I was now more than ready to have new experiences. I was free. The day after my breakup I drove to Oklahoma for the weekend to see friends and family. I remember blasting "Back in Black" by AC/DC and thinking, "I'm back!!" (And wearing black as well...my favorite color to wear.) It felt amazing to be free. I now enjoyed coming home from work each day. Before that I dreaded going home and even put it off sometimes because I just didn't want to be around him. Now I was free to be myself in my own home. It seems crazy that anyone should ever have to feel that way in their own home.
I only had one night of crying alone in my apartment after the breakup. After that, I became insanely happy with life. I told everyone how great my life was going and how good it felt to be me again. I didn’t quite feel like myself with my ex. I felt like I was always holding back. My ex always seemed to “judge” me. Everything I liked was “stupid.” Everything I wanted to do was “stupid.” I have an insane passion for travel but he had no interest in it. That tore me up. My friend, Sophie, who I email back and forth with every day, said, “You can do those things with a bf - you just need someone that will help you reach your goals not hold you back. Maybe even share them with you, for example, traveling.”
One day while I was still with him, I even wrote this in an email to her about him, “He just makes me feel so down about life in general. Everyone else makes me feel cheery. It just feels like we don’t have the same passion for life, and he makes me feel glum. I know he’s not trying to, but that’s just how it is. I kind of want someone who has the same zest for life that I do. Because being with someone who doesn’t have a zest for life makes me feel blah. I kind of think I need someone else with zest for life to keep me pumped up.”
I was dropping while with him. I felt it wasn’t possible to have my fairytale version of a relationship. I thought I would just have to be content. But being content isn’t the same as happy or complete.
He made me question my self-worth and made me wonder if my dreams were really that important. He acted like they weren’t and kept emphasizing that I should just be happy with the way things were. I felt so depressed around him for months and basically told myself, “I’m going to remove the stress from my life.” And it worked.
He sent me angry messages for a month after the breakup, but surprisingly, they ended, probably because he wasn’t getting a reaction from me anymore.
Two weeks after the breakup I had Sophie dye my hair red. I’ve had it red in the past and always loved it. I guess I was doing one of the normal after breakup things of changing my looks. It felt and looked good.
I also started attending counseling sessions right before the breakup. I am still attending them now and enjoy them. I love talking to my counselor and I want to grow as a person. I don’t want to make mistakes again. As I said to Sophie in October, “I don’t want another relationship to take this bad route. I want to be a great girlfriend for the next guy and to not put up with crap from him.”
I was also, shocking to me, enjoying my alone time. I’m an only child, so of course I love alone time, but I had been so afraid of “being alone.” But it felt amazing. I could do anything I wanted each day. I had a Saturday to myself in which I just drove around Dallas and tried new boba tea places (my obsession). It felt great. I felt more creative, more alive. I was also starting to realize that I didn’t care too much if I had a man. Sure, I wanted fairytale love, but I didn’t want to try to force things ever again or feel like I needed to change anyone. It doesn’t work and it wears you out emotionally.
Of course, now I was free to at least try dating…