Sunday is cleaning day. I’ve told myself over and over again that Sunday is cleaning day. But it seems to slip my mind every Saturday night when I get too excited for the free day that awaits me the next morning, and have, instead, found myself the past few Sunday’s either in bed past noon (too hung-over to get out of bed), sitting across from friends at a diner, sitting on the couch watching Friends, or just sitting… sitting and doing nothing, really. So, up until this past Sunday, I set an alarm to Morrissey’s “Every Day Is Like Sunday” to give me a real proper, motivational Sunday awakening. And to my surprise, I woke up!
Picking up tags from clothes I had thrown onto the floor and rummaging through old desk drawers I came across a fairly recent which I’d quit using. On the front it read “Journal”. Light blue and pretty worn and tattered from the looks of it, I was surprised to see that I started writing it in only a few months back in the beginning of August 2014. Only four months ago. I remembered this journal. This was my heartbreak, sad, malaise, don’t-read-this-if-you’re-not-ready journal. There were lighter spots of blue down towards the right corner of it; probably my snotty tears. Was I ready?
Without a second thought I dove in to the first page:
August 13, 2014
I need to record what is going on mentally, physically and emotionally right now. So that I know and have proof to myself of what I’ve gone through and how seemingly impossible it may be to overcome this—it will happen.
It’s like I knew I would be reading this! Bravo, Amber. I knew you were strong. So, I decided to continue.
When I met [him] I just turned 21. In fact, I think I used a Fake ID the first time we went out to a bar. He was 25. Today, I am 23, turning 24 in December, and he will turn 28. It has been three years … Today marks a closing chapter of a part my youth. This is the end to my second love, and a start to my second heartbreak.
I hate loving him. I hate the swell of my throat and the burning of my eyes when I imagine the reality of this room without his posters on the wall and his musical instruments scattered about to decorate my life. I write this while he is in the other room packing his stuff into boxes. Every step I take down the stairs of my apartment and closer to his car I want him to accidentally leave something behind: a sock, a scarf, anything. But I know that would only hurt me. He could care less about a sock; he will get a new pair. But I would cherish that sock and cry and cry and cry.
I felt that feeling all over again. My throat swelled and my eyes burned. It was real. I couldn’t help but take a moment. I pulled my flowered pillow close to me and sobbed into it. Little dry heaves and hiccups here and there, but that was just a reminder.
Walking past him in the living I turned my head the other way so he wouldn’t see my puffy face and reddened cheeks. But he pulled me by the arm and held me close. I painted a black mascara, saliva-filled masterpiece of sadness across his damp shirt. Gross, but needed. He held me long and sat me down next to him. I pushed him away and told him to “just go.” In that moment he rested his head in my neck and sobbed. My tears were validated. Something special had happened here. Why are we separating again?
At this moment I said aloud to myself “to grow up, to have space to mature and be young.” My ex-boyfriend at the time and now, again, current boyfriend (its complicated) broke up to “explore the world”, to “live our lives” as many 20-somethings in my generation say sometimes when packing up all their belongings to leave everything behind and explore the world alone. I sat for four months through periods of extremely motivated and self-indulged highs, going to the gym early in the morning, writing all day and sipping red wine with girlfriends. Only to be predictably followed by bouts of sad, reminiscent lows, eating heavily cheesy pasta, watching Netflix and sipping red wine with girlfriends. The sad periods lessened, and I gained a sense of wisdom about myself: I can be young, in love and still “live my life”, but I cannot be dependent on being in love and hoping this love becomes my life.
Being alone to some people means being completely free and uninhibited. Which is true for some people, but only for me when I find myself obsessing over love, or obsessing over the person I am in love with. To a point where love and the person you love are interchangeable, as it should never be. You love a person for who they are and how they motivate you, support you and make you feel. But they should never be the all-encompassing, one thing in life that you love. Because then its not love, its ownership. Like the sock I wanted him to leave behind. I would own that sock, not love it.
Looking back on this notebook, I see many of the same things that used to decorate my life with him. The posters on the wall, the musical instruments scattered about. We are back together. But in a different way we are back together. We are back together in love. And back together not only loving each other, but also loving our passions, and our routines and our mistakes to living and exploring life. But if he were to leave today, I don’t think I would want him to leave behind any poster, any instrument, and not even a sock. I think I would do just fine bare.