My Blog__ Ready to be Potty Trained: Breaking Up
I'm not good with break-ups, but who is? Even those rare people who are able to continue on completely unfazed and, irritatingly enough, are always "ready to take on new challenges" are simply good fakers. Good fakers with vomit for brains. I'm of a different school. The school that says you need to Step 1) grieve, Step 2) party your face off for a few weeks with friends who will not judge you for taking too many drugs or making out in public and then finally take on Step 3) relax, lay off the booze and spend the rest of your time focusing on yourself.
Even though I'm of this school, I've never really quite made it to Step 3. Whoops.
I recently broke up with my boyfriend of about two years. Let's be serious, he dumped me but we both knew it was coming. When you are with someone for long enough (and friends with them for even longer) you can read into so much as a change in the length of their finger nails - this usually has to do with finger banging techniques. You can tell when someone is looking for problems, when things get twisted, when your paths start to wiggle away from one another. It's only after the split happens that all these little nuisances become totally ignorable, or fixable, and a waste of time. Fuck that Janet Jackson song. Seriously.
Another thing about breaking up is that it's impossible to go cold turkey. The only way to complete this method is to do like the celebrity junkies: 90 days of detox/rehab or if you're not rich enough to afford to gallivant in an exotic land, ignore the person completely. I've never been one who can do this. Maybe it's because I savor my vices? When I tried to quit smoking I read that Alan Carr book and he said that the more emphasis and meaning you attach to certain cigarettes in the day, the harder it is to let go all together. The after dinner cigarette. The morning coffee cigarette. It's too bad relationships are often as predictable as a pack of Canadian Classics.
And besides, I'm a relapser which leads me to the problem of never being able to get to Step 3. While sitting at my neighbour Renee's place the other night, I cataloged (out loud) my relationship history since I had my first real boyfriend. I realized that I have not been truly single for seven years. Seven years. If I didn't hate exclamation marks so much I would have put about fifty there.
Relapsing is a part of breaking up. However, my relapse issues have not been with the one I just broke up with but instead going back to the ex-ex boyfriend. This cycle is vicious. A wise old man I know told me that when he was getting back together with his ex-wife his dad said, "What makes you think milk that went sour yesterday is going to be fresh in a week?" As much as this advice is beyond solid, it kind of abolishes any romantic ideals about "the one", which makes the fairy tale sector of my brain do a sad Emoticon face. Realistically, "the one" isn't about magic or glass slippers or any of that stuff. It's about two people making a decision to really work at it and not give up when things get rough. Running back to the comfort of an old, dirty half-butt dressed in my ex-boyfriend's clothing is never going to make things better. Step 3 is important and I think I'm finally willing and mature enough to go there now.
Relationships are risky. They are also a lot of fun - trust me, I love them so much I couldn't give them up for seven years. However being okay with yourself is something that is a must-learn. Kind of like reading or potty training. And I'll be damned if I end up a thirty year old illiterate woman who still shits on the floor.
Photo via Fuck You Very Much