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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 5 - Taking my own damn advice

Some people get some kind of reprieve between major life events. I'm obviously not one of them, but at this point in my life, this isn't anything shockingly new (even though things kind of always seem to take me by surprise any-damn-way). Now that I think about it, it's probably why I'm a fan of spoilers.

Someone should invent some kind of Real Life Spoiler Alert app. Then, right before something big happens, you'll get a text like

*Spoiler Alert* Your boyfriend is about to break up with you *Spoiler Alert*

Or...even if you have to give someone bad news, you can have the RL Spoiler Alert app send a them a message, so that they can get ready to brace themselves.

I'm already working on a prototype.

Psych your mind. No, I'm not, because Frosty broke up with me 5 days ago and I've got other things on my mind that aren't incredibly genius app ideas.

I know it sounds very sad...and, well, it actually is an incredibly sad turn of events. But this isn't a plea for sympathy or pity. For better or worse, this blog has served as a chronicle of my life, so why stop now?

I will promise, however, it's not going to get all emo up in here. Maybe slightly more bitter and cynical for a hot minute or two, but I need something to do with my time that doesn't involve being trapped in my head. So, for however long it takes, sometimes I'll write about it...and sometimes I'll write about other things. And we'll all live happily ever after.

Anyway, after five years of relationship (overwhelmingly) good and (occasional) bad times, I'm now single again. Or, as Bu told me when we briefly crossed paths on Monday at the airport when I got back into Hamburg and he was on his way to Stuttgart, after he pointed out a Freebird Airlines plane:

"That's you now."

Truth be told, being single is super easy. Seriously. No, really...seriously. There are really only two requirements to fulfill:

1.) Don't be in a relationship
2.) Be a living, breathing organism.

If you can do both of those things, then you are a successful single person. Outside of those two things, it's all completely up to you. Although, admittedly, it's a difficult concept to grasp when the pain is still fresh and stems from a place that was always so re-assuring and safe. It's definitely a mind-fuck, albeit a temporary one (at least one can only hope).

And, I mean, it was only a "bad" break up in the sense that there was a break up at all. That's honestly the worst part...just the simple fact that we broke up. Not because he's an asshole and/or did something super shitty to me (like impregnate one of my sisters and leave me to marry her). He's not and he didn't. He, fairly and maturely, took an assessment of the relationship and, realizing that it's not what he wants/needs, decided to end it. I can be mad at a lot of things and I can definitely hold a hell of a grudge, but this really isn't one of those times. I have zero desire to do that.

That's not to say that it doesn't make it hurt less right now, but thems the breaks...

It did make for an awkward couple of days in Tübingen, I can definitely say that. Probably didn't help that I looked like the saddest panda ever. Once the words were out and in the universe, we sat there and he said that he could go somewhere else, if I wanted to be alone.

And I responded, "Nein, ich werde das ganze Wochenende nur auf deinem Bett sitzen und dich mit meinen Tränen quälen." ("No, I'm just going to sit on your bed the whole weekend and torment you with my tears.")

I was about 75% joking, but that is a fairly accurate assessment of how the other 25% felt.

Even if he wasn't exactly the most optimal person to spend time with directly after a break up, I didn't quite want to be alone at that moment. Mostly because I knew that I have an indeterminate amount of days ahead of me to *acutely and lucidly* feel the loss. In a way, those couple of days acted as a type of buffer and gave me some time to let it start to sink in. And sink it has.

I didn't sleep for shit over the weekend. The thought/sight of food did (and still does, actually) makes me feel like I want to puke. And on Sunday morning, after dinner and drinks with some of his friends the night before, I had made the awful discovery that even booze wasn't going to have my back on this one. Although I managed to fall "asleep" (pass out?), I just woke up in the same shitty situation, completely no control...and a hangover on top of it all. By the time Monday morning rolled around, I was ready to be out of there. Almost like I couldn't do it fast enough.

But, at the same time, I was scared because leaving meant that this was really for real and I really for real have to move on. Knowing that he'd already gotten a head start on the getting-over-it-part, didn't make it easier.

While I gathered my things and got ready to leave, Frosty asked me if I wanted to borrow a book. This particular novel, he explained, could maybe clarify for me how he saw what our relationship had become or was. Or something to that effect. It was 6am by that point was just thinking "A book?! A book told you to break up with me?!" -- which is an incredibly unfair and irrational thought, I know, but I was running on fumes by that point.

