Love

Love After Love

It’s been a few weeks. Maybe a month. My apologies – I’m terrible at keeping up!

However, there’s something that I’ve been dying to write about – because this is my space – my internet journal, if you will – and I need to write it down as an insurance policy, in case I ever forget.

Since my ex, I’d been anxiously pondering what love would feel like after the first one. After the first heartbreak. Would I remember what it felt like? Would it feel the same? Would I be scared?

Well, on our anniversary last month, The Drummer told me he loved me. It was something I wasn’t expecting, but I was ready for. Prior to our anniversary, people started asking me if I loved him. I told them I didn’t know – mostly because I didn’t want to say it out loud. I didn’t want to jinx it. My ex was the first and only person I ever said I love you to- I said it first – and dammit, I swore I’d never say it first again. For several months I’d been quietly looking at the Drummer while we’re laying in bed together and just thinking the words in my head.

I love you.

But I refused to say it out loud. I didn’t need to. I knew how I felt, and not saying it was okay. Because showing it matters more.

But low and behold, on our anniversary night when I was about to fall asleep, I asked him to give me a hug and kiss goodnight because he wasn’t tired yet.

He laid down and looked at me.

You know I love you, right?

What? Huh? Yeah, I know.

….Wait, did you say you loved me?

Yes!

I honestly thought I didn’t hear him right. I didn’t want to respond without being 100% sure I heard him right. Of course, I told him I loved him too. Because I do. Every bit of him. He’s been the kindest, sweetest man, and has treated me better in this little-over-a-year that anyone has treated me in my entire lifetime. We aren’t perfect – but we’re happy. And affectionate. Yet have the perfect amount of space between us to the point where we always miss each other. It’s absolutely lovely.

And in that moment – in that few seconds where our hearts were all laid on the table, or the bed if you want to be technical, I knew it was possible. Yes, Lara. You are able to love again. And it’s real – and true – and genuine. And because of that moment and this relationship I will always remember my capacity to love does not end with one person. To many, that may not be a big surprise but to me it means the world.

I am the proof, my friends. Feeling love after such a tremendous heartbreak is possible. And to answer some of my own questions, it feels the same and different all at the same time. The same because when I look at him I want to just melt with happiness, but different because it’s a more mature kind of love. It’s a more appreciative love. Because I know nothing in this life is every promised to us and we don’t know what tomorrow brings. I refuse to go to bed angry, or leave without telling him I love him, or even without thanking him for something simple like getting me a glass of water. It’s so important to do those little things because that’s what keeps love alive.

Love is a verb. It’s an action. And just because you feel it for someone doesn’t make it constant. You must work at it. Nurture it. Help it grow. And don’t ever stop. Whether you are 17 or 70, loving someone is still something you must do. Many people forget that and let it fall apart at the seams. If you try your hardest and it still falls apart, so be it. But if you let it, shame on you. Because love is one hell of a feeling. And I’ll never forget that again.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my followers. If you don’t take anything from this post, at least take some love from it, because I have plenty to go around. From my heart to yours, Namaste.

An Open Letter to Myself

I wasn’t going to post this one. Sort of for myself. But I thought, why would I make a post private when I never have before? Honesty is what I’m here for.

Dear Lara From One Year Minus Three Days Ago,

I know you can’t breathe right now, but you’re going to be okay.

Today was one of the toughest days of your life thus far. Top Ten for sure. You did what millions of other people do every hour of every day. You felt what it was like to love someone for a long time-not like mom and dad, mind you-and then have them not love you back anymore. Hurts, huh? Remember when all of your friends went through that and you’d just shrug it off like, “What’s their problem?” Well, in hindsight, I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy. But after all, hindsight is always 20/20.

I’m here to tell you there’s a silver lining in the not-so-distant future. I know you already have an inkling, but I want you to be certain, because it’s there and you’re going for it.

You spent 3 and a half years in a fantasy world. A great one, but an illusion nonetheless. Yes you loved him, Lara. You loved him with everything you had in your gigantic, warm heart. Come on. I mean, who pathetically cries tears of happiness after an orgasm? That’s love, girl. Probably a little weird too, but hey, you’ve always been a bit strange.

Where you went wrong was believing this would last forever. You always knew it wouldn’t, but love can make a person so fucking blind that their amazing gift of intuition can be hidden as if it never existed.

I’m sure he truly loved you too. You could see it in the way he would look at you-especially when you weren’t paying attention. Remember how your friends would joke about his gaze toward you? It was love. Just not unconditional. You can’t hate him for that. And like I said, you always knew that.

