Circles

“Are we really having this conversation again.” 
“We’re just talking in circles.” 
“I feel like there’s something you want me to say but I’ve already said everything.” 

Life feels like it’s moving in the weirdest and most wonderful zigzagging pattern of growth and new beginnings. I don’t sleep more than 5 or 6 hours most nights. I’m constantly on the subway, running from the Heights to the Upper East to the Meatpacking to Queens and back. Half of the time I’m home for a stretch in the afternoon so I can food prep and make myself healthy meals, and the other half I’m scarfing down a Cliff bar and a seltzer after a long workout, hoping that sustains me for my three hours on the gym floor picking up 50lb dumbbells that the meatheads leave everywhere. Sometimes the thought of standing on my tired feet for 8-hour shifts at the store makes me want to cry. Sometimes the thought of working 7 days a week for the foreseeable future makes me want to cry harder.

But as stressful as everything is, the second I walk into the gym, and walk into the store, that all floats away. All of a sudden I remember how badly I wanted this, to be working my way from the bottom into something that I love. I start having fun, something I’m not used to at work. I’m excited to work and learn and the people I work with are concerned with following their own dreams and being happy, not stepping over each other to do better and make more. For literally the first time in my adult life I’m doing something that I love and I’m so happy when I’m doing it. Most of the time when I tell people about it they’re really excited for me. But their future isn’t directly connected to mine, and so they can be excited about the big picture without experiencing the little details.

The little details, like how I’m rarely home before 10 and usually am out the door by 4am. Details like how instead of feeling down because I’ve been staring at a computer screen all day I’m feeling sore because Barry’s Bootcamp with my coworkers just kicked my ass. And the little details like how talking about the future used to consist of “whens” instead of “ifs.”

Lately conversations are moving in circles. They start with normal topics, like “how was your day?” and “what’s the plan for tonight?” and they end with words like “I just need to get over it” instead of “I’m here for you.” When I think things are calming down I say something hoping for an adult conversation and it ends with me crying and refusing to speak, and then I feel awful because everyone feels awful. When you make a really big change, it affects everyone around you, and unfortunately how they react can permeate your opinions as well.

I don’t know. This whole post seems like circles. Something is upsetting me but there’s literally no way to make it better. It doesn’t feel any better to get it out on paper than it does to talk about it in circles again, but then again it does help to have it written out in front of me. Time should make it all better. It should. I hope it will.

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A Story, One Year Later

I was running late this morning, stepping on the subway around 8am instead of my usual no-later-than-7:45. At first I was slightly annoyed with myself, as it’s a busy time at work (so basically, business as usual) and I’d wanted to stop at Starbucks for a coffee before the line reached epic proportions, but all of my annoyance rapidly disappeared when I heard the familiar voice over the subway system wishing us all a good morning – my favorite conductor was back! I haven’t heard his voice since one random morning back in November, and before that, since…

It hit me at that moment that the last time he’d been narrating my morning schedule was just about one year ago, when everything in my life was different. I don’t mean the obvious things – less tattoos, longer hair, different job – but the thing that probably shaped my last year more than anything else. This time last year there was a story playing out in my life that had every hint of a happy ending, but instead. Well, let’s just say instead. I’ve never told this story in its entirety here, but it’s one of those stories I’ve wanted to tell for a long time, and now feels like a good moment to get the words out of my head once and for all.

It all started in mid-April of last year, when a red jacket caught the corner of my eye one day while waiting for my typical morning train, hoping I’d catch the one where the conductor wishes you a “beautiful morning.” It was an interesting jacket on what turned out to be a really cute guy, waiting on my subway platform. I entertained the brief funny thought of “what if I met someone on the subway?” and smiled to myself at the ridiculousness of such a notion before pulling out one of my many back issues of Vogue or Vanity Fair that I’d been working to catch up on, having let them pile up for probably four months. My favorite conductor was running things that morning, and in between his cheerful “Good mornings!” at each stop, I stole a few glances at the cute guy; my imagination took over with a few “what ifs” and “wouldn’t it be funnys,” and then he got off the train one stop before I did, and I went back to my magazine, prepared never to see him again, not like I’d recognize him if I did – after all, how many subway strangers do we encounter on a daily basis in this city?

