a month

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost

it took three weeks to be okay. three raging, sorrowful, desperate weeks. three weeks of not recognizing who i was, and of that terrifying me. and then it was like a switch flipped and suddenly i was myself again. i don’t think about it much anymore; i’m surprised by how little he crosses my mind. it’s incredible how the heart feels like it will never heal and yet, it does. we’re more resilient than we think, aren’t we? 

i can’t even begin to describe how refreshing it is to be me again. it was like waking up from a dream, or emerging from a warm bath after holding my head underwater. i feel so much lighter, more free – like my future is wide open with possibilities again. i’d nearly forgotten what that felt like.

it’s easy now to remember how big and magnificent the world is, and how many amazing people there are to meet. to not be sad that he isn’t mine anymore, especially when who he’s become in the last month is a stranger to me. and to relish in the happiness that independence can bring. i’m not looking for anything, wasn’t looking when he stumbled into my life, but i know i’ll love and be loved again. it was a beautiful thing while it lasted and i learned so much about myself and what i want (or don’t want) in a partner someday. i wouldn’t go back and erase it, despite how badly it ended and how much i hurt. 

you can tell me when it’s over if the high was worth the pain

i just hope this newfound peace lasts.

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a week

from yesterday

what a difference a week makes.

it’s so nice to finally feel like i can write again. i know it’s only been a week, but that week seemed to drag on for an eternity and there were some low points when i wondered whether i would ever be able to write about what’s happened, or move on from it. i say move on because i’m not sure anyone really gets over something like this. i’d like to forgive him, someday, and i know i’m far from ready to do that right now but i don’t want to hold onto this or hold it against him forever, regardless of whether our lifelines cross again. keeping that goal in mind helps to dull the anger when it arises, knowing that i’m allowed to feel it right now but that i won’t always. 

i haven’t slept all week and this morning when i needed to pack, the exhaustion hit me like a truck. still, i managed to fill my 60 liter backpack to about the 45 liter mark, leaving plenty of room for anything i buy along the way or to keep it as a carry on. i bought a sweatshirt in the toronto airport and it’s soft and red and fuzzy – at least i’ll be cozy in the hours ahead. already, i feel like this trip is making a world of difference in my mood and mindset. travel opens your mind and reminds you how big the world is, how many people and possibilities and paths there are out there for you to meet and take. it makes me hopeful. 

i’ve been drawn to color lately. maybe it’s the sunshine, or maybe it’s because my moods are so dark. either way, i packed a surprising amount of color for this trip, especially compared to my usual travel wardrobe. there’s a lot of gray in there too but hey, that’s life isn’t it? 

my psychologist asked me yesterday what my experience with loss and grief is. looking back on my life so far, i’m really lucky not to have lost many loved ones – my dog is still alive, the two significant deaths I’ve dealt with were due to terminal illnesses and thus not surprising (though still sad), and the third was when i was too young to really understand or appreciate loss. i’ve had frustrations romantically, but only one that i considered heartbreak at the time and it was very different from this one. i was infatuated, i was devastated that it literally couldn’t work out, that we couldn’t give it a chance because of real logistical reasons. losing someone i actually love, because he suddenly decided he didn’t want to be with me, has been another level of devastation. i didn’t just lose the potential of something good, i actually lost something. someone. 

how did he talk himself out of love?

– tell me so i can do the same.

little lion man

Weep for yourself, my man,
You’ll never be what is in your heart
Weep, little lion man,
You’re not as brave as you were at the start
Rate yourself and rake yourself
Take all the courage you have left
And waste it on fixing all the problems that you made in your own head

maybe i fell too hard. but how could i have known? he acts now like he never wanted our relationship, going so far as saying he doesn’t know whether he loved me. it hurts, even though i think he’s lying to himself. there are many things in life you can postpone, but love isn’t one of them. and there’s not much you can do to stop yourself from falling in love with someone who seems right for you and makes you think it’s safe to trust them with your body. your mind.

your heart.