In the next year you’re going to go on QUITE a ride. The first few months will be an absolutely alcohol induced, fuzzy time in your life. But hey, it’s summer. You’re totally allowed to go all out.

Get drunk. Make out with tons of guys. Put that breakup CD on repeat and drive to fucking nowhere while you cry your eyes out. That’s fine. You have to cry. And TRUST ME. Girl, you are going to be crying a lot.

You’re already steady love for your friends is going to grow in tremendous proportions. Taco is going to stick to your side like glue. Him and K be there every weekend to dance the heartbreak off and to give that weirdo that you’re drunkenly talking to an evil eye that means “STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM HER.” Heath and Matt are going to take you under their wing and let you stay with them in PA whenever you need to. That will be a blast. Be careful with the assault rifles, though-“woman scorned” isn’t your strong suit. You’ll reconnect with old friends you haven’t spoken to in a while and even make some new ones. Isn’t that the best thing about break-ups? The free time keeps on rolling. Though, I must say, I’m proud of you for always making time for your friends even in a relationship because that is why they are so understanding and more than willing to help you through this tough time. Don’t ever change that aspect of your personality.

***

Dating

Psh. Darling, you are going to date until your eyes bleed from the heinous acts of men. You’ll be fooled a few times, but quickly remember that not all guys are like the one you were with for so long. You will realize that the men you meet at bars are jerks, the ones your friends set you up with are emotionally unstable, and so you will enter the perilous realm of online dating.

*ALERT!* ONE OF THE WORST DATES YOU’VE EVER BEEN ON WILL CONSIST OF A MAN’S TOOTH FALLING OUT. Just get drunk and be nice to him. He means well.

You’ll have an attempted theft on your underwear. Ugh. Sigh. Men.

You will date and date and date until you’ve given up on, not only men, but humankind altogether. But then, on your last attempt at online dating, you will strike gold.

I’m sure today you would never think you could ever date someone else, but you can. And you will.

He will be just as kind, if not kinder. He will be smart, funny, and driven. He will have life plans that don’t consist of playing in a mediocre band for peanuts the rest of his life. He’ll want to watch science shows with you and talk about religion and politics and all of the things that you never got to do with anyone else. He’ll wake up in the middle of the night just to kiss you. He’ll let you sleep on his chest when you don’t feel well and make you soup after all 1,000 of your stupid gum surgeries. And you won’t stop smiling throughout fall and winter. It’s still new, but he’s cool. I promise. You’d never date a shitty dude this long. Truuuuust.

Most importantly, you will get your life back. I’m not talkin’ the post-break-up life. I’m talking about the PRE RELATIONSHIP LIFE. The life before you fell into that illusionistic love. Not all love is an illusion, but from the moment you met your ex, you disappeared. And you will realize that throughout the course of the next year.

Real relationships do not form when two halves come together to make a whole. They consist of two individuals who want to remain individuals but be together simultaneously. They don’t complete each other, but compliment each other. And you certainly have become complete again since losing that half of yourself that you gave to someone else years ago. You’ll never do that again.

There you have it. Never fear, Lara, dear! You’re going to be more than alright. You’re going to be better than you ever have. Because you will find what you loved most in this world-yourself.

So get ready to cry. And laugh. And scream. And every other emotion that exists in this dimension. Because you are going to experience it all. But in a year from now, you are going to be one happy lady, and because of nobody but yourself.

Keep your head up kid,

You.

P.S. You’re totally going to be named Employee of the Month tomorrow morning. I know, I know. When you walk in crying your eyes out and dead from not sleeping, and your co-workers come out and yell SURPRISE! Don’t worry. They’ll understand. HAHA!

Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up
And I’ll never look back, just hold your head up
And if it gets rough, it’s time to get rough

The Greatest Gift of All

This one gave me a tear or two.

During this time of rushing around to get all of your gifts bought and wrapped, food cooked and baked, and everything else prepared for the holidays, it can be hard to forget what it’s all about.

Christmas was never really about the gifts for me. I’ve never been materialistic. Even when I was younger, I made a list with a few things on it, but I really just enjoyed the time with my family.

May you be with everyone you love this holiday season. xo

When Your Heart Breaks, It’s Actually Breaking Open

open%20your%20life

Since the day I was left singular, I have internally struggled with the concept of “moving on,” of loving again. My entire being is made of love, so of course I’m open to it, but to what degree? Do I even know what love is anymore? Or do I have a better understanding of it now that it has come and left?