I walked down the steps the next morning, trying not to trip over myself as I pulled out the Vogue and flipped to the dog-eared page to keep reading, when I looked up and saw a flash of a red sleeve in the corner of my eye as I walked to my normal standing spot on the train. “Strange coincidence,” I thought, looking at him quickly again and happily confirming that he was, in fact, still cute. I buried my nose back in the magazine and spent the next three weeks doing the exact same thing every morning. I would walk to the train, either see him immediately and try to strategically position myself “close but not obviously close” so that we’d stand near each other on the train, or get there first and stare down the train tunnel, hoping that when the train doors open he’d appear like he did sometimes, having arrived after me; always my nose was buried in a back issue and we never said a word or even looked at each other, or at least he never caught me staring, so I thought. One morning we were standing next to each other and I tripped into his arms on a jerky train movement, better than if I’d planned it. Embarrassed, I looked at him and apologized breathlessly, but he just smiled and went back to the game on his phone, so I was convinced this crazy crush I was rapidly developing was entirely in my head.

In early May last year, one of the cool spring mornings that turn into a hot afternoon, I realized I was out of magazines. Out! I went to start hunting for my Kindle or a book, but stopped myself after a minute. “Maybe,” I let myself think, “this is the morning he’ll say something.” I was too much of a chicken to make any sort of move, especially because I was still positive it was all in my head, but I let myself play into the “What If” like a teenager dreaming about the magical love story that we learn as adults only exists in Nicholas Sparks novels. I remember exactly what I was wearing that day: my favorite ankle boots that are just tall enough and an at-that-time new maxi dress that I knew looked fantastic. In my last minutes of “should I find a book or not” that morning, I was running a few minutes late, and came down the stairs just in time to see the train arriving; without any time to look for him I got myself to the nearest door and waited for it to open, when out of the corner of my eye, I saw The Child notice me at the door and quickly turned to hide his smile. “Holy shit,” I thought, walking into the train and somehow finding myself next to him, holding the same pole and feeling electric with a nervous energy, “this might not all be in my head.”

We rode the train in silence for the entire ride. He kept trying to catch my eye and smiling, and I was furiously biting my lip trying to suppress my own smile, unable to focus on solitaire on my phone, barely able to look anywhere except my own arm holding the subway pole. We finally pulled into his stop, and I saw him turn towards me, which was not the easiest way for him to get off the train. My heart started pounding, pounding, pounding like a warning, and I heard the buzz of the doors open. I finally looked over at him and he was staring right at me with a smile on his face. He started to walk past me out the door, when he stopped, put his hand on my shoulder, leaned into my ear and said “So I’ll see you tomorrow?” I laughed then, pure joy and relief and something I still can’t define, and told him “I’ll see you tomorrow.” That was it for the first day – we didn’t exchange names, or numbers, or anything other than those words.

I won’t get into the details of the next two months. I don’t want to relive the first two weeks where he said all the right words, how we were in constant contact, hungry to learn anything and everything about the other person as quickly as possible. I don’t want to think any more about our impromptu first date, a walk through the entire city one Tuesday night holding hands, and our first kiss on the corner of 17th and Broadway, or the twelve-hour date where he met my friends and my brother, and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to have found him. I don’t want to relive the first time he said just three words to me and how things felt like they were perfect, perfect, things couldn’t get any better or feel any more right. I don’t want to remember how immediately everything changed one Friday night where I left work early to put on makeup and change out of my ripped jeans and he blew me off the whole weekend, 72 hours of silence without an explanation and never an apology. And more than anything I don’t want to think any more about every morning before that day on the subway where he’d put his arm around me and kiss me before walking off the train, and whisper in my ear “I’ll see you tomorrow?” every single time, even if we had plans later that night.

I hadn’t thought about him in months, having long deleted every trace of him from my life after he abruptly left Manhattan for good without saying a thing to me, until I walked onto the train this morning and saw a cute guy walking towards the same door. I had a brief moment of “What if” before cutting that thought short, reminding myself that I’ve done the subway thing and I’ve learned my lesson, to be sure. He ended up standing next to me that whole train ride, and I found that I couldn’t stop reminiscing about this time last year, the exact week before everything started going downhill. It’s true once you notice something that it’s everywhere; now that he’s been on my mind again, if briefly, I keep seeing things around the city that remind me of him, like his haircut I could pick out of a crowd with ease, or his glasses, and there was a moment while writing this post that I had a flashback to the look he would give me on the train when things were still wonderful. It’s the only time in my life anyone has ever looked at me that way and it took months to forget how that look made me feel.

