Eventually, I’m going to have to stop posting about TWD. After all, no one is going to date a girl who blogs about her ex-boyfriend every day. But today is not that day.
Then again, today’s post isn’t actually about TWD. It’s about me.
Here’s the crazy thing: after TWD and I broke up, I felt relieved. The relief, of course, was followed by panic (Would I ever find someone else?) and that panic continues now that it’s been two weeks without the slightest hope of a rebound but in that first moment, when I hung up the phone, took a deep breath and sat up, I realized I was sitting a little taller.
I loved him. I loved him more than I’ve ever loved anybody, more than I knew it was even possible to love somebody. But I did not love him more than I love Philadelphia.
I’m sure that sounds very strange and I feel guilty to even admit it but the thought of moving to New Jersey terrified me. I was willing to do it—or so I thought—and I might still do it depending on how my PhD applications pan out, but compromises only work if they don’t lead to resentment.
And a turnkey house in the suburbs, even in a small town in the suburbs with my requisite coffee shops within walking distance, would have led to resentment.
I always envisioned us coming back someday. Going to farmers markets someday. Hosting great dinner parties someday. Strolling through the city on Saturday mornings with re-useable shopping bags, a dog and a baby tucked into one of those ergonomic slings. We’d have a little plot in a community garden and even though I’d forget about it and end up killing whatever I tried to grow, we’d volunteer at park clean ups and go to neighborhood association meetings and all of our friends would drive hybrids or brew their own beer.
But that was my fantasy. Not his. Not at all his.
The day after we broke up, I booked myself a massage at a fancy spa in Center City. It was raining and cold and my feet were killing me but as I walked into town and crossed through the park, my heart felt lighter than it had in months.
I stopped for a moment, just staring at the fountain in the distance, the people hurrying along the sidewalk under their umbrellas, and I thought to myself, “I don’t have to leave.”
I don’t have to leave.
And a love that endures even when it’s pouring rain? That is true love.