29tolife

Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for the tag “broken engagements”

Life and Timing Strike Again

I had an awesome weekend celebrating the 30th birthday of one of my dearest friends.

We covered a lot of ground in D.C. and had great drinks, great food, great company and non-stop entertainment– even at a grimy Wendy’s at 3 a.m.  Don’t ask.

Naturally, I was exhausted from all of the revelry.

This morning, one text took my breath away and threatened to steal all of my progress and my healing in one swoop.

Long story short, my ex fiance has a new job that will include a lot of traveling. That I knew.

He informed me his company is headquartered 15 minutes from my house.

That’s right.

Life and timing bite me in the ass, yet again.

Two years ago, he and I would have gone Katniss and Peeta on anybody any time, anywhere for that kind of opportunity that could lead to him flying to see me on the company dime and in business class, and maybe after currying a little favor and impressing his employers, him eventually being able to move here for good.

I felt sick.

I was going to explode.

I quickly had to make my way to my work mom/mentor’s office where I could cry uncontrollably behind a closed door.

She sat quietly while I sobbed.

It all hit me at once. I was shaking.

I was crying and shaking and reacting because, fine. I still love him. But I was working to accept that I needed to get over it.

Just a week ago, he and I texted each other and nearly said our last rites. We literally talked about how our paths were diverging and how it seemed we were being pushed apart by circumstances, but never emotionally.

Maybe the irony of such a fresh discussion where it seemed both of us accepted our lives that would hardly ever intersect again in a meaningful way is what caused my emotional breakdown this morning.

I’m not dreaming of romantic movies and happy endings where all of this drama, all of the suffering and headaches lead us back to one another.

I don’t even want to be hopeful, to only be crushed again, and it really being my fault this time for being stupid.

I’m just mad at fate.

There was a reason it didn’t work at the time, but this latest twist in our story is downright painful, spiteful and mean.

I’ve been actively trying to move on. If you have been reading this blog, my struggle has been well documented and brutally honest.

What’s going to happen now? Your guess is as good as mine.

This is as far as I can go writing today. I’m sure you’ll understand. And now this song will be on repeat for the rest of the day…

Advertisements

Breaking Up With His Family Hurts Too

I tend to regularly talk about the evils of Facebook on this blog.

One of the cardinal breakup rules, if you want to maintain closure and not lose your damn mind is to de-friend your ex.

I didn’t do it. I waited to see if he would do it, so I could go off about it.

I’m guessing he did the same.

I’d occasionally stalk his page for new developments, but my ex generally doesn’t make a whole lot of moves on Facebook, so I figured I’d be safe from going nuts that he’s living this wonderful new life without me and flaunting it.

It’s been over a year since our split, and a series of new photos he recently posted unexpectedly made me feel quite emotional.

Ironically, it wasn’t photos of him hugged up with a woman who was better looking than me (or not better looking than me).

It was a photo of him and his adorable nephew, his mother and his sister, having a ball at his nephew’s birthday party.

He’s five already. He’s getting tall and he looked so handsome.

My ex, who was just as afraid of having kids as I was (to the point of even saying he decided he didn’t want to have any at all), seemed to be a lot more comfortable with his nephew in those photos. He looked happy. He looked like he was right where he was supposed to be.

He was smiling hard in another photo where his nephew was being baptized too.

It was almost scary. Was this the same guy?

Looking at the photos, I was proud of him and happy for his family. They’ve gone through more than their fair share of difficult times and to see them all together, looking happy made me feel happy.

But then I felt a shooting pain across my heart.

I wasn’t there, I wasn’t a part of that and it dawned on me that somehow when I wasn’t looking, while I was falling in love with him, I was falling in love with them too.

Flaws, drama and all.

I realized in us building our relationship, I was also building a relationship with them. Me and his mother hit it off famously and we even had phone calls with one another without him being involved. The first time she met me, she didn’t hesitate to say how happy she was that we were together and she was beyond thrilled when we got engaged.

She was just as heartbroken when it ended. She apologized to me and she told me she loved me, and I told her I loved her too and I thanked her for always being nothing but sweet to me. She said she wanted to keep in touch if I felt comfortable enough, and even though I told her it was okay, eventually she faded away.

And then I saw her photo. She’s so sassy and fun, and she always speaks her mind. Seeing her again made me smile.