But it was not your fault but mine
And it was your heart on the line
I really fucked it up this time
Didn’t I, my dear?

yes. yes you did.

selfish

I didn’t write this but I wish I did. 

i will tell you about selfish people. even when they know they will hurt you they walk into your life to taste you because you are the type of being they don’t want to miss out on. you are too much shine to not be felt. so when they have gotten a good look at everything you have to offer. when they have taken your skin your hair your secrets with them. when they realize how real this is. how much of a storm you are and it hits them.

that is when the cowardice sets in. that is when the person you thought they were is replaced by the sad reality of what they are. that is when they lose every fighting bone in their body and leave after saying you will find better than me.

you will stand there naked with half of them still hidden somewhere inside you and sob. asking them why they did it. why they forced you to love them when they had no intention of loving you back and they’ll say something along the lines of i just had to try. i had to give it a chance. it was you after all.

but that isn’t romantic. it isn’t sweet. the idea that they were so engulfed by your existence they had to risk breaking it for the sake of knowing they weren’t the one missing out. your existence meant that little next to their curiosity of you.

that is the thing about selfish people. they gamble entire beings. entire souls to please their own. one second they are holding you like the world in their lap and the next they have belittled you to a mere picture. a moment. something of the past. one second. they swallow you up and whisper they want to spend the rest of their life with you. but the moment they sense fear. they are already halfway out the door. without having the nerve to let you go with grace. as if the human heart means that little to them.

and after all this. after all of the taking. the nerve. isn’t it sad and funny how people have more guts these days to undress you with their fingers than they do to pick up the phone and call. apologize. for the loss. and this is how you lose her.

– thank you to my queen, rupi kaur, for this piece and many more

This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz

13503109-1Novel: This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz | Goodreads
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed
Rating: 4 stars

On a beach in the Dominican Republic, a doomed relationship flounders. In the heat of a hospital laundry room in New Jersey, a woman does her lover’s washing and thinks about his wife. In Boston, a man buys his love child, his only son, a first baseball bat and glove. At the heart of these stories is the irrepressible, irresistible Yunior, a young hardhead whose longing for love is equaled only by his recklessness–and by the extraordinary women he loves and loses: artistic Alma; the aging Miss Lora; Magdalena, who thinks all Dominican men are cheaters; and the love of his life, whose heartbreak ultimately becomes his own.

In prose that is endlessly energetic, inventive, tender, and funny, the stories in This Is How You Lose Her lay bare the infinite longing and inevitable weakness of the human heart. They remind us that passion always triumphs over experience, and that “the half-life of love is forever.”

This Is How You Lose Her is a collection of short stories following characters from the Dominican Republic who have immigrated to the United States. The stories are centered around relationships, love, family, and the idea of being with someone and what that means. The collection is full of manipulation, both by males and females, strife, stereotypes, and foul language. I found it eye-opening.

The first story was by far my favorite. It chronicles the fall of Yunior and Magdalena’s relationship and I thought it was well constructed and well done. Díaz managed to portray the situation in such a realistic way that really reached out to me as a reader. The last story, “A Cheater’s Guide to Love”, was probably my second favorite and also the longest. Most of the stories follow or contain Yunior, but others branch off to follow different characters, all of whom are experiencing the hardships living in America brings and forming connections—both good and bad—with other Dominicans.

Overall, I really enjoyed This Is How You Lose Her. It sparked my interest in Junot Díaz’s other books and gave me new perspective on a facet of hispanic (mainly Dominican) culture and society, especially within the United States. The collection of stories is not beautiful in a happy way; it’s actually kind of a downer filled with tragedy, repeated mistakes, misery, and heartbreak. While some of the stories were dull, I thought the entire collection as a whole was cohesive and illustrious, and I recommend giving it a shot if the premise interests you. I’m glad I did.

Thanks for reading.

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