For someone as rootless as I am, the first thing I had to learn was to never get attached. Not to a person, not to a place. Nostalgia has no place in the life of a wanderlust.
It’s been a few years, but I’m slowly getting there. Yes, I still hurt. Heart still breaks. Tears still flow. Yet the emotions are less intense each time. I move on fast, forgetting the past, leaving the pain behind. I’ve had a fair bit of practice, which, as we all know, makes perfect.
People say to love like you have never been hurt before. I think it’s stupid, for I’m a great believer in self-preservation. Protect yourself; love yourself. Dampen the feelings, but don’t block them out. It’s art.
I’m grateful for my exes. Through pain I progressed – I’m the type who has to learn the hard way. D – not exactly an ex, but a guy who never reciprocated my love. Or maybe it wasn’t love, but I was convinced it was. I wanted him – wanted him to want me. Wanted to live happily ever after with him. I was naive, with no practical experience. Three wasted years, ignoring signs that he was uninterested, letting him string me along. I was his emotional tampon. I listened to him whine, bitch, moan. In the end, he didn’t even respect me as a person, as a friend. My heart shattered for the first time, loud and clear. A sharp, excruciating pain followed. This was when I realised I had to love myself first and foremost, because if I didn’t nobody would.
Then there was P. Physically speaking, he wasn’t my type. He was tall and slanky and most of all he was two whole years younger than me. I never thought I could fall for someone like this, but I did. Was it love this time round? To be honest I’m not sure anymore. It was a very passionate but short-lived affair. Controlled by hormones and blinded by lust, it’s no exaggeration when I say we fucked like rabbits. Day and night. Twice a day. Kissing, making out, thrusting, spooning. Him going hard, me going wet. Him on top, me on top. Doesn’t matter. Maybe it was the sex, the phremones, or the fact that I was now with someone whom I’d never thought I’d end up with. I genuinely saw him as “the one”. I told myself that one way or another we’d be together, somehow. So when he moved away after two months, I stupidly decided to go on a long distance relationship with him. Given that we were both terrible at communication, it inevitably ended in disaster. When he broke up with me four months later he said it was because he didn’t want to settle down just yet, and that he didn’t want to drag me along with him. In hindsight of course it was a fucking lie, but at the time I was devastated. I also thought maybe if I moved to the same city as him, we’d have a chance. So I did – perhaps not purely because of him, but he was a big factor. It was then that I discovered he’d already found someone else – he called her his soulmate – just two months after we’d broken up. I can’t prove it now but I suspect they’d started way before we were officially over. It killed me that while I was pining for him during the time we were apart, he was intimate with someone else. I instantly felt a knife slicing through my chest. I was inadequate, not good enough. I was never good enough.
P and that girl – her name is C – are still together as far as I know. I’m obviously completely over P now, as I met T shortly after P. You can read the full story here. Anyway, a bit about C. She is a professional make-up artist – voluptuous, Caucasian, everything I’m not. She looks a fair bit older than him, although I can never tell as she has an inch-thick layer of foundation on every time I see her (all three of us do Latin dancing, so I saw them quite often when I was in Brisbane). That’s not important, though. For some reason she looks to me to be the motherly type, which I think is exactly what he needs. I think she is probably better suited to dealing with him than I am. I hold no grudges against her. In fact, I wish them the best, truly. I’ve learned to forgive, and to know that relationships are fluid and ever-changing. I’m not angry he met someone else; I’m pissed off because he lied to me. After all that time, I believe I deserve some fucking honesty.
After P came T. And the unwanted pregnancy. And the abortion. Such memory, so distant yet so close. I’m finally able to see sex as what it is, that although it can be an expression of love it’s definitely not love itself. Total common sense, but it takes practice to fully grasp the concept. I’m no longer hung up on finding Mr Right, because nothing lasts and expecting things to is what brings disappointment. I’ve stopped trusting my gut – a transient connection doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything. I miss T – I’ll admit it. When I close my eyes I see him still. Smell his after shave, feel his touch, taste his tongue. I think about the first time we slept together, the second time, the time when we did it on the couch… I’m working on getting over him, but I’ve had no closure so it’s hard. At least this time I – we – ended things on a high note. No one had unrealistic expectations – no one tried to drag it on. I hope he is well. I hope he finds someone better than myself.
If you love someone, let them go. Let them find their happiness. Yes, I think I’m definitely getting there.