I nearly fell out one evening when she was talking about my figure and said, “I know my son. He likes big butts, well you know what I mean, she has a lovely figure.”

I was amazed at how much my would-be nephew-to-be had grown. He was like a baby when his uncle and I first got together. He would get on the phone to say hello and I’d love to hear about the latest cute things he’d say or do.

I didn’t get to personally meet his sister, but we’d say hello over the phone.

Either way, I felt just as invested in his family as I did in him and even though that’s a given when you decide to marry someone, it kind of hit me hard when I realized what else I had lost when our relationship ended.

I was going to be a proud auntie to another great child, a daughter-in-law and sister-in-law.

That was another very real loss.

If It’s On Facebook, ‘MYOB’ and ‘Nunya’ Are No Longer In Play

I saw something on Facebook that made me instantly empathize and sympathize with a girl from my high school who posted it.

Her status went from engaged to single.

My heart went out to her.  However, I chose a different route. I kept my disengagement quiet on Facebook (I don’t post my relationship status anyway, so there was nothing to change and I saved myself from having to hit that button and having “single” staring back at me mockingly.). Instead, I share sometimes on this blog. You can read the post when I finally broke my silence on the topic, here.

So because this was now public info,  ol girl opened herself up to the flurry of questions and comments to which she responded in an embarrassing, emotional rant, telling people to mind their own business and not make up their own conclusions for what went wrong or try to tell her what she should or shouldn’t do.

You aren’t Jennifer Anniston boo, you didn’t have to go out like this. You really didn’t. As soon as you wrote it and clicked, ” update status” you gave up your right to say “Mind your own business.” By making it public, you implicitly gave everyone the right to jump on in.

I’m going to have to file that under, “Now That’s What I Call Stupid, Vol 1.”

And as someone who understands the deluge of questions and emotions being hurled at you from your family and friends who were on this exhilarating ride to happily ever after with you, now you’ve got random internet dramamongers getting you hyped up too.

I didn’t wear sackcloth and sit in ashes when my engagement and relationship ended, but I took my time to mourn the loss and process all of my stages of grief.

I had to be still, I had to be quiet and I had to shut out the sounds of all of the people well-intentioned and otherwise so I could get myself together.

When I was ready to cry, I did. And boy did I when I finally did. My family and friends were actually scared that I was handling it too well. I was trying my best to fake that everything was alright and that I was strong.

When I was ready to talk to people I trusted, I did. And when I decided to drop everything and take a trip by myself, I did that too.

I feel particularly bad for this woman because she does have a child, and she also has to deal with her child’s reaction to all of this as well. And I hope she tries to set an example of class and grace under fire and not carry on any foolishness with her ex at all, let alone in front of the child.

It was on my heart to send her a private message to tell her this is hard, very, very hard, but she will survive. I wanted her to know in all of this she needs to listen to herself and not even get mad if she misses him or still wants to be with him sometimes. I want her to know she should just feel what ever she’s feeling and not let anyone tell her her feelings are wrong or she needs to heal faster or needs to get under (or on top of) a new man pronto (which were among some of the insensitive things I was told).

But since I’m not really cool with her like that, my well-intentioned note as someone who has been through it personally, may be taken as just one more voice in the midst of what seems like a million with an opinion. Besides, that would mean I’m telling my business too, which is what I avoided by not putting out a press release on FB.

She did already post in a more recent, and still quite emotional status that she was glad she found out now about her fiancée’s shortcomings in terms of his inability to stand strong with her in difficult times and she is relieved she didn’t go through with it.

Once again, she’s saying all the right things for the public, but her heart is being pulled in a number of directions right now. Been there, done that. But it took me a lot longer to say I was relieved I didn’t get married and really mean it.

I wish her well. She has a rough road ahead. But as her “press release” stated, and as I know personally, she really is going to be alright eventually.

This was my official song dedicated to the ending of my relationship.  I thought it was totally me and my situation. This goes out to my poor Facebook friend.

Now stop telling your business and concentrate on your healing!

Ghosts

I was driving to work today and as the world prepares for Whitney Houston’s funeral tomorrow, radio stations have been playing her classics all week long.

“Didn’t We Almost Have It All” came on and it hit me hard.

Twice.

