Here We Aren’t So Quickly

“There is a universal truth we all have to face whether we want to or not. Everything eventually ends. As much as I’ve looked forward to this day, I’ve always disliked endings. The last day of summer, the final chapter of a great book, parting ways with a close friend. But endings are inevitable. Leaves fall, we close the book, you say goodbye. Today is one of those days for us. Today we say goodbye to everything that was familiar, everything that was comfortable. We’re moving on. But just because we are leaving, and that hurts, there are some people who are so much a part of us they’ll be with us no matter what. They are our solid ground, our north star. And the small clear voices in our hearts that will be with us. Always.”

–  Alexis Castle

Peeking through my posts on relationships through the last few months has been some pain that I’ve been masquerading, as best I could, as singleness angst. Earlier this summer, a close male friend and I had come to that moment where we had to take that next leap forward or change course completely. This time I was ready to leap, he chose to bail instead. After taking some space and time, last week he made the final decision for us to bring what our friendship was to an end.

Considering his choice, it was an inevitable withdrawal and one I’d been preparing for since the moment he let me down. This time, I’d resolved to be brave, to be honest and to let him make the choice instead of making it for us.

Though I’ve been undeniably sad, I’ve also found surprising peace.

A friend of mine told me a few months back that God lets us repeat our pasts until we get it right. I can’t help but think that this is was happened. For the first time, I have no regrets and nothing has been left unsaid (except maybe a few f-yous that didn’t need to be). Finally, I’ve gotten some closure. Letting go has been much easier.

For a long time, I was like Gigi in “He’s Just Not That Into You.” I had a hard time giving up on those pseudo-boyfriends who just weren’t that into me. I kept believing that if we pressed the reset button on our relationship something would change. Either I’d want less or he’d want more. But all that holding on ever did was sour those relationships until there was nothing worth holding on to.

This time, my desire for him and for our relationship died the moment he bailed. Though I feel the grief of loss and the absence of our friendship, I’ve found myself not rebounding but sincerely moving on.

Truth be told, my portrayal of my life as vacant of datable options is not accurate of my life now. That was true back in NYC, when the only guys I saw regularly pretty much fell into one of three categories (if they weren’t a combination of them): awkward, unavailable or unattractively pretentious. It was true for most of that first year back here, when I was utterly reclusive as I tried to figure out what to do with myself post-grad and when I first started working this demo job in Hartland. It hasn’t been true these last two months, now that I’m consistently spending my weekends working in Howell.

Besides finding out that lots of men ask my male coworkers if I’m available, I’ve got a couple of men who talk to me regularly and whose interest in me was recently confirmed by a male coworker (let me tell ya, after so many confusing relationships, it was so nice to have my radar confirmed and to know that they seem like they want to date me ‘cause they do want to date me—don’t worry, I’m not just leading them on for a confidence boost, if I didn’t like them at all I’d gently let them down or neutralize them).

Alexis Castle’s graduation speech, that I’ve opened and ended this entry with, which she gave at the end of the last season of the TV show “Castle,” has felt incredibly relevant for me. Along with the conclusion of this relationship, it’s evident that a long chapter of my life has come to an end. I’m no longer that girl that men are only ever almost-but-not-quite into. Nor am I the girl who will keep settling for that. I’m on the brink of moving from what has been so comfortable into new terrain. From pseudo-dating to actually dating.

I must admit that I owe a lot to the men I’ve said Goodbye to, especially the last two. They’ve helped me to negotiate my internal chaos and make the transition from being the heavy girl I was to the beautiful woman I have become. Though here we aren’t so quickly, I’m grateful for what we were.

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