Written for and Published on Elephant Journal August 16th, 2012
There is a void in my heart.
A void that was once filled with the sound of you calling the touch of your hand the warmth of your smile; the sound of your breath cuddled close and sleeping. It tastes like chicory coffee and old spice, and smells of dusted bricks and ducks.
My mind knows this is for the best. At least I think so since you clearly do not love me. Not enough.
To spend any more time with a friend who cares not would be an abuse of the spirit and my spirit deserves to be unbound and illuminated.
Those words you said tearfully next to me holding and pleading. It was not easy for you I can see that now, to walk away. An intimate and honest talk. Perhaps it was an act of love after all to set me free as the clichés are apt to say. Why let me live in that illusion any longer?
Tribesmen reach out to me to check in and my answer both flat and calm says, “I’m okay.” It is a half-truth though for I am so many other things too. This feeling of rejection in the pit of my stomach is the worst of it.
Abandonment is heavy and cold and causes me, at times, to crawl into bed curtains drawn and blankets wrapped tight much to the chagrin of others. That’s just today though. Yesterday I was freshly shaved and clothed in a spunky dress jumping on a trampoline laughing, spirits high. It is a roller coaster with unexpected turns and traps that cause my breath to catch in awe.
I still believe in it, crave it, share it, extol it. It is a garden that must be tended together or it withers and rots. It requires as much attention as the other hundred things on your to do lists. It requires passionate involvement. It requires a commitment to the relationship however involved two people determine to make it. It requires more than you were willing to give.
My loved ones offer up congratulations and words of support for they all see a bigger and brighter version of me emerging. Bolder than I ever was with you.
She feels sexy and chaotic prone to tequila soaked naked swims on the beach. Just the kind of thing you could never abide with your traditional temperament and your sturdy demeanor.
I know I should not have traded so much of her in for the always kind and considerate woman I became with you but she too—the me with you—was happy and calm and enjoyed so much of your gentle experience. The she with you reminds me of that calm and sweet farm girl I once was with dreams of rocking chairs and family vacations. I recognize now that you grounded me and were nostalgic of my past.
There is more that I want however. This unleashed minx in my body only thinks about cheese plates and bubbles and trysts with birds that are human that will take me for a ride on the air…yes, light like air is what I crave. Playfulness.
To be fair nothing much in my day to day has changed. I am free now on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings and I get to muse over where I will go this year for the holidays. I don’t eat as much sushi and I certainly don’t spend my evenings in front of your television. I prevent myself from the habit of flirtatious texts that once peppered your cell phone and I have packed away the jewelry the photos and the gifts. I purchased fresh flowers for my mantel and signed a lease on a new apartment that does not look straight into your office building and one that does not have the memories of you in its walls.
Grieving the loss of this girl I knew myself to be and yet hopeful of the woman I am becoming is the silver lining in it all. That is the blessing I believe, the constant becoming of who we are.
It is true that we were not matched in this belief, this ever evolving and introspective lifestyle. This is not the first time in history that a man and a woman have outgrown each other because of such things.
My yoga practice has taught me to breathe into the discomfort and investigate my reactions. It is a blessing now to know that this dissolution is for the best. A blessing to realize I have no ill will toward you. Blissful to understand that I wish for you happiness and that it is no longer my responsibility to support you in that endeavor. Clean as it can be. Severed. No longer attached.
I am fortunate in friendship though you have resigned as my best. I am fortunate in business and in health. I am grateful for the time we spent together and I try not to dwell on its ending for too long. There are so many things I wish to say and write and will in fact do so in private.
No need to air out the dirty laundry. My mother raised me a lady in this way. No need to create more discomfort when the gracious thing to do is to just move on.
Toward the future I look: though the path is filled with smoke and haze I have faith that the clearing will find me soon. I will glow like a Katy Perry song appropriately sexed and shining heart centered. I am safe and I am loved. I deserve to be loved extravagantly!
Editor: Seychelles Pitton
Photo by SLR Jester