My ex was the only person I’ve ever loved. He was the only person I’ve ever even said “I love you” to. I remember how scared, yet sure I was. Every time I looked at him, I thought love. Every time I thought of him, I thought love. Even now, though the thought of him floods me with negative emotions, I. Still. Think. Love.

How can I feel that way about another person? I know it’s possible.

I know there’s no such thing as “the one.” I’m not THAT jaded. Come on, now.

I just feel as though being loveless made me so much more open to love. So much more inviting.

But I was always at a crossroads. And too smart. Probably for my own good.

I knew there was always a chance it wouldn’t last. I knew my chances of forever were slim to none. And it actually made me enjoy the love I did feel a little less than I should have. I had dreams nightmares about it all the time. Him leaving me. Our relationship always coming to an end. For the entirety of the almost 4 years we were together I had those dreams. They made me sick. He would always tell me not to worry.

And then, the night it was all over, I looked at him with my painful red eyes, my tear drenched hair pressed against my face, and I said, “Look at that. My nightmares were real.”

But in all honestly, I don’t think my nightmares were visions of the future. They were my own insecurities with loving someone for the first time. And you know, since hindsight is 20/20, I think I should have enjoyed my relationship more. If I had kept my heart open to all the amazing things my relationship brought me, I probably wouldn’t be so resentful today. Even at this very moment, almost 9 months and several men later, when I think about my ex I fucking ache. All over. If I thought about it for more than a minute, I would fall apart. And that kills me.

This brings me to my original point:

I read this blog a very long time ago about opening yourself up again after a heart break, and the author was so insightful. I couldn’t quite understand her then, but I do now.

She says in order to love, you have to be vulnerable to it.

And what better way than after a heartbreak when you’re permanently vulnerable?

“Your heart is not just broken. It is broken OPEN and so you feel everything-

your own joys and sorrows, but also other’s unquestioningly.”

As long as you can stay grounded and keep your heart in tact while it remains open, you are absolutely able to love again. And so, I think I will. Probably a lot better than I did before and with a lot more knowledge.

***

Love is many things. It’s a risk. It’s a chance. It’s a choice.

What love lacks is a consistency.

You could be with someone you love today. They could leave you tomorrow. They could also never leave.

It’s a risk you must be willing to take to reap the benefits. You cannot have happiness without sorrow or joy without pain. You can’t have love without the notion that it may not last forever.

Doesn’t sound fair, does it? Well, that’s life.

Take death for example. We have so many people in our lives who will not stop loving us. Our friends. Our family. Even our animals. But the catch to life is death-we are all inevitably going to die someday-sometimes sooner than we’d like.

But would you ever wish you didn’t know your mother or father because they will die someday?

How about your children? Your siblings? Your friends?

Your love for them is worth the risk. Right?

That’s how it should be with your relationships.

Don’t spend so much time worrying that it will end. Spend that time bathing in the happiness that you feel at that very moment. Take that chance. Relax and be present, if not for anyone than for yourself. Don’t take those feelings you have for granted. You will never, ever know if things will end so instead of trying to fight it, live it. That’s one mistake I will never make again.

“Love is the rising tide that lifts all boats, those of despair and those of shame, of rage, of terror, and of longing—

to cast them once again upon the waves.”

Time is of the essence. Don’t ever forget that.

Explosions

Ever since I posted about my breakup on Friday, I’ve had a flood of emotions and memories pouring out of me, as if they’ve been locked away for a very long time. It was so therapeutic to let go of all that unnecessary anger. It was almost an intuitive premonition of what was to come-although I was shocked either way.
One thing I’ve prided myself on throughout this breakup is the lack of communication I’ve had with him. I’m really big about the NO CONTACT rule. It’s one of the most important tools you have to move on from heart ache. Scratch that, it’s BREAKUP RULE #1 PEOPLE. If your breakup was completely one sided, this is nonnegotiable. I did all the necessary things I needed to keep myself happy. I deleted my Facebook, instagram, and twitter. This might seem too much for some people, but for me, it’s exactly what I needed. I’ve never spied, poked around, or even asked about him. In 6 months, I’ve broken this no contact rule but ONE time, and I’ll never do it again. The only thing I haven’t been able to accomplish is ignoring HIS texts. He’s reached out to me about four times. I’ll never know why and I’ll never ask because I just don’t care. It’s just for some reason, I can’t let the texts go. I reply to them, but immediately delete them so I’m not staring at them like a crazy person-picking apart every single piece of punctuation and thinking the way he used two dots instead of one means something completely different than if had not used any at all.

