Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lessons :: A Year to Search and Recover

I didn't mean to meet someone right after breaking up with my long-term boyfriend.

I swear.

It's not my fault that he started talking to me at a party. It's not my fault that he was tall and wearing flannel and liked the same music that I did. It's not my fault that he asked me to write the name of my blog on his arm, but maybe it is my fault that I agreed to.

When I got home that night, I already had an e-mail waiting for me.

Seven weeks and six dates later, he handed me a mix CD. The texts he sent afterwards have long been deleted, but I still remember exactly what he wrote: "Today, while we were in the bookstore, I was just too overwhelmed with... feelings. I'm sorry, baby. I'm trying."

I never saw him again, because he got back together with his ex-fiancee. I suppose he wasn't ready for someone new, and perhaps I wasn't ready for anyone at all. But at the time, I didn't care -- all I wanted to know was what I could have done to keep him around.

I wish I could say that this was the first and last time I felt deep infatuation followed by an ending with no closure and the aftermath of brutal insecurity, but it wasn't. I wish I could say that I didn't predict everything from the beginning, but I did. I was just so, incredibly desperate to prove myself -- and the naysayers around me -- wrong.

After that, I didn't know what to do. I hadn't been single for an extended period of time since high school, and I thought that I'd be able to slide into another relationship with ease. Since that plan failed, I decided to do the opposite: try to have fun with dating, meet as many people as possible, and play the field. This was not the norm for me, but it became so; I had a new story every week.

As long as no one gets hurt, right?

But maybe one of us did.

There was the writer I liked that stopped talking to me.
"We'll hang out soon, I promise."

There was the banker my parents liked that I stopped talking to.
"Do you miss me? You don't hate me, do you?"

There was the neighbor who told me how he really felt.
"You're just a friend. You're just like anybody else."

There was the artist I turned down.
"I want to take you out for Valentine's Day."

There was the British hipster I met in Vegas.
"You unlocked an emotional part of me."

There was the friend who wanted to love me.
"I don't trust myself alone with you."

There was the friend who did.
"You're amazing and if any guy can't see that, then fuck him."

I stumbled upon the CD the other day while flipping through a stack in my car. I'd completely forgotten about the mix -- and the man made it for me. It's amazing how we tend to let go of our hurts without realizing, but when we're trying, it seems painfully impossible in the moment. Perhaps that's just how life is; we don't realize how much has happened or how much we've grown until we look back.

Throughout the ups and downs of my unhinged rollercoaster ride of a year, a select few positive spirits stayed in my life, speaking to me without judgment. They reminded me that I would find someone, someday, who encompassed everything that I wanted, who felt the same way that I did. And it would be someone I didn't expect.

They were right -- I did find that special someone, in a place that I had failed to look before. Between the bad dates and first kisses, I found someone to provide me with true happiness and unconditional love. There are no questions, no confusion. Obstacles occur, as they naturally do, but it's nothing that can't be conquered. I found someone who has the ability to cheer me up after a rough day, someone who lets me express emotions and opinions without calling me crazy, someone who thinks I'm pretty no matter what I look like, someone who spoils me rotten, someone who embraces all of my flaws -- oh, and is also tall, and wears flannel, and likes the same music that I do.

I never expected for this person to be myself.

I already had who I was looking for all along.


  1. Girl, you're so smart!

  2. Love this...

    Courtney ~

  3. yes, yes, yes, a million times yes. i feel like i'm so close to this - but the moments in between feel like i'm damn far. good for you for getting there and recognizing it. xo

  4. I'm at the point where I'm realizing it's so important to separate ones self from the naysays, give them some nice good DISTANCE cause boy can they do some silent damage :/Long term damage. Damage that never gets ya....until it gets ya...

  5. The best ones always are in the last place you'd look, so to speak. They are the ones who love us for who we are! Good luck!

  6. I think it's safe to say that I love you, Steph. Great post :)

  7. I really loved reading this Steph! Great post. That's right, you've got to keep one foot in front of the other! :)

  8. You're a lucky girl!
    I'm one of those people who when love isn't going right, nothing is!
    I love this post!

  9. Its true, you gotta love yourself.

  10. BRAVO! BRAVO! Well said Steph! Love this! And all those guys who aren't with you, are LOSERS! Just saying. ;) On a more serious note, I feel the same way you do. Really. If I ever needed to leave the DH because he does one of the 3 things I told him not to do, then I think I'd be okay with it. Just saying... It will be hard at first, financially, maybe?- but I've never had a problem being by myself. I actually really learned to like it. Even now. It's so empowering when you are independent and can be on your own.

  11. I'm so glad that this is where you post ended up and I know you'll be fine because it did end here with you :)

    xo Mary Jo

  12. beautifully written! and so so right.
    xo, cheyenne

  13. it's a grand journey to finding oneself
    but life is so much sweeter when we get there.
    you're just the bravest!

  14. ahhhhhh. i love everything about this. this is the story of my life. er.. last three years. i'm a little embarrassed to admit it, but i totally teared up reading it. i relate all too much.

  15. Aw! Love your story. It's an important lesson, because no man can ever fulfill all your dreams and desires. A great guy can be himself, and that can be very very good, but he'll never be everything. Good for you for finding that you have in you what you need.

  16. You find them when you find them, you can't time it perfectly. All that matters is that it worked out right and this is such a cute story - love makes me smile :D

    <3 katherine
    of corgis and cocktails

  17. Lovely story and I was not at all expecting the ending.


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