Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Breaking Up

Let's talk break ups. In the famous words of William Shakespeare, "They suck." 

Unlike ripping off a band-aid, it's almost never easy. Unlike ripping off a band-aid, the pain usually lingers. Sometimes you know it's coming; sometimes you might even know it's necessary, but you're never really fully prepared. Even when two people respect each other, there's always the distinct possibility that things will get messy - the reality of getting hurt.   

When relationships go bad, it's like the first time you rode the tea cups at Disney World. You thought, 'There's nothing less terrifying than brightly colored tea cups!' You looked around and realized that 90% of the people waiting in line were children. You shrugged your shoulders and decided to give it a whirl. Ten woozy seconds later, your head was in-between your knees, your eyes were squeezed shut - palms sweating puddles at your feet - and you were frantically trying to remember the names of all seven dwarves. If you just managed to keep it together until the tea cup slowed down, you might make it out alive. Who's idea was this, anyway?  

I'm always amazed that, even after the messiest of break-ups, we always try, try again. The human condition allows us to deal with painful experiences beautifully. Just like a physical accident: you'll see the scar, you'll remember being hurt, but you won't remember what it felt like to scrape your knee on asphalt. Your body gives you a small reprieve. That way, you won't be afraid of asphalt for the rest of your life, you'll just remember to be more careful. You learn a lesson and you move on, stitching yourself up as you go.

And yet, if you believe your connection to be deep, losing it is kind of like losing a limb. Especially when it doesn't turn out to be what you thought it was. I have, unfortunately, lost one of my limbs.

I am the big, bad Break Up Monster's most recent victim and, as much as I want to cry and yell and throw fragile things against solid surfaces, this is the first time I've ever wanted to respect and accept my ex's decision for what it is. It takes a lot of guts to admit that a relationship needs to end. Despite having missteps and making bad decisions before arriving here, perhaps that's what love is: braving a wounded ego when the truth needs to be told; being able to walk away without having to ruin what you had first. If we can say anything, it's that we definitely love each other.

I just wish that, sometimes, Bill hadn't been so right ... because everything about this sucks.