Dear friends and readers,
My heart has been heavy for a long time now, but these last few weeks have been especially hard. I guess I had hoped that with the resolution of things between Matt and me, I would be feeling better now—eager and willing to start a new chapter in my life, a chapter in which Matt’s presence recedes into the background. Instead, I find myself lonely, sad, and lost. I feel his absence more strongly than ever before; his silence speaks volumes to me. Though we have done our best not to destroy our friendship, the loss of intimacy between us is almost more than I can bear.
Our break-up began in January this year, and we dragged it out for six long months. It was a test of compassion and love, and I tried to keep my heart open while Matt began dismantling his life. I didn’t stand in his way; I didn’t try to convince him to change his mind. I just listened and tried to offer what little comfort I could. When he finally decided to end our romance, it took all my strength to keep going with my own life. I literally went through the motions, figuring that if I kept going, a sense of normalcy would return. Besides, I had worked too hard to let his madness derail me—I wasn’t the one who wanted out of my own life. Before our break-up began and besides the uncertainty of my position at work, I was happy with my life. I was happy with Matt.
But I’m finding now, more than two months after our break-up, that it’s not enough to just keep going. I have never loved someone like I loved him. We connected so deeply and so intensely that losing our romance really feels like something inside of me has died. The urge to tell him about my day and my adventures is still there. I miss the safety of our private conversations, that space where I could tell someone how I feel with full honesty and no fear. I miss having someone in my life who knows me so well that it feels like having a soul mate. I don’t really buy into the spiritual explanation of soul mates, but it’s a useful metaphor.
Matt and I began our romance in 2007, just a few months after I started writing this blog. He was, I believe, my first reader, and as with all my endeavors, he has been my biggest cheerleader. His confidence in me has been boundless and unshakeable. In my mind, he is larger than life, despite his small stature. I was so amazed by the way our affections for one another exploded when we started dating that I couldn’t resist writing about him here. In a lot of ways, this blog became the story of us: our weekends together, what we did, what we cooked and ate together, our travels, and most importantly, how we felt about each other. Matt has always been very generous in letting me write about him; hopefully he’ll forgive me for this post, too. Loving Matt was easy, and writing about him was a pleasure. He was my companion and my muse. All the blog posts I wrote about us are now memories tinged with bittersweetness.
I’ve said before, and I’ll say it again: I regret nothing about my relationship with Matt. We made mistakes along the way, of course, and ours was not a perfect romance. I learned so much from our time together, and in the wake of our break-up, I’m still learning, still processing things. I can’t write about those things in this space; I believe some intimate matters are far too precious to share on the internet. In my life on- and offline, I have tried to strike a balance between honesty and privacy. I tend toward oversharing, and I’m an openly emotional person (and even more so since falling in love with Matt). But it has never been my intention to make my blog a space where I rant about my private life or air my dirty laundry. I wanted my blog to be a refuge from the sadness and the sorrow that we all encounter. I wanted it to be a pretty space, filled with inspiration, good food, and good conversation.
The truth is that in dealing with my own sadness and sorrow, I can’t write the kind of blog that this one used to be. I don’t feel like myself, and the joy I used to feel, pre-breakup, has been replaced by a kind of gritty attitude of survival. I am a person who takes great pride in her ability to listen and empathize, to take joy in other people’s happiness, to love and be loved. I feel so far from that version of myself that I’m not even sure how to find her again. I think that being with Matt brought out the best in me, and our break-up has been bringing out the worst in me. That’s not the person I want to be. It’s not enough any more to keep going through the motions when my heart isn’t in it.
I’m taking a month off from this blog. I’m going to take that time to let myself feel whatever comes up. I don’t want to be eaten alive by my anger and sorrow; I don’t want to become numb or bitter either. I just want some space to be alone and contemplative. I do hope to return eventually, perhaps within the first week of November I’ll feel ready to write again. I can’t make any promises. Until then, I thought I’d leave you with one of my favorite songs, “The Christians and the Outlaws,” sung by Sam Pacetti. Apparently the original song is “I’ll Come Back Again” by Verlon Thompson; you can listen to either version on youtube (and I’ve provided the links for your listening pleasure). I love this song and its theme of death and rebirth. I loved it so much, in fact, that I remember sitting Matt down to listen to it with me. The line about the summer wind and the cool rain makes me think of him.
So good-bye for now, and as the song goes, “Like the singer to the chorus, I will come back again.” Thank you for everything.