NOPE.

Not this girl.

I have my limits on breakups.

The last time we spoke was in the beginning of July. That was when I broke no contact. And it’s also when I realized speaking to him was a waste of my time and a set back in my journey to complete happiness. His birthday was this past August and I specifically didn’t text or call him because I wanted him to realize I’ve completely left for good, and maybe he should too.

So then, here I am, on Friday writing to all of you about him and how I am finally starting to let go of everything.

Then, Friday night, there I am out to dinner when my phone buzzed to tell me someone had added me to Snap Chat. IT WAS HIS BROTHER. And then I receive a picture from his brother that says “Hey! I’m at Panic! At the Disco! Where r u?”

Backstory: I LOVE Panic! At the Disco (haters gonna hate). I brought him, his brother, and all of his friends on a party bus for my birthday 2 years ago to their concert. They know I love Panic.

But, wait!

Where am I, you ask?

Do I live in an alternate universe?

I’m OUT. With my, friends? Being single? Remember? Let me refresh your memory. I don’t date your brother anymore. I know he’s at the concert with you because you two are joined at the hip. Did he not remember to tell you six months ago he dumped me? Oh, okay, good. You do remember!

So then, I accept his Snap Chat friendship and immediately block him. Problem, solved.

Fast forward to Saturday: I’m out with all my friends in Worcester for Pride Weekend and we end up at a night club where we get our pictures taken. Now, I’ve kind of blossomed from this breakup experience. I dyed my hair, lost 15 pounds, and reconnected with myself more than I ever had. Translation: I look damn good. So my best friend puts the pictures up on his Instagram on Sunday morning. Guess who liked my picture? Oh yeah, my ex boyfriend. See people, this is why I don’t have any of those apps anymore. Chad told me how he liked it. I just kind of laughed at him because every one can see that he liked it, which probably confused people more than me. But, once again, laughed it off, brushed it off, no problems there.

Fast forward to last night: I watched the Great Gatsby with a friend. Now, I don’t usually watch love stories because love just makes me sick now a days, but I used to love them so I figured I’d do it up. I mean, Leo, come on. The movie had ended and I was SO ANGRY at Daisy for just LEAVING Gatsby like that! This man, this Gatsby, was so driven by love. His life was dedicated to loving someone in this fantastical way, which I’ll always chalk up as FICTION. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t fooled by Disney. I know what’s real and what’s not. But this movie totally sucked me in. I spent the whole movie amazed by his devotion and sad that my life isn’t like that and will never be.

So then, I go to leave and I grab my phone to check the time. There’s a few text messages.

From who?

FROM

HIM.

I just can’t escape it.

The first read, “Please listen to this. And listen to the whole thing! I’ve been listening for hours.”

The next was a sound clip. I was so confused. Then I pressed play.

About a year ago, he bought a new keyboard. I could never play the keyboard if my life depended on it, but it was one of those really neat ones with all the different sounds. I found the “horror movie” sounds and when I did, we spent hours recording fake horror movie scenes. They were actually pretty comical back then. But he was sending me these clips now. Now? You spent all night listening to our old recordings? How? I listened to about 5 seconds, realized what it was, and deleted it.

And this is where my problem lies. I texted him back. I just simply said “ha, I can’t believe you still have those.” And left it as that. His text message didn’t bring me any hope or leave me with any “What-ifs.” Maybe a few “Whys” but not enough to keep me wondering. But for some reason, I just can’t ignore his texts. My mind, heart and fingers just automatically move towards a reply. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. We’ve always been cordial. There’s no hate. Never was, never will be. I’ll always be nice to him back and not because I feel like I have to, but because I feel like I want to.

My friends are so angry with him. They hate him so much-that if I told them he contacted me they would pull a nutty. But, I’m just so tired and all cried out that I just don’t care either way. It’s a confidence boost, sure. Yeah, guys. My ex still thinks about me when I refuse to think about him in the least bit. Winning.

But it isn’t a hopeful boost. It’s nothing. His texts are meaningless to me.

Then why do I reply?

More importantly, why does my life have to get all complicated right when I’ve taken another baby step forward.

I know why! The universe is saying, “AW shit, Lara’s getting too comfortable. Let’s shake things up for a bit. POP QUIZ!”

Haha. At least I can laugh about it. Well, take THAT, universe. I’ll own you.