I had a version of this story written in my drafts folder last spring, a complete draft, waiting for the perfect moment to share the Adorable Love Story for the Adorable New Couple, and everyone would get to experience my happiness at no longer being single in the city, and how cute that the girl with the NYC Skyline tattooed on her arm met a boy on the subway. Instead I had to slowly delete bits and pieces until there was nothing left, no trace of his promises anywhere, not in my phone, not in my blog, not in my life. I suppose it’s silly then, to put the good parts, the early story of Us out there now, but it felt important to get the words out of my head once and for all. Plus, I’ve come to realize that I don’t mind reminiscing about the good parts of what happened. It was a great story for a period of time, and in the end I came out a stronger person. He was the first in a trio of men in my life last year to say a lot of things without meaning a single one of them, and he is the one that really instigated my not wanting to date this year. But he also taught me to open myself up to the chance of love again, and instead of dwelling on what went wrong, one year later I want to remember that there are good things out there, if you just take a moment to look up.

Tangible, Real, and Entirely Mine

I ambitiously set my alarm a few minutes earlier than usual on Tuesday morning, hoping that was the motivation I needed to get out of bed and go straight to the mat for an early-morning yoga flow. I’ve been slacking lately on morning yoga, not because I’m not awake, but because I’ve been taking my time around meals during Whole30, using the precious few extra minutes from excluding yoga to prepare and enjoy breakfast instead of hastily shoving it in my mouth while running out the door. Tuesday morning was different, though, marking a day that I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. Much as I wanted to throw my phone when it started the early morning ritual of vibrating violently until it wakes up the cat, who then claws my face until I make it stop, I managed to shut off the alarm with just a hint of a sigh, roll out of bed, grab one of my yoga mats and unravel it on to the floor, smiling at the routine that felt so foreign just one year ago.

Something I really appreciated in my previous relationship is that we didn’t celebrate anniversaries. It’s not to say that I didn’t know the day we started “dating” (it was college, exact terminology is muddy), because I’m a girl and obviously I knew, but we never made a big deal about another year passing. The date itself was fairly close to Valentine’s Day, so we sort of rolled the two together: every year he bought me lilies, my favorite, and we went to the same restaurant for the seafood tower and the amazing hazelnut-banana ice cream monstrosity. It was clichéd, but cute, and I appreciated that we never made a big deal out of the anniversary itself. I think anniversaries are sweet of course; it’s lovely to celebrate something that makes you happy, or remember something you hope never to forget, but outside of the anniversary of my birth (which is basically a national holiday*), I’ve never been terribly preoccupied with exact anniversary dates, preferring instead the general time frame as a casual acknowledgment that yet another year has gone by.

It’s hard at times to see progress in life in the short time span of a year; progress is fickle and subjective, working in your favor at times and working against you in others. You could take a look at my life on the one hand and think that nothing has really happened in the past year: I’m still in the same apartment, I’m technically still working in the same position, and I’m still very single. But when you start peeling back the layers, it gets trickier. My apartment has been painted and I’ve finally put in the first order for grown-up furniture, starting with the most important upgrade from a full-sized bed to a queen. I’ve moved jobs, and while I’ve dated here and there in the past year, 2015 is the year of LB, no distractions, no empty promises from boys masquerading as men, just me. So is that tangible growth, noticeable progress, something I can feel proud of? Maybe. Or maybe not. It depends on who you ask.

When I woke up on April 21, 2014, I remember running my hand through my freshly-dyed red hair, still getting used to no longer seeing a blonde in the mirror as I had my entire life. I remember grabbing a hair tie and making my way into the living room, where I unrolled my as-then never-been-used yoga mat, releasing a faint hint of new rubber into the cool spring air, and searched “Yoga Challenge” on YouTube, hoping to find something that would keep me motivated for the next month to work out. I remember feeling so awkward in all the poses at first, holding my breath when things were difficult and trying to keep up with the instructor, who seemed so impossibly flexible that I almost quit halfway through the twenty-minute workout. I didn’t pick up yoga because I wanted to learn how to do splits and backbends and headstands; I didn’t have any ambitions to use the practice as a way to calm the anxiety that’s plagued me for years, never imagined that yoga would be an integral tool in finally kicking anorexia to the curb. On April 21, 2014, after I made it through the first video (barely), the only thing I really wanted from yoga was to be able to touch my toes.

