When my 10+ year relationship went south I initially felt lost and alone (among other less attractive emotions). Much of my day to day life had been centered on “us things” and, more often than not, “him things.” This was not entirely his fault. He may have relished the emphasis on him but I allowed the relationship to develop in that way. So, with him went the business associates (his), church community (his) and any “couple friends” we had made. In short, he got custody of our history. I had even moved from my community (only the next county over) to be geographically closer. This was supposed to be the next logical step. If we could make it work living in the same county then we would start making plans to be married (10 years - you can’t rush these things). So I went from a 7 minute commute to a 30 minute commute to a job I wasn’t particularly wild about anyway. (I mean, one of the few things it had going for it was the close proximity to my home).
I have wonderful, supportive family and friends but my compass suddenly disappeared and it took me a while to get my footing again. I started making phone calls and “circling the wagons.” I opted to attempt to take the “high road” and not spend hours upon hours vilifying My X or ruminating about the development of our relationship (although I have to admit, I did plenty of both in my head). Instead, I focused on reconnecting – finding out what they were doing, what they needed, what we could do together. Most of my friends didn’t know My X well because he didn’t make an effort to get to know them (see, sometimes I do veer off the high road into a ditch) so they didn’t miss him at all and certainly weren’t interested in hearing how I wanted him back. My family and friends rallied and I began to re-build my own life.
I’m not sure what the exact recovery time will be on a 10+ year relationship that never got beyond the dating phase. A year seems too long and I know two months isn’t long enough. But I am starting to regain my equilibrium. I have a strategy on the job front. I love the little condo I purchased so I will most likely make this new community mine over time. I plan to volunteer, serve on my neighborhood association board, continue the piano lessons I started earlier this year and reclaim my confidence.
But here’s the very best part. In the midst of all of this stuff, way down deep I kept hearing a little voice telling me I could be a writer. Maybe not a great American novelist but someone who expresses ideas in words that other people might be drawn to read. Initially I thought this was rational for dumping a tedious 8 to 5 “day job” – an escape fantasy. But I stumbled on an on-line creative writing class just after the “big breakup” that challenged me to write creatively and post to a discussion board for others to read. The instructor and students then provide positive feedback and support to each other. This experience has been a huge confidence builder. But, more importantly, I started to enjoy writing and I liked what I produced. And, I’m beginning to feel that being a writer isn’t as much a fantasy as it is a goal. The scary part is I know I wouldn’t have gotten here had I not lost my relationship.
Today I discovered that if I had to make a choice between regaining My X and writing for a living I would choose to write. Maybe two months is the right recovery time after all.