Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good-bye for Now

Long Shadow in Afternoon Sun

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.


Kate said...

Oh, hon'. I am sorry you're still hurting -- and of course, you are. It isn't easy to get through these times, and sometimes you do just have to go through the motions for a while. You'll find yourself again, probably even stronger than you were before. I hope to see you back here whenever you feel like writing again. Hugs!

Valerie said...

Awww, Roseanne. I'm sorry :( I will miss you, but I understand. Take care of yourself. My reader will be ready for you when you come back.

If you find yourself back in MI to visit your family and you want to grab a coffee or something let me know. We can torture ourselves by remembering Ochem exams (although I think you liked them better than I did).

All the best to you! You are strong, funny, smart and you'll find your path.

Raquelita said...

I'm so sorry to read this post, and I wish that I could do something to help ease the hurt that you are going through. I will miss your presence in this corner of the interwebs. I just hope to see you back here in a few weeks or months, but I will be ready to read again whenever you are ready to write about life, love, and food again.

Rosiecat said...

Thank you, everyone. Your comments are so sweet and touching.

Valerie, ha! While I loved the Albion chemistry department, I am very glad to be a working neuroscientist. The chem major was quite challenging, to say the least. I should be in Michigan again in December for the holidays. I'll try to remember your offer. Or if you remember, drop me a line on Facebook or by e-mail (lifeloveandfood {at} gmail {dot} com).

If anyone is curious, I'll still be posting at my running blog--mostly training updates and thoughts on the athletic life. That blog is Feels Like Flying:

While I hope that I'm not actually running away from my feelings, running has been an effective feel-good activity this year.

Chrissy (The New Me) said...

Dear friend, I think it's wise for you to step back and allow yourself to experience this pain and heartache without feeling like you have to put on a happy face for the blog/Internet. You own yourself, and your relationship, and your history, and your future as much time as is necessary. That said, I will miss you in this space, and I'll check it often in the hopes that you'll be back soon, not just because I love reading your words, but because it will mean you've found some peace.

Love to you, as always. Things will get better, I promise.

a said...

Oh, friend... Sometime one needs space to regain equilibrium. Take what you need. It bears mentioning that, although you don't feel like yourself right now (and understandably so), you also are probably going to feel like a somewhat different self on the other side of this as well. I spent a long time after my last breakup waiting to feel like who I remembered being before, until I remembered that events change people and that person wasn't who I was anymore.

Anyway, rest well, and feel things, and let's have a phone date soon.

Rosiecat said...

Oh, Chrissy, your comment made me weepy. Thank you for your kind words. I do hope to be back in action here, eventually. I feel very certain that taking a break is the best thing for me right now. I'm making some other changes as well, and I'm feeling optimistic that I'm moving things in the right direction. I am very lucky to have such good people in my life, on the internet through blogging and offline, in the form of family and friends. xoxo

a, you make a good point. I think I'm struggling to make sure that the new version of me is not bitter or resentful. I'm scared of becoming a person I wouldn't want to have as a friend! That's one of the main reasons I'm taking a sort of time-out. I am also hoping to be a little more savvy about my romantic life the next time around. Oh, experience, you are a most excellent teacher! And yes, a phone date would be lovely. You've been on my mind :-)

Shannon said...

take some time to heal, it's certainly not easy! you will be yourself again, and you'll come out stronger too. hugs!