When I woke up on April 21, 2015, I ran my hair through my desperately-in-need-of-a-touch-up red hair that fades to pink, and pulled it into the familiar top bun, laughing at the emerging blonde roots, a memory that feels both so recent and so long ago. I picked my favorite mat from the now four that I own, and turned on one of my many yoga playlists, letting the music run through me while I breathed through a flow that I made up as I went along, finishing with a backbend sequence and practicing forearm stands, which I’m finally getting the hang of after months of serious practice. I lay in savasana on my mat, taking a few minutes to enjoy the quiet of the low music and the calm of my mind, ignoring the chirp of my phone with my daily bank account summary update, reminding me to put money away this week for yoga teacher training next year. When I stood up from that final rest, feeling refreshed and ready to tackle anything, I smiled a little and added one extra stretch: resting my hands flat on the floor behind me, grabbing my toes on the way down, just for fun.

This isn’t the first big “milestone” anniversary that I’ve talked about on this blog – one year in Washington Heights in March 2014, one year single this past November – but it’s the first one where I feel like I can look back and there is real, tangible progress. I can get into splits, and backbends, and headstands. I can see the change in my body, always slim but infinitely more powerful, now that it’s been nurtured in the past year with good food and positive energy. My life looks similar but is so radically different from where I was a year ago due entirely to yoga. Yoga has given me an ambition I never knew I had, it’s given me a positive goal and a continuous path towards improvement. Yoga has made me simultaneously more confident and more humble, it’s taught me to celebrate the little victories instead of dwelling on the “if only” that can shadow any accomplishment. In the past year, I’ve had my heart broken by a Child and let myself fall in a low kind of love with a weekend and the idea of What If. I’ve struggled professionally and I’ve struggled personally, I’ve had days where I feel like I’m flying and days where it takes every piece of me just to get out of bed without falling apart. But I’ve had yoga through all of this encouraging me, waiting for me on the days I just couldn’t bring myself to get on the mat, and cheering me on from the first day I touched my toes, through this morning, where I held a forearm stand with almost a semblance of ease.

Tuesday celebrated the day where I finally found something I didn’t even know was missing, a piece of me that’s as essential as my nose or my red hair. It’s no seafood tower and hazelnut dessert, and I didn’t come home to lilies after a long day at work on Tuesday, just little miss sleeping under my yoga mat. But it’s the most powerful anniversary of any that I’ve celebrated, exact, approximate or otherwise, because it’s the first time I’m celebrating growth in my life which comes solely from decisions, choices and actions that are entirely personal. So happy anniversary, yoga. Thank you for changing my life so completely, thank you for taking the parts of me I disliked for so long and giving me confidence, focus, ambition, direction and so much more. Thank you for finding me when I so desperately needed something to give me something to feel good about in a life that felt like it wouldn’t stop dealing punches like playing cards. Here’s to the first year together, and to every year to come.

The light in me recognizes and honors the light in you. Namaste.

*And actually, my birthday does fall on a National Holiday this year, so thanks Obama!!

And I sighed.

There are these moments in life where your mental guard slips for just a moment, and you think something you immediately regret. Much as I know that no one else is listening to my inner commentary, I still feel guilty when my mind comes up with “Chivalry isn’t dead bitch, do not fight me for that spot” while eyeing an empty seat on the subway at the same time as someone else, or “Is she aware of what she looks like in a crop top?” while wandering around the Heights. This usually happens when I’m tired, or annoyed, or some combination of the two; the concrete wall that keeps negative thoughts at bay falls down for just a second, just enough for the words to slide through. Sometimes the thoughts are a little funny, frequently they’re a lot offensive, but most of the time I forget eventually that such a thought crossed my mind, and I move on, no harm. Sometimes, though, something crosses my mind when I’m least expecting it, when I’m really happy or really content, and all of a sudden the mental guard slips and I’m stuck with a thought that isn’t offensive, or funny, and it stays with me, stays far past its welcome and far past the time I want to devote to that feeling.

It was one of the rare times when we were all together, all seven of us, and it was perfect. I watched the way they talked about the future with a carefree ease, next week, next month, next year. How they’d smile at each other when everyone was looking and how that smile changed when the others were turned. We were all running around mad with details, colors, styles, dates, locations, and they were smiling, completely relaxed, like it was the most natural thing in the world to be so calm and ready, while the rest of us couldn’t stop for excitement. And in those moments, when they were talking like that and smiling like that, I had to stop and catch my breath for a minute as my heart skidded, because that was the split second the big wall around me crumbled, and I sighed and thought I want that.

