This then, is what it’s like to break up with someone.
After mutually agreeing to break up about a month back, my brain had pretty much intellectualised everything it needed to. There was a logical loop that kept playing in my scenario, that whilst she had broken up with me because she didn’t have feelings anymore, she still needed time to let go because feelings don’t just go away.
In my situation, I was stuck in limbo. I respected her decision to break up with me, and yet, was I expected to return those residual feelings? As I said, it was a logical loop by which there can be no answer, or there is a clear answer. Microsoft Excel calls this a circular reference, whereby you can either have it say ERROR; or you can program the spreadsheet to refer to this reference as a value of “0”.
Either way you lose.
My heart took awhile to catch up. Intellectualising a situation is my self-defense mechanism. It provides some sort of structure, or Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to deal with disposable emotions. Things we don’t mean to say at the time. Some might call it being reasonable. While I hold that in high regard, it is also an incredible illusion of security. If you don’t address the heart in time, it will crumble under the house of cards built by your brain.
For me, one of the most arresting things that I had to deal with in my heart, was at how irrelevant I had become. Maybe this is self-imposed, but when I was in a relationship, I found meaning in the daily grind, because I was doing it to build a future with someone. When I met up with friends, it was as part of a healthy dichotomy between meaningful one-to-many and meaningful one-on-one relationships. When I indulged in my hobbies or personal pursuits, there was an added joy to share life’s victories with a loved one.
When you break up, there is no one to share that anguish with.
but lady epiphany
whispered a sweetness unto me
what i had always known
‘you’ll have to do this on your own’
So after a month of still having our Facebook statuses reflect our expired relationship, I pulled the plug. I told her my plan to do it, and then I did it. I didn’t wait for permission, and did it as an independent agent. Consequences be damned. I asked later, why she had left it there for so long, and at the end of the day, it’s sentimentality. While that’s understandable, it’s a terrible yoke to live under.
They call it the burden of hope.
So it scares me that I’ll be alone the rest of my life, or that I’ll never find a partner quite like her. But I’m not going to let fear issue me a rebound, or to keep me from ever loving again. It’ll take time, but I’d rather roll with the punches, take the hits, and learn along the way; than to say that I’d never been in the ring before.
When a colleague asked me how I felt today, since I was looking particularly stressed (It was work-related), I didn’t just smile stupidly and say everything was fine; but I told him exactly how I felt, with the point about being irrelevant. It was something to confront, and I’m glad I did.
I told him as well, that the analogy was like being in either the mid- or late-game of a Starcraft match (popular real-time strategy game), and it was that moment when you had just lost your base and most of your units, and you didn’t know if you should graciously bow out (gg) or try building another base for Round 2.
He understood exactly what I was saying, and he joked,
You’ve got too many SCVs (resource gathering unit) and not enough minerals (resources)
We laughed. True that. I have all my life to live, and the opportunity to schedule whatever I need in my life again. There are things I have to rebuild, and things I’ll need to readjust. Whatever. The important thing is to keep living. And if there’s a lesson, it’s this.
If you can be honest with yourself, you can be honest with someone else.
And perhaps vice versa.
I don’t know what the future holds, but whatever it is, I’ll go down swinging till my last breath. That’s the only reasonable and rebellious response to an uncaring world gone mad. I loosed one final salvo to her about how I was feeling at the time, and how it seemed like in this entire aftermath, it felt like she was the one who had everything she wanted for herself, and I was left with nothing. She apologised, and I understood.
In the end, I wished her well and hoped that she would find what she was looking for. And my last words were to her and to myself were,
I hope when you find what you’re looking for, and if I’m invited to your celebrations, my heart would have healed.