Learning to say I Love You

I may have said I love you, once, maybe twice, in our entire three years together.

Near the end, because he started to feel like family, I would say “love you, bye!” You know, like when you hang up the phone, or leave their place, with that familiar bounce in your step.

Sometimes he would say matter of fact, “It’s cuz you love me” or he would ask gently “You love me?” My response was always, “Always”.

I would always love him, I knew that. But at the time, responding with I love you, or starting with it, was so big, so real, it was really vulnerable. If I were to ever say it, I had to pause at every word, I, Love, You. Heavy. Fear. Much. Maybe weak. Couldn’t say it.

I did love him. I’ll always love him. We felt it. And after all this, I’m thankful for the peace I feel today.

Miss Mess

xoxo

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Until you grow big enough to handle anything

I can handle anything. Truly, complicated negotiations, mortgage application, car lease, purchase of a home, name the task. I can step out the house and take on the world.

Until I like you.

Until I’m chatting to you and I feel the potential. The tiniest spark of like. Then I’m at a loss. For words. For the right words. It’s like my heart is cursed. I shame and second guess and go back wanting to correct everything and anything I just said, I come out frazzled, upside down, lost in my mind, everything but my real self.

And sometimes I am a lot and sometimes I am nothing. And I don’t know if you are a lot or nothing. But I know right now it’s too much for me to handle on my own.

Miss Mess

xoxo

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Feel Something

On the 4th Sunday, in my empty bed, I hurt myself. I lay there, feeling drained and overpowered by a beating in my head. I was flooded by an urgent need to make myself see things, things that my eyes and ears couldn’t unsee, things that I knew would cut deep. I had been here before, and here I was again. Like a sado-masochist, stabbing myself, over, and over. Not with a blade, but with messages, and pictures, and writings. I scrolled through my phone, through Instagram, looked at videos and pictures of him and his ex, videos that had always been there but I hadn’t wanted to watch. And for some reason, in what seemed like a permanent anguish, I really needed to find them. Needed to open up his profile, scroll to exactly what I was looking for, find it and burn. I think I needed to feel pain, and tears, something, anything, to remind me that what we had was real. That my feelings were real. That you had feelings for me, that you meant something. Mean something. That maybe if I still care, you’ll still come back, or something.

Miss Mess

xoxo

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Protect Your Heart

For my Sunday workouts, when I lived down in LA, I used to hike this popular path going up a steep canyon. The hike itself was a joy and the views up were beautiful. Walking towards the park entrance, there was always some form of graffiti that would catch my eye. One in particular was the “Protect Your Heart” sidewalk stencil. I’ve taken numerous photos with it, angling my phone directly above it, in order to get the right shot of it flat and painted so boldly by my feet. The image has formed a memory of my time there. And the words really resonated with me, it was like a calling to my soul, yes, you too? you agree with me? I’ve been trying to protect my heart, from pain and people, and disappointment, and heartbreak. Ah so, all of us.

A few years after this, after my ex and I broke up, I thought about how bad it felt that I couldn’t be with him for reasons beyond my control. But I also felt terrible, once again, that he didn’t want to be with me for life.

A lot of what I felt with him was based on fears. Future fears. Real fears. I was scared of not knowing what was going to happen. Scared of the responsibility of finding someone again. Scared of feeling alone again and feeling lonely again. Scared of missing him severely, of no longer having him take care of me, having him think about me. Scared of losing him.

My reactions were always attempting to protect my heart out of fear. I wanted to hold it, put it in a box, love him from inside four walls. Tell him this isn’t working. Explain that I couldn’t make this work. Tell him to walk away. But that wasn’t what happened. I gave him my heart, handed him the box, and never took it back.

Recently, I read that the artist was trying to remind us to love ourselves, to connect spiritually, and to choose love. There shouldn’t be walls, or a box, or distance. Instead there will be love, and we will always choose love, for ourselves and to others.

Miss Mess

xoxo

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From lovers to friends

And today, this is what I wanted.

This special kind of friendship. I may not have been able to ask for what I want, or make the decision out loud, but I knew how to guide it.

To here.

With all its issues, concerns and nonsense. For me, perfectly placed where each of us sits in our lives. But we are connected on the periphery. Far enough to live without you. Close enough to ping you on days that I need a friend. And you would be there. And I would be there, in the same way.

Because in the end, we are both human in this struggle. Craving a heart that could see us. That would always see us. Worlds apart, cultures apart, cities apart and pain apart. But we always see us.