And sometimes there are moments where we’re all together, just the three of us or all six of us, and it’s perfect. We’re all laughing and carefree attitude, enjoying this time in our lives for exactly what it is, celebrating anything with a glass of wine and a crazy night out. Sometimes in the midst of the crazy or in a quiet moment downtown, I’d turn and see him giving her this look, that look, and remember how new this all still is. She’d catch him staring sometimes, and return a secret smile or a wink, a brief shared moment for just them. And in those moments, when they shared that small yet infinitely powerful exchange, I had to stop and catch my breath for a minute as my heart faltered, because that was the split second the big wall around me crumbled, and I sighed and thought I want that.

It’s been a year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, since I stood up from his bed where I’d spent so many nights for the last time, tears streaking my face like a summer thunderstorm, unrelenting and messy and powerful. It’s been a year since I leaned in for the final kiss, a year since I said “I love you” and he just said “Okay” as I left his apartment for the very last time. Somewhere in this year I stopped playing the previous four over and over, somewhere I stopped wondering what he was doing all the time. Somewhere in here it stopped being so painful to see his name in my gchat, on social media, and somewhere in here I stopped hoping to run into him each time I’d find myself by that apartment. It’s been a year, 12 months, 365 days, since starting life on my own, really on my own, for the first time, and it’s been the craziest year of my life. And today, as I felt myself falling into memories and a sweet nostalgia of that time, and that LB, I had to stop and catch my breath for a minute as my heart clenched, because in that split second the big wall around me crumbled, and I sighed and thought I miss that.

I wouldn’t change anything about the past year, the roller coaster of learning experiences and PLDs, and I wouldn’t change anything from that day, 365 days ago, 52 weeks ago, 12 months ago, a year ago, because I’m not that person anymore and I’m sure he’s not either. I wouldn’t change anything about my life right now, wouldn’t give up the nights alone with little miss and a bottle of wine, wouldn’t trade weekend yoga and a run in the park for those mornings snuggling on the couch, watching The Sopranos and reciting along, fat with bagels from the same place and a comfortable love. But I couldn’t stop that thought from entering my head, couldn’t stop looking at the Maybes and I Wonders, and for a minute I let that thought seep into every single memory from the past year, blurring the edges with a powerful image of how different things could have been. It’s in these moments, with these thoughts, that I have to steel myself to raise the mental gates again, lest the split second of weakness force the whole foundation to fall.

But as that forbidden thought crept uninvited into my head, I felt my phone buzz with a funny message from my lovely friend M, the only other person awake this early on a Saturday, and I smiled, wide, the kind of smile attached to memories of spontaneous trips and nights out that turn into mornings. And all of a sudden I was overcome with how much really has changed in such a short period of time, in just 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months, a year. I’m so curious about what another year will bring in this life I’ve been building since I had to learn how to schedule around my time and not somebody else’s. And as I started to think about the upcoming year of weddings and surprises, of trips, concerts and all of the PLDs, I had to stop and catch my breath for a minute as my heart swelled, because in that split second I forgot I built a wall around me one year ago, and I sighed and thought I’m good.

The life of a sister wife.

The next person who dates me is pretty screwed. Not only do they need to impress my family, which consists of a former state police officer, heavily-involved-in-my-personal-life mother, protective older brother who lives across town and twin sister, but they need to impress my sister wife and husband as well. Confused? I’ll explain.

sisterwives

Okay, it’s not quite like this.

In normal relationships, it’s a requirement to impress the family, but it’s convenient to impress the friends. Not that a relationship can be successful if the person’s friends actively hate you, but you can politely keep your distance at social events and choose not to hang out one-on-one to maintain a semblance of acquaintanceship. While it’s absolutely not negotiable that my family approves of anyone I date, I’ve always managed to get by if a few of my friends weren’t enthusiastic about the person. However, after leaning on friends more than usual over the past crazy year, there are a few in particular that are no longer allowed to “accept” any relationship, but will have to “approve” before I’d consider even the possibility of getting serious with someone.

My lovely friend M and I have been friends since I moved to the city, but have known each other since college. To try and describe her as my “best friend” doesn’t do all the nights in the past few years where I ugly-cried on her couch as she fed me whiskey and her incredible homemade meals, justice. She knows more about me than I know about myself sometimes, and her presence in my life has made me a stronger and more responsible (well, mostly)  person. Even better, she comes with another half. I’ve actually known N longer than I’ve known M, and have had more fun with him goading her on in the years we’ve all been in New York. It’s like a ritual, our friendship: M and I talking too quickly about too many things, N offering sage advice laced with innuendo, each of us riling the others up to the point of frustration and then collapsing on the ground in laughter, immature and carefree and wonderful.

