It’s been one month. One month—with enough snow to make anybody suicidal— and somehow I’m still waking up every morning, putting one foot in front of the other and getting on with my life. I won’t deny that I’ve cried myself to sleep about a dozen times, or that I’ve drank way more than any self-respecting human being should, or that I’ve been googling “How to get over a break up” and resorting to self help books proclaiming “ancient Toltec wisdom” but somehow, at the risk of sounding ridiculously new age (I blame the Toltec wisdom), I feel at peace. I feel good even. I know now that he did us both a favor.
And I don’t even mean that in the sarcastic sense. I mean it with the utmost sincerity. In fact, he gave us both a gift. He gave us our freedom.
After all, it’s not as though he said, “I hate you,” or “I never loved you” or “You have ruined my life” or “I never want to speak to you again.” He didn’t say, “You were the worst girlfriend ever,” or “What did I ever see in you?” or “I’ve wasted the past two and a half years of my life on this mess.” He simply said, “I feel like we are heading towards spending the rest of our lives together and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life with someone who doesn’t accept me.”
No histrionics, no accusations, just the truth.
My response, although invoked as a defense mechanism at the time, was also true: Yes, there are a lot of things I don’t respect about you.
And there were. I tried so hard to be accepting, to shut my mouth, to stop “suggesting” things, to be okay with the fact that TWD and I vibrated on such different frequencies even though we were, for all intents and purposes, a great couple most of the time. But I just couldn’t. His quirks weren’t “cute” to me. I didn’t find them endearing or adorable. I found them irritating, even infuriating at times, and although I tried to love him for him, I wasn’t doing a very good job of it in the end. (It takes two people, after all, not to say “I love you” at New Years.)
So he did what I didn’t have the courage to do. He said his piece and set us both on the path to better things. I hated him for it at the time. Hated him for not wanting to try harder, to go to counseling, to change, but in looking back, after a month of writing, reading, reconnecting with old friends, cursing the universe and finally seeing the light, I realize that it was the ultimate act of self respect— and how can you not respect a thing like that?