This was written in early February but I just realized I had never clicked publish and so now I am lol.
A few months ago I got out of an almost four-year relationship. It was my first relationship. It was real love and it was so much. We met in college, the week I moved back to NYC from Upstate NY. It was the first time that I felt affected by a person the second I saw them. I told my best friend about him before we even talked, talking about the beautiful man with the green eyes. We went to Texas together, to Martinique (my first vacation without my family), we tried tons of dollar pizza together and we were inseparable almost since we met. I had imagined what our kids would look like and Pinterest boarded our wedding.
It wasn’t meant to be through and it ended after four years, two of which we lived together. When we broke up we were living together which made it so hard and long, a break up that stayed with me every room I walked into. The week that we moved out of our apartment was the worst week of my life. It was the biggest wedding of the season and when I got home after midnight I found out there was a fire in the apartment above ours and black water rained from the ceiling. Everything smelled horrible and everything was stained black. I had two friend visiting from out of town and we slept on wet couches that night because it was too late to get a hotel. That was also the same night that I found out that my uncle passed away. We had to find somewhere new to live in about a week. Our breakup was long and lived in and by the end nonsensical. I couldn’t write it up if I tried and I couldn’t tell you why we broke up because it was a string of problems and moments. By the end, we had been fighting and in truces and fighting again and I felt completely traumatized. The break up seemed to be happening every minute of every day for weeks.
That week was hell. By the time I found somewhere new to live I was done. I was so over it and I felt such relief to be able to breathe alone. There was no one to fight with. There was no one to come home to besides me. My twin bed felt big because it was all mine. My body and mind was the beginning and end of everything. During the long and stressful break up I had felt so alone. One of my best friends wasn’t present as she was going through her own stuff and my other best friend lived upstate. My ex was not letting anything be peaceful and so in reaction to all the drama and pain we had been going through the past few months I shut off my feelings. I am able to make myself numb when my life gets too painful and I flung my self into that empty limbo to try and have some rest.
The thing I learned about breakups is that they aren’t over when they’re over. The feelings rush in and sway out like waves going in and out of the tide. Every time I thought it was over and I was doing well, moving on something would come back and anger me or come back and make me remember something good. I was not still, I was at the mercy of the waves of emotion that would smack the breath out of me.
The weirdest thing that I’ve been noticing now that I’m single is how big that word looms. There seems to be a before and an after. When I entered my first and only relationship I was just turning 18 and now when all has been said and done and said and done again I am 22 years old. I used to be just myself and now I am Tessa 22 years old and Single. I feel a certain pressure of being grown and alone. All the things that I wasn’t thinking about are now coming back as big black holes of problem. The part of my brain that was focused on the relationship was much bigger than I thought it was. It was large and had tendrils in everything, like an octopus that was growing in my brain and an anaconda that was squeezing and suffocating me until it was all-consuming. My thoughts were long monologues of stress for the future and the now, the future fights, and the current fights. I was at work but I was text fighting my ex-boyfriend. I was not feeling anything and then I was crying. I’m now trying to build an island, a place so far inland that no waves can reach me and grab me back underwater.
I feel that I’ve been becoming an adult for so long and in that process for so many years and now that I’m finally an adult it feels jarring and sudden. There are people my age who are parents and wives. I am so many things and it all still does not seem to add up to any sort of stability. I can’t tell you where I’ll be in five years though I can easily tell you where I want to be. How to get there? I haven’t the slightest clue.