28 October 2017

Will I Ever Feel Whole Again?

“Sometimes the hardest part isn't letting go but rather learning to start over.” ~ Nicole Sobon, Program 13
So we moved in the beginning of September.  I had gone to the Philippines during the last part of August to visit my mom who had been sick with pneumonia for most of the summer, and almost immediately after I stepped back down on U.S. soil, I was moving residences for the first time in four years.

I wanted to move.  I needed to move.  Or so I thought.  I had been holding onto my last relationship as though he were my lifeline, and I had thought that moving away from the area where he lived would close the door to him forever.  And in many ways, it has, and although I had not convinced myself that I had already done so, in actuality I had already moved on from him, and moving away from him had actually reopened old wounds.

Go figure.

I walk these old streets and remember the times, in the beginning days of our relationship, when he and I would walk these same roads.  I spy the window of my old apartment, and I can see my face there, looking out from that same fourth floor window with anticipation and excitement, as I used to look out for his car.  Today, I walked around the neighborhood and a cold breeze blew past, and I was suddenly carried back to the time I stood outside my old apartment building and he and I had our first kiss with the crisp Autumn air blowing on our necks.

I pass by a Costa Rican chicken shop almost every day, and it reminds me every time of the trip he and I took to Costa Rica.  And when I hear the sirens from the nearby firehouse, I remember the nights I used to visit him at the firehouse because we both hated spending the nights away from each other while he worked.

Moving away from him has actually made me miss him again, with a fierceness that I never experienced when I was living in the house that we once shared.  I feel an emptiness inside me that nothing has been able to fill, and I have once again sunk into a dark and lonely abyss of depression and helplessness.

27 September 2017

Reaching for a Star

“All these years I've had a story in my mind, the story about us that never really existed. And because of that story, I've kept you framed up on the wall in a little box of nostalgic moonlight.” ~ Cathleen Schine, The Love Letter
You and I went away once, to Puerto Rico - a Wednesday through a Sunday kind of trip.  We were not alone though.  We had a whole group traveling with us, mixed genders, but no actual couples.  We were all merely friends, vacationing together under the warm sky of Puerto Rico.

Our friend, P, had a sweet deal with the hotel.  The Ritz Carlton, no less.  Our group of nearly twenty, divided among five rooms, for about $25 a night.

I stayed close to you, like a shadow.  I made sure to be paired in the same room as you, and when it came time to choose a partner for the scooters we rented, I made sure that you had no choice but to pick me to ride behind you.  I held onto you as we rode through Old San Juan, and as we passed through the cobblestone streets, I had wished that you were mine.

At night, we ate and drank, laughed and danced, and talked as if there no were yesterdays or tomorrows.  We swam in the hotel pool and walked on the beach.  We took pictures together, our smiles framed by the gorgeous backdrop of Puerto Rico.  

Sunday came too soon, and it was time to leave and go back to reality.  On our last day, we stopped at El Yunque, and you took pictures of me and our friend, M.  You even gave me your photo roll and asked me to develop the photos.  When I picked up the photos, I saw that you had taken several shots of me.  My heart swelled with happiness.

But we were back home.  While the magic and chemistry still flowed strongly through me, it had all but left you.  You were distant and far, and I knew then that I could never have you.  

We remained friends throughout the years, but mostly because I persisted and kept maintaining contact.  You were simply too polite to just not respond.  

I contacted you recently, after having lost touch for many years.  We texted briefly about the trip we took in Puerto Rico.  You had mentioned that it was a great, memorable trip.  And just like when we had returned from Puerto Rico, you became distant, and just like before, I was left wondering why.  

You are like that bright star in the sky, the one that hangs low, so low that one could almost feel as though they can reach you, but just like all the other stars in the sky, I can aim to reach you, but I will never actually be able to catch you.

10 August 2017

Time to Move On

“I always feel as if I'm struggling to become someone else. As if I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I suppose it's part of growing up, yet it's also an attempt to re-invent myself. By becoming a different me, I could free myself of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself - as long as I made the effort. But I always hit a dead end. No matter where I go, I still end up me. What's missing never changes. The scenery may change, but I'm still the same old incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I think that lack itself is as close as I'll come to defining myself.” ~ Haruki Murakami, South of the Border, West of the Sun
I decided that I will move.  Again.  The home that I built for myself and for G, was a home that I built when I was still in love.  It was a home that I furnished and filled with love back when I still had dreams of a future with my ex.  Now that that dream is no more, I have new dreams, new goals and new desires.  It is only fitting that I move onward and forward, and let go of everything that still ties me to the past, and to him. After all, I never really wanted to move there.  I had a beautiful pre-war, rent-control apartment that I gave up in order to move in with him, in his hometown.  Before a year had passed, he had managed to cheat on me and get the other woman pregnant.  G and I were left alone in our new apartment, tucked away in a suburban borough, and far away from where we were accustomed.  I felt like a cornered lamb, defenseless in a foreign cage, with nowhere comforting to run.  He had baited us to leave our city life with promises of a loving suburban home, and once we were settled and finally felt at home, he took out the butcher knives, and hacked away at our dreams and trust, and we were left like cut up little pieces of anguish and heartbreak.

Because we are strong, we managed to make the best of our lives, and to triumph, despite it all.  G has managed to become one of the top students in her class, and I have similarly advanced in my career.  The hurt and ache only drove us to strive harder.  But, it is time to let go of everything and start anew.  If she and I were able to succeed in spite of all the negative forces surrounding us, how much more prosperous we could be if we left all that behind us.