July 15, 2013, 5:45pm. I was lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, waiting for mom to arrive bearing gifts of Sprite and dinner. Later, Sarah would arrive with hard cider and coconut pie. My newly single life had begun.
Everyone says the first day is the hardest. I disagree. What sucks are all the subsequent days, when you read something you wish you could tell him or have a bad day and wish there was someone waiting at home to drive down to Majestic Diner with. You miss the company, the history, the comfort.
I watched all seven seasons of Desperate Housewives in a week and a half. I took cold medicine nightly, so I wouldn’t lie in bed and think of how sad I was, and wonder where he was at that particular moment. A lot of wine was consumed. Lots of cookies.
The sharp newness turned to a dull listlessness – empty, waiting, remembering. August brought my new apartment but then a sharp goodbye to our old apartment, where he left most of his/our belongings to die a sad, lonely death. It didn’t seem right. My hopes were raised in September, then dashed again two months later. Christmas didn’t feel like Christmas, and the bleakness coupled with a nasty case of bronchitis made the holidays less than holly jolly. I saw 2014 in with the resolution that by December, I’d be me again. I’d be whole. February brought the official news that things were truly over, forever, and I made my way to therapy, once a week, because that feeling wasn’t one that had been covered in any book I’d read.
By May, I was feeling that light at the end of the tunnel that everyone talks about. I was dating again, I’d come to terms with everything that the relationship between Ry and I wasn’t. I was moving on, accepting, and I could feel it.
And here we are, July 15, 2014. It’s funny how time can feel so slow until you forget to count the seconds as they pass. I am healed. I am well. My life is heading towards the place I’ve always wanted it to be.
I still feel sad sometimes. My therapist says I’ll always be a little sensitive in spots, so it doesn’t bother me too much when something pinches. And I figure if I have to reach back to feel that devastation I felt last year then I’m doing ok.
I have a bucket list of summer and fall things to do, things I never would have done if I was still in a relationship. I’ve checked off a huge chunk, but I panicked the other day – the summer is passing so fast, and I feel like I’m running out of time. And then I realized: this isn’t an ending. There is no deadline. I have countless summers ahead, with all the time in the world left to start again. And it may not be the life I had planned for myself for so many years. But unthinkably good things can happen, even late in the game. You just have to have faith.
I finally do.