i came out here to north carolina from california be with him a few months ago. i thought we would be getting married this summer, after a year and a half of blissful dating. not because i am a silly romantic who rushes things, but because we were in love. we were perfect. we were best friends.
but then it all fell apart. and it was terrible. and i was embarrassed. and i wanted nothing more than for it to work. but it wouldn’t. and so…
i have made a decision. a decision has been made. i am leaving in march, headed back to california, rounding out seven mostly miserable but certainly enlightening months here in this semi-South, semi-East coast nowhere land of a lot of promises that slipped through my fingers like clouds.
it has been a dam I’ve been leaning against to try and keep from bursting through sheer will and good intentions. but the forces were stronger than my once-dreams.
i came here terrified. excited – but terrified. for the first time, i had signed my future on to another’s promises. and my safety net was woven by only one person, who, as I was to learn, was not able to catch me when i let myself fall fully.
in the beginning, when i let myself cry, it surprised me. it surprised me because i knew i was excited. i was in love, i was so happy and in love. someone held my hand, someone knew me, and finished my sentences. someone’s chest pillowed my head, and his hands carded my hair, his steady breathing calmed me, and i felt known. i felt pretty, and smart, and valued. and i felt loved.
and i thought i had found “it.” we had arrived. my path was clear. i was on it! we were going this way.
but then….but then…..
then i realized we were going nowhere.
and even how things have changed between us, that love, that knowledge….that doesn’t go away. it would be easier if it did – if i could hate him, if we had fought more, if there were hateful words he had said that i could recall in perfect clarity – ugly words that i could throw at the mirror whenever i look at my reflection and wonder what was so wrong with me that i let it all fall apart. then it might be easier.
but as it is, i will pack up all i have brought back into the car. i will drive back across america. i will have to rip out the stitches that a few new friendships have sewn in my time here – but their newness doesn’t make it easier to leave somewhere again.
BUT – how many of us can say we did something so wild and stupid for a love that didn’t work out? that we uprooted and drove across the country to start from scratch? i fell freely and horribly toward rock bottom. but I’m digging out. digging if my eyes sting with tears, if my hands bleed, if my clothes tear away. and I’m trying really hard to not be embarrassed about failing.
it sometimes works.
but sometimes i want to crawl into bed and never get out. i analyze each part of me, wondering what didn’t fit into a part of him, how it could fit into a part of anyone else. i pickle in the bathtub; dissecting the last few years of my life, gagging at the bad choices. i wonder if i was wrong – maybe we weren’t so bad? maybe that was as good as it gets? maybe i’m too old and too idealistic and too crazy and i need to be more realistic and grab a hold of a man that will do
instead of waiting for the only man that will do for me.
i know i am made to love and be loved. i thought i was there. turns out, no. but.
there is always tomorrow.
and we try again then.
we always try again.
January 17, 2014 at 12:25 am
I will fly out and drive back with you whenever you want. I can come early and help condense North Carolina. And we can have a great trip back. I love you So much.
Sent from my iPhone
January 17, 2014 at 5:55 am
Good adventure or great story? When moving back means moving forward. When the short cut through the pain is through. Props to you, for your candor, honesty, and self respect Rachel.
January 17, 2014 at 8:49 am
the most emotionally and intellectually developed people fail…IMO….and often! It’s about learning and breaking boundaries. I’m so proud of you Rach…many people are afraid to be honest and do something disruptive to their current existance, but you my dear Mule, have done it and will bounce back greater than before. Believe it!! Love you!
January 17, 2014 at 9:31 am
I think you should come stay in Kentucky for a few days! :)
January 23, 2014 at 12:14 pm
I did the same thing…and know exactly how you feel. personally, it broke me, and i might still be just a little bit broken. professionally, moving did a great thing for me, and i was able to move back home with the career i wanted. and i’ve sacrificed a lot of my personal life for my professional life, and i think it’s because i’m in charge of my professional life. your personal life…once you give someone the ability to hold your trust and at the same time, giving them the ability to obliterate it in seconds with the hope that they won’t is still terrifying for me. it’s been a few years and i have a hard time trusting men. i no longer take anything they say with face value. and i’m sure if i come across the right one i’ll be able to, because my gut instinct to stay closed will relax just a little bit.
it’s just hard though. all of it sucks, and there’s nothing anyone can say or do to make it better. someone else breaks you and the only one that can put it back together is you. i admire your ‘try again’ statements, because it’s something i’ve yet to attempt to do.
January 23, 2014 at 5:20 pm
Loved this article. love how we don’t know what happened because its not really about what went wrong. And hey maybe it didnt maybe it went right? …… hmmmm
January 24, 2014 at 2:47 pm
Wow thanks for being the only person who can respect that maybe I don’t want to or cannot define exactly that went wrong! Everyone else seems to think I’m an idiot.
Thank you for reading, Ju! :)
January 27, 2014 at 9:44 pm
You’re welcome Rachel, your piece was familiar for me so thanks for sharing!
January 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm
Rachel, thanks so much for sharing your story. I just did exact same thing and it feels like you are writing about me and my feelings. I had a beautiful story and was so in love but then it all fell apart. Its so hard and it takes time to be back to normal. Im still learning, and its all very fresh in my memory. But I strongly believe that what’s not yours you should leave it. If he makes you unhappy and does not care, you did the right choice. It hurts, it breaks you, you feel miserable and lonely but then there is tomorrow and you will find your way and find this another person who will be the one. Wish you lots of love and happiness! Stay strong!
January 24, 2014 at 2:46 pm
Thank you for sharing a bit of your story! The beautiful thing about the internet is we learn how not alone we are. Best of luck in all your future adventures and thanks for the love!