I hesitated to post this, since this is so public. (I know, me and all five of you..) But, I just want to put it out there. I broke up with Christian about a month ago. In fact, it was a month ago, almost to the very day. And now, instead of Valentine's Day, I am celebrating Single's Awareness Day (SAD). All in jest though. I still adore Valentine's day and all the frills, pretty colors, and sweets that come with it. There is something about Valentine's day that just feels like a ray of warmth in the middle of winter. Somewhere between New Years Eve and the thawing of Spring that precedes Easter. And my birthday. :)
I know this is probably a shock for you, especially considering that Christian has been a huge part of my life for almost 3 years. You might be wondering to yourself, "But why?" I'll admit, it was a difficult decision for me to make. I got to a point where I felt like we were going in two different directions. Naturally he disagreed, so I shall say that I am going in a different direction. I have my life planned out. I'm almost 18, graduating highschool this spring, and receiving my college degree soon thereafter. I have dreams and goals of traveling and teaching English abroad, moving around, and experiencing life to the fullest. He's 16, also graduating highschool this spring, but afterward? He doesn't know. Not that being uncertain about your future is a bad thing. I certainly wouldn't expect every highschool graduate to know their plans for the future; and many do not. But I do. And I am going to chase it down to the ends of the earth.
I think this decision was a long time in coming. The idea had niggled at the back of my brain for six months or more. And in many ways, I had already moved on from the relationship before I broke it off. Several of my friends who'd talked to me in the months leading up to it said afterward that they saw it coming, though it was still surprising. Kind of like when Grandpa died. We all knew it would be any time now, he was so ill. But when it actually happened, it was still a shock.
There were a few instances that led up to my decision. Various conversations with my friends. My pastor told me, "Some people dream big dreams and never reach them, but I can tell you're one of those people who dreams big dreams and is gonna go get them. God is going to do big things through you." Then I was reading a book for school called A Northern Light. It's a historical mystery, but it's also the most beautiful story about a girl who lives in 1906 and dreams of going to college to become a writer. (Sound familiar?) But she has all these things stopping her: cultural expectaions and sterotypes, poverty, family obligations, promises, a fiance. And you know what happens in the end? (Spoiler Alert!) She walks away from all of it. She leaves it all behind and goes to college to pursue her dreams. She worked all summer and saved up the money and the final scene shows her boarding the train for New York. That story was so beautiful, I cried. I cried because I felt like a small part of me had given up a dream to be with Christian.
I began to realize that I couldn't let anyone or anything hold me back. I felt tethered in the relationship and un-supported in my endeavors. He didn't "get" me or the things I really cared about, like my art, or my poetry. An example that comes to mind-- I saw a super cute love poem performed at the local poetry slam and I really loved it. I thought it was so cute and it made me think of Christian, so I sent it to him, trying to do something sweet for him. Reaching out in my own way. He watched it and texted me afterward, "I don't get it." Trying to explain it killed the sweetness like explaining a joke kills the funny. Talking about my future plans was met with a lukewarm response. Roadtrips and Africa met with simply, "You're leaving me?" I don't know what I wanted him to say. Maybe an "I'm so happy for you! I know you will love it!" Or is that too selfish of me to ask?
These thoughts nagged my mind. The more I thought about it, the more uneasy I grew. Perhaps it was some of these conversations and realizations that caused me to distance myself more before I ended it. In the midst of a double throat and sinus infection, I was losing sleep at night thinking about it. I would be dreadfully alone without him. There would be a huge hole in my life for a while... But, and I am somewhat ashamed and sad to admit this, there was also the sensation of greatest freedom. My spirit is wild and restless and eager to fly. To soar through the clouds, unfettered by everything. I just think it's unfortunate that such a wonderful feeling should result from the end of a relationship, but such is life, sometimes.
My friends have been so supportive of me during this time. Though some have said things that really weren't the most helpful. Like, "Don't worry, the same thing happened to me when I was 19, and I am happily married to my husband for 10 years and I wouldn't ever go back. You'll find someone." (Someone actually said this to me.) I was a bit irked because at this point, I'm not really concerned about finding someone. I actually believe I would be perfectly happy to be single (an idea I explored back in September) as I declared to my mom, "I will be single forever and adopt African children!"
I don't know what the future holds for me, but I am so very excited about it! Words cannot describe the explosion of excitement I've experienced this week. I just feel filled with a sudden passionate vibrancy and enthusiasm for life. I have often been known for this enthusiasm before, but I feel like it has come back in full force. I feel so excited to live life and whatever God has planned for my future! I was reading in Ecclesiastes recently. It is a very depressing book of the Bible, proclaiming, "Meaningless! Everything in life is meaningless!" (I questioned my decision to read this book more than once in the initial chapters, because it was not very uplifting..) But, as it reached the end, right around chapters 7-9, it starts to shift and the attitude starts to change. In chapter 9, Solomon begins talking about death and how that is the fate of everyone. he says,
"Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun--all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in lif eand in your toilsome labor under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the grave, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom."
At first glance, this doesn't seem like it's saying a whole lot, but I found so much encouragement in it because I realized that he's saying that we should be living this life that God gave us to the very fullest because this is all we have.
Breakups are hard. There is no denying that. Even when you are the person who is doing the breaking up. But I really feel like this has rekindled a passion for life and sparked a spiritual revival for me. It's funny how God uses tough situations to draw us closer to Him. It's hard but effective. I can definitely mourn the absence of someone who has been a very important part of my life. But on the same note, I move forward with such a vivid excitement for the future and an eagerness for what God is doing that I know everything's going to be okay.