Miss Mess

xoxo

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Five steps of heartbreak

1. Clarity – I left yoga feeling so clear about breaking up with you. About the decision I finally made. What I should do. The words I should use. Finally clear about what I needed and how unaligned we were. How okay it would all be. We were different people, different times. Walking boldly back, nodding to myself, it rang so true, in my mind and heart combined.

2. Clingy – It took exactly two weeks to feel everything, to realize my actions, to doubt my actions, to revel in shame and personal hatred, over and over and over again. I desperately wanted him back. Clumsy, losing, begging, creating scenarios in my head. Needing the attachment, closeness, his touch, so excruciatingly bad that I messaged him and begged him to sleep with me. Told him I missed him. Liked his messages. Made feeble attempts to be with him again. There was no space to do nothing, there was only space to act on it.

Whisper to myself, over and over, to no avail, “Remember your value. Remember your value.”

3. Crying – I found his new song online and listened to it. I wouldn’t normally like the tune, but I adored it. I imagined he was listening to it at the same time as I was listening to it. As if we had a bond. As if we were so in tune. Imagined the words were about me. Thoughts, and feelings of despair: why didn’t he love me. Tears trickled down my face because of the sadness I felt inside. Tears, lots and lots of tears.

4. Cold – I feel nothing. Memories of him seem unreal, someone else’s. Within me there is nothing. No sadness, not happy, not angry, just numb, and careless. Who are you? Why did I care? Will I ever care again?

5. Care again – much time passed, and I thought I forgot, I thought I’m okay, I accepted it, he was not for me; but then I saw a picture of his new girl. Not the main blonde one, with her I didn’t have insecurities. The cute, little new one, the one that took my place. The one that looks carefree and fun and unlike me. Oh, fuck me.

Miss Mess

xoxo

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The Big Stuff

Exactly at 9pm I walked into his friend’s newly opened bar. The neighbourhood was grungy but the bar was impressive, spacious, light wood, retractable ceilings. The group hadn’t arrived yet. Of course he was late to his own goodbye party.

I stood nervously at the bar, looking for empty seats. Orderly, I found two next to each other. I sat down, hugged my small bag, wondering how I could make myself seem more approachable and less serious. I got up, took off my jacket and hung it on the hook beneath the bar, shook my hair out, before flipping it over to one side. I sat back down on the stool and hobbled myself forward. Resting my elbows and bag on the bar, I took space and got the bartender’s attention. Thoughts trickled in, should I tell the bartender I’m a friend of a friend of the owner, should I reposition myself to face the entrance, was my top cute enough for tonight. Oh text him: “I’m here, no rush.” More thoughts, do I look hot. Smiling at the bartender, “hi, could I get a glass of Prosecco please?” Awkward just sitting and waiting, should I try to have a conversation with the bartender. Definitely don’t check your phone, no one else at the bar will come up to you if you check your phone.

An hour later, I see him walk in towards the back of the bar. Dark, his black D&G puffer jacket on, left hand pulling through his hair, and a silly bounce in his step. He walked to me, said something irrelevant about the bar and his friend the owner, and sorry we’re late. I returned a warm hug and bubbly, “Hi! No worries, how are you?” After that it’s blank, I don’t remember much of the small talk between us. We kept it very mature though. Not that I’m surprised. I appreciate that we did. My heart was beating on overdrive most of the night. I smiled a lot that night.

Later, when I got into bed, alone, every part of my chest hurt. Profusely. I wished and wished and wished I could have left with him. I was upset that another friend made a comment about our relationship as if we were playing a game. I was also upset that his friend felt left out of our connection. I completely, unashamedly adored him. I don’t know what it is about humans, that after 9 months you can still feel the same familiar pangs of need for each other.

There was a heavy spark between us all night, but I somehow found the power to leave early, at midnight. And I made a decision that I wouldn’t be with him. Reminding myself of the things I needed but he wouldn’t/couldn’t give. Reminding myself that, we did not have the relationship that I wanted. Reminding myself that, he was not willing or able to give me all the connections I wanted and needed.

I’ll tell you though, I adore him. I can’t fathom how it is possible to remember that you love someone this much after not seeing them at all. Nothing for 9 months.

It just destroys me to know how much we loved one another. I could cry all night about it.

I needed something to remind me that he was not for me. I read and reread the painful things but it wasn’t enough.

Miss Mess

xoxo

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