Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Sad Gift

"Is this why all your Facebook status updates have been like, 'Oh noooo, the candy canes have all gone rotten!"

My brother is calling me out on being dramatically whiny over the past few months. He is not the first person to bring this sentiment to light, but he is the first to send me into a giggle fit over it. I immediately picture boxes of striped candies growing mold underneath their tight plastic sheaths. I don't even like candy canes, so the absurdity of me crying over gross Christmas treats is too much for me to handle seriously.

Yes, struggling with what I want out of life and relationships is exactly why my blog posts and Facebook updates have been totally emo and against my real personality. My default state of being is extraordinarily happy. Like grinning in public and daydreaming kind of happy. And I haven't been that way for a while. The basis of the why-not has been a long time in coming and taken a lot of self-reflection and shouldn't be posted on the Internet for all to see. But the end result means a lot of change and new adventures for me. And no more rotten candy canes.

For the past year, I have been driving the wrong way down a one-way street. I have had the sinking feeling (or punched-gut feeling) that I need to stop or turn around or jump out of the car. And I couldn't figure out how to do it or if maybe there just wouldn't be any oncoming traffic and everything would be fine. I decided it wasn't worth risking the safety of my passengers or myself and I stopped the car. And M and I broke up.

How do you break up with an amazing friend that you live with? How do you extract yourself from a life that you thought you wanted for four years? How do you pull the rug out from under your own feet? I didn't know and I still don't and there is probably a lot more grace to it than I was able to manage. The surreality of my life now consists of job searching in cities all over the world and apartment hunting for short-term leases. I might be done with Chicago. I might be ready to be the person I intended to be. The person who is not afraid to take risks without safety nets.

There is not fault here. No blame. Nothing done wrong or badly. This relationship was a gift to me and gave me a chance to love without regret. Without fear. Without knowing it would end. And now it is time to be sad that it's over. Without regret. Without fear. Without knowing what comes next. And that will be a gift too.