Once for Whitney, the woman we all loved and assumed had it all because of her massive success, fame and world adoration. She was poised to rise yet again with the new movie remake of “Sparkle” to hit movie theaters in the summer.

Twice, because the song made me think of how close I was to getting married and how it didn’t work out. I lost someone I loved the closer we got to what I thought was “having it all.”

The ghost of that relationship has been popping up in the oddest of places recently.

Prior to hearing the song, I was visiting an art gallery this weekend for the last day of an exhibit I knew I had to see. I brought along a good friend and as I do with all museums and galleries, I had to go browsing in the gift shop.

I should have left well enough alone.

I was almost on my way out after not really seeing anything I wanted (and not being willing to pay the prices either) and out of the corner of my eye, I saw it.

It was a photograph.

I stopped in my tracks and stared. It was a greyish photo of the Capitol Columns which can be found on a hill in the middle of the National Arboretum– a beautiful, hidden Washington, DC gem. Acres and acres of land and trees and a lovely view of the Anacostia River.

My traveling companion wondered why this photo captured my attention.

I told him it was a beautiful place and the Capitol Columns was the must see of the whole place. The story of these amazing Corinthian columns is someone effed up when building the Capitol and once the dome was built (1864), the columns didn’t fit (built 1828). They were sent away to be stored.

It wasn’t until the 1980s did an arboretum benefactor figure out how to properly share these beautiful columns with the world and placed them there.

My friend said, “This is in DC? Sounds like a great date place.”

To which I replied, “It is, just don’t propose there.”

He looked confused.

“It’s gorgeous. That’s where I was proposed to,” I said. “We had a picnic, it was wonderful.”

I stared at the photo and wondered why such a beautiful place looked so grey and drab, when in fact on a sunny day it’s downright majestic.

I couldn’t decide if I saw it this way because of the role it played in my history, or if the photographer purposely picked a dreary day to shoot it, to make it look haunted.

“Didn’t we almost have it all?”

In retrospect, the location of my proposal was ironic.

The columns were planned to be a part of something grand, but they didn’t fit and making them fit would have been structurally impossible.

They sat and sat in storage for years and years until someone saw their beauty and recognized they shouldn’t be just hidden away. That person eventually found them a better home actually, where they would be appreciated and admired as long as they stood there.

They didn’t fit the Capitol dome, but instead they now stand boldly, with no ceiling, no walls.

It’s an odd beauty in the middle of a large meadow.  They appear as if they belonged there all along, and apparently they did.

As hard as we worked on our relationship, he building the dome and I building the columns, they just didn’t fit. I wanted to serve as his foundation, always supporting him– which was totally backwards and wrong. No wonder it didn’t fit.

The Capitol dome and the columns were a grand plan together, but the fateful mistake  made in its design ended up serving a greater good.

It takes someone with a creative mind to say these were a mistake for the Capitol, but these, these are a centerpiece for the arboretum.

I couldn’t see it when I was designing my new life with him, but now I know.

My columns were always meant to be a centerpiece.

Breakthrough: I’m Relieved I’m Not Married Right Now

Ok, so this is huge.

Because if things had gone to plan, I would be living in Chicago right now and um, married. Not sure how happy I would be, but I would have certainly been married and living even further away from my family and friends.

I had a moment the other night.

I was sitting on my couch, eating a yummy meal I cooked.

Save for the television blathering on in the background, it was quiet. I was wearing old sweats sitting on my couch.

I had what psychiatric professionals would call a “breakthrough”.

Without any provocation, this thought just entered my head: “I’m happy I don’t have to take care of a man, protect him, stroke his ego and turn over and give him sex when I don’t feel like it.”

After I said it, it hit me like a ton of bricks that healing has been taking place. It felt good. I had to smile.Then I broke out in laughter.

I lost who I thought was the love of my life (maybe he is), but I gained a few things between the tears and private nervous breakdowns.

I was listening to God more.

I was more creative than I had been in years. I started this blog and I’m attempting to start a business that makes me feel so good. I’ve been taking classes and plan to take more. I’ve taken more action in my professional life.

I began to be more interested in me and what I wanted and what was important to me and what made me happy. I won’t lie. I got wrapped up and I immersed myself in the preparation for being a top-notch wife. Being a wife and moving was a cop out for something else that was changing my personality and increasing my stress, probably making me seem like a completely