We live within 11 blocks of each other, go to the same gym (frequently together) and have been known to experience separation anxiety after 4 days apart. I’ve never once felt like a third wheel when it’s just the three of us hanging out, largely because we’ve all grown together since college and beyond. I was there for them in their brief break up a million years ago, and their apartment was the first place I went after my break up, where N gave me something to numb the pain and let me cry on their couch until I couldn’t anymore.

M, dancing with snowflakes. N in the background drawing penises on cars.

M, dancing with snowflakes. Not shown: N in the background drawing penises on cars.

After the break up, I practically moved into their apartment, helping M with the cleaning and laundry, and helping N with his work. What started as a joking apology (“Sorry I’m turning into your sister wife”) has come to identify our bizarre but wonderful relationship. Spending time with them has given me seriously high standards in terms of what I want and deserve in a relationship – someone you can share anything with, no matter how embarrassing, or scary, or very, very personal (Aside: sometimes too personal, guys. Anecdotes about bathroom habits, while definitely funny, should probably have a line somewhere. End aside).

I was afraid that my relationship with them would change once we couldn’t double date anymore, or that I’d lose myself in single life and neglect my friend because her boyfriend should and will always come first. And sure, there have been a few adjustments to us in the past few months, but it’s all been so, so positive. Someday, maybe I’ll find someone who fits into our crazy marriage, weird anecdotes and all. In the meantime, I’m content to spend time in our (fine, their) king-sized bed, whether it’s Monday television dates or weekend laundry day.

Happy birthday hubs – I’ll leave the presents to your other wife.

The Dilemma.

Hearts floating away.

Setting sun and hearts and hearts

I had a revelation this week while reading the first few entries in this blog and marvelling that I haven’t given posting up yet. Not that my intentions aren’t in the right place, it just took me 2 years to learn Twitter and 3 to learn Instagram, so I assumed I’d need at least till I was 30 for a good blog. But I digress.

Every relationship in ours lives, whether romantic, friendly, professional or the special, special bond we as humans have with Nutella, teaches us lessons. Through all of those relationships, I’ve learned how to act and how not to act in social settings, how to react to stinging comments with a shred of grace and how to hurl insults like weapons, hell-bent on maximum destruction. And yet, in such a space like this, where I share the results of my vast experience with Poor Decision Making, it’s easy to skip the lessons I may have taught others to focus on my own journey. I’ve been trying to find a way to write this post to emphasize that there are always two sides to a story, and always so many lessons to learn, but I’ve hit a dilemma that I’m having a problem overcoming.

Translation: I don’t want to paint myself as the victim of my last relationship. I made plenty of mistakes too. 

I’ve written, and rewritten, and read over and deleted, all of these words, trying to find the right way to show that this may be my space, but I won’t pretend I’m perfect. I tried giving a history of how that relationship shaped me, in ways both good and bad. Rifling through those memories ended up being a bit too much, both in the amount of words needed to explain my questionable actions and decisions; and in what content I was actually comfortable sharing. I tried refraining from telling the parts of the story that directly involved him, focusing only on my actions and motivations, but there’s no point in sharing “I was acting like a spoiled child, demanding attention, sulking when I wasn’t his sole focus” if I can’t tell you why we were fighting, or how that silly fight he definitely doesn’t remember helped me to be a better girlfriend. I’ve tried, and tried, and tried, but the words I find are all too invasive, too personal, too much.

Sometimes, I forget that my stories and my lessons aren’t mine alone. I share them with someone, who, despite likely not reading or even caring about this blog, doesn’t have the chance to tell me “no, don’t share that” or “I’d rather keep that private.” I also don’t want friends, strangers, internet people, anyone, thinking that I’m this hapless female, driven wild by a relationship where I did Everything Right and he is Wrong and I saved everything by walking away. The best I can do is to say that we all make mistakes, and we all move on, or hope to at least.

I suppose this is a silly post, and possibly didn’t need to be uploaded. But if nothing else, playing fair is one of the most important lessons we’ve ever learned, any of us. It didn’t feel fair to continue writing words for anyone without considering a particular someone.