Three years ago, having recently returned to reality after my OE, I was directionless. Not knowing the “right” road to take, I chose to go in the direction that was expected of me. Not only by my parents but of society and life as we know it. But essays, deadlines and frightening lecturers were made more bearable by your presence. I still remember the first day we met. You, a typical kiwi bloke, in stubbies and those awfully thick merino wool socks leaned over to ask what exactly it was that i was scrolling through so vigorously mid psych lecture and I replied: “fruit pendants”. Three months later after our first “fight” as a couple, you gifted me a pomegranate necklace.
With absolute honesty I can say I loved you with my entire being. No fractions or percentages; you had all of me.
I let you in, closer and closer than I had anyone else. You became the bearer of my secrets, fears, hopes and desires (and of course, I returned the favour, I was not selfish. Obviously I was perfect). I especially adored the aspects you disliked about yourself and/or were self-conscious of. The sound of your recorded voice, your height, your dry knuckles and the two scars on your chest. In your so-called imperfections, I found beauty, quirk and uniqueness. Together we ticked off many of our firsts (get your mind out of the gutter). We paraglided off a mountain (5,400 feet above the ground), we snorkelled amidst tropical fish and we experienced stomach ache after finishing our very first 22inch NY style pizza.
During the first months of our breakup. My mind would constantly replay such moments. Believing that you, and solely you were the centre of my happiness (I now know that was idiotic). I continously questioned every nuance of each word ever uttered between us, over thinking to the point where my mind became a sustained buzzing of utter nonsense. Dearest ex lover, the following is what I’ve so painfully and gradually (emphasis on gradually) learnt: heartbreak is a bitch. BUT eventually (emphasis on eventually), the girl you missed out on will come to realise that she is a bad-ass bitch from hell and that no one can fuck with her. Put politely, she’s irreplaceable, a goddess, a queen and an absolute gem. For centuries, the prophets, artists and academics of the world have said and will continue to say; happiness comes from within. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I healed, I found happiness outside of our relationship and so will the next girl but there are a few other things I’d still like to mention.
I’m a huge fan of HONY (Humans Of New York) and I find 99% of their life stories heart-wrenchingly meaningful but out of the billions of stories and advice so far shared, the one that has stayed with me the most is this: “I’m learning to be more careful with my words. Words that seem meaningless at the time can end up having a lot of power. Seeds that you didn’t even intend to plant can fall off you and start growing in people”. Dearest ex lover, if there was one thing you could have done to make this process easier is to have been more careful with your words and promises. Of course, there is not much use in dwelling on the past and what should have been or could have been but thankfully, we have the rest of our lives to learn, grow and change. Don’t tell her you can’t wait to put a ring on her finger when you haven’t given a single thought to marriage. Don’t tell her you like her, love her, adore her, want.to.spend.the.rest.of.eternity with her if you don’t mean it.
I’ve learnt that reality bites, sharp and toxic but as Oscar Wilde once said: “the heart was made to be broken”. Pain, sorrow and adversary are not only healthy but also incredibly human. Love will break you, pull down your pants in public and laugh at you with vengeance but that is the reason we are here on earth. Not to moon the innocent public but to be vulnerable and open. To give our absolute all in the slight, minute (but ever possible) chance of having that energy returned.
Photo credit: Marlee Banta