The point is that now I have a broken heart...and a homework assignment? Except no reading this week, even though I took the book with me. This week is blocked off for running through all the gamut of emotions. Next week, I'll start getting my shit together piece by piece.

I know it's too early to say anything, precisely because my emotions are subject to change at a moment's notice, but this is how I feel on Day 5. (Unfortunately) I've been through enough personal hardships in the last few years that I can (fortunately) look at situations a lot more pragmatically than, say, a decade ago or even five years ago. And, in the case of romantic relationships, while the odds are not necessarily stacked against you, the best that you can hope for is about 50/50. There's absolutely nothing you can do to increase that - no matter what anyone says - so you have to make the best of it, come what may.

New couples don't know this (or are able to be completely oblivious about it), which is probably for the best. Otherwise, I imagine that no one would get together with anyone ever.

It's also why new couples are a fucking pain in the ass to be around. (Also, I'm not just saying this due to my new relationship status. I've always believed this.) I think it's the automatic (hormone, endorphine, likely unintentional-but-still-there) co-dependency that develops when two people first get together. It's fun and exciting, but pretty much only if you're one of the participants. It's like there's some kind of mad scientist / plastic surgery office where new couples go and say:

New Couple Person A: Hey, doc. We want to get one of those...oh what do you call it, hon?
New Couple Person B: Human centipede procedures, babe.
New Couple Person A: Right, right...we're gonna need that human centipede surgery.
Mad Scientist Doctor: Well, typically people don't volunteer for that. Also, there are only two of you.
New Couple Person A: Oh that doesn't matter! Can't you just make it like a...
New Couple Person B: (finishes sentence) circle of trust!
New Couple Person A: I was going to say loop, but same difference.

And should they stay together, for about the first year, it really is like they're attached to each other mouth-to-anus-to-mouth-to-anus. And they don't notice it, but everyone else does...and it's fucking disgusting. We all know it, yet most of us still do it anyway.

At some point, you realize that you're just with another human being and not a gun-toting kitty cat riding a fire-breathing unicorn that shoots lasers from its eyes. That's when you come down off your cloud and (should perhaps understand) it'll either work or it won't and there's precious little of it that you can control...other than 1.) how much you enjoy it and 2.) not being an asshole to the other person.

Not being an asshole is just generally a good tip for life, yo.

The fucked up thing is that EVEN IF you manage to be successful at both of those things (enjoying it and not being a dick), it's not outside of the realm of possibility to still find yourself in the We-Broke-Up 50%.

Because you can't control people, that's why.

However, you will have at least increased your chances of coming out on the other end with some damn fine memories. You will have learned a lot more about yourself. You will (eventually) realize that the experience was an overall win, rather than a big steaming pile of fail (even if ego/pride/scumbag brain are all saying otherwise right now).

Personally, I'm choosing the former (win) rather than the latter (steaming pile of fail).

While searching my inbox for a completely different email, I stumbled across something that I wrote to Pickles back in 2010 after she had broken up with her boyfriend. This is what I wrote to her at the end of said email and in reference to my own relationship:

What we do have is an understanding, a verbal one, because we are not psychics or telepaths...I don't tell him everything because I have to, to create some sort of false sense of intimacy. I do it because I want to -- I want him to know what I want. I want to know what he wants. And should these things not be at least somewhere in the same ballpark, then I want to know. If it comes down to it, I want to part ways on good terms. I mean, not some bullshit "Let's be friends", but really, when it comes down to it know, "We are friends no matter what" -- relationship/sex or not. That's just a healthy way to communicate with another person.

Right now, that's all still way easier said than done, even though I still 100% believe in what I told my sister.

I've gone through a lot of changes, compressed into an astonishingly short amount of time. There's currently really nothing about my life now that resembles how it was when we first met. Truth be told, I don't even have to go back that far, just to this time last year. So many different pillars of my life were demolished this year (different job, end of immigration problems, severe roommate drama, new apartment, no more parents, and now no relationship).

Not all bad, mind you, but these aren't exactly minor things and they all happened in a span of about 3-4 months. And now the person, in whom I used to confide, can't really help me out of this particular jam. Not because he wouldn't if he could. He just can't and I can't expect him to.

That said, all is not lost. The pillars and walls and roof might be gone, but the foundation is still there.

Time to start building something new. be continued