Today you celebrate your anniversary. It’s been weeks—how many? Eight? Shit. It’s been almost two months since you broke up. The anniversary of your freedom feels like nothing, really, and you don’t know how to measure it. In the number of people you’ve been with since? Drunk texts you haven’t sent? All the times you haven’t said the words ‘my ex,’ even when they were on the tip of your tongue, waiting to run out into a crowd of innocent bystanders and slam them with some unrelated story that only really relates to you? Sure. You measure it all out, carefully filling each cup and pouring it into the mix, careful to get the recipe for independence right this time. One part meaningless rebounds, two parts new friends, three parts work stuff, a dash of breakup playlists made private on Spotify. A shot of tequila for good measure. It’s all there. How’s it taste?
Not good, not bad. It used to taste like total shit, like it was made of blended kale and Brussels sprouts and broken dreams and Katherine Heigl movies. God, those first few weeks tasted like shit. But it became distractingly sweeter, better, til you weren’t running away from the mix every five minutes to check your phone for new texts from an old number. You were never going to hear anything, you knew that, but you kind of hoped an “I’m sorry” or an “I miss you” would hit your inbox like a new badge hitting your chest: you would’ve been the winner. Isn’t that what half of this breakup was about? One of you had to be in the right. One of you has to come out better. As Samantha from Sex and the City said, “There’s always a contest with an ex. It’s called ‘who will die miserable.'”
You aren’t miserable or dead yet. You’re just not exactly fully alive or winning either. Everything feels kind of frantic. You’re always making plans so you don’t have a minute of dead time to stop. What are you going to do this weekend? You’ve been going out every night. You’re getting exhausted. It’s an emotional hangover you haven’t kicked. Hair of the dog. You kiss someone new, they become old news, rinse, repeat. It occurs to you that you might be really, truly, desperately fucking bored of your own shit. What have these weeks been about besides you, anyway?
So today you celebrate your anniversary, because it’s time to start a goddamned new part of your life to celebrate. You do it. You send the “how have you been” text and you receive an “I’ve been good” in return. It feels like nothing, and for once that feels good. You can pour the mix out, bake it, trash it, store it away, it doesn’t matter. You’re not going to bother with finding the perfect blend of parts anymore. You won’t move so fast that you can’t see what’s behind or around you. Fuck it. You stop. You take a look around. It’s not so bad at all. In fact, it’s pretty damn good. You take a seat, alone, and you stay, and you feel, and it’s almost perfect. Almost—a beautiful word for closer than before.