’s also very intelligent and doesn’t spend an ungodly amount of time consumed with technology or social media like most people. I like that I don’t feel pressured or rushed into “labels” like I was in my last relationship. I like that we make goofy faces at each other sometimes just to be silly and I also like that I’m just able to have fun with him and still maintain having my own life and identity outside of it. In my last relationship, I felt like I was almost instantly sucked into the black hole of my ex’s gravitational pull.While he was very sweet and the newness of the relationship was exciting, to was at times, very lonely, because I felt like I wasn’t able to entertain doing the things I loved or wanted to do outside of getting to know him.

Anyway, Friday night babyface and I went out for Thai and drinks by my place. Since our encounter the previous week, I’ve been trying to get him over to my place in more a roundabout way without coming out and saying, “just come over so we can…😉🍆👌🏾😏☺️,” I mean hey, I am a woman and I “respect myself”, but I like to have fun as well and I’m single and can do that. Ha. I’m not sure if he figured out my very calculated plan (yes, I calculated out just how everything was going to work in my head before the night got started), but he’s fairly “go with the flow” and went along with it.

After a fancy Thai dinner (which by the way, was at the same place I’ve been to with my ex numerous times and the hostess set us at the table that my ex and I would always sit at–can we say weird), we went out for drinks at a tavern not far from my house, but not before I suggested he leave his truck parked there so we could go to the tavern in one car (because ultimately, I wanted him to come back to my place after).

Drinks were fun and I offered to pay since he’s been paying for all of our dates these past few weeks. I don’t mind picking up the tab if I feel like the guy legitimately enjoys my company and isn’t just trying to fuck, play games or be a mooch. Drink wise, we both went hard and had a few rounds of bourbon before closing out. I sort of think we were trying to out do one another to see who could stand the manliest drink. I’m pretty sure he won, being that he’s a smooth 8 inches taller than me and athletically toned.

Before heading back to my place, he suggested we swing by the grocery store to pick up some beer to have while we watched netflix (and chillllled). After he became a bit indecisive about the beer, he suggested I choose. I was already well on my way to being intoxicated, so I didn’t really see myself drinking beer once we got back, but I opted for a smooth seasonal cider and we were on our way.

Once back at my place, he went into this super sweet mode of pulling me close and cuddling with me. He’d gently rub my back and softly kiss my forehead as the alcohol really started to settle in and caused me to feel sleepy (or maybe I was just sleepy and those two energy drinks I smashed hours earlier at work both wore off at the same damn time). I could barely finish the one beer I did open, while he easily drank another two, before I told him I was tired and asked if could move our netflix and chill session upstairs to my bedroom so I could lay down. He agreed and off we went. By this point, we were both exhausted (mostly from work), but the stars all aligned we went for it.

As I mentioned before, this has been my first true (and full) intimate encounter since my ex, so while it felt a tad bit strange for a few seconds, I eventually got over it and focused appropriately on babyface.

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After all was said and done, I offered the invitation for him to stay the night, which he had no issue taking and we passed out. My sleep was fragmented at best, but it was nice to wake up warm and being cuddled. I remember waking up as the sun rose to study his bare chest as I laid comfortably on it. His pecks and arms are really muscular, but not in a crazy body builder sense. They appropriately fit his physique and was pleasant to study while he woke up. Talk about a work of art. Yas. We small talked and cuddled for about an hour or two before eventually getting out of bed. No, I didn’t make him brekafast, because I didn’t really have any food in my house (I know, what a shitty host I am). We kissed each other goodbye and he left to go start his day and went into starting mine, which was fully loaded (starting with lunch, a showing of the black panther, game night, dinner and impromptu concert outing with vday vibe guy and bar hopping with friends).

And now that leaves today. I had another jam packed day full of social events, but I woke up and cancelled them all if for no other reason than peace of mind. I really hate to be a flake like that (because I am usually very loyal and do what I say I’m going to do), but I over committed myself (again) and needed to take a step back. As the weekend approached earlier this week, I realized I had built in very little time to rest and relax and I just wanted a day to meander do things on my own time without any set schedule. I went for a run on one of my favorite trails, took some nature photos, binged some netflix and took a nap. Best day in a long time!

To wrap up, what I essentially thought was going to be a shitty week turned out to be fairly decent and stress free one. I’m starting to feel alive again and back tobetter than my old self. I’m really hoping my positive outlook on a recently ended relationship and my future moving forward will continue. It’s so much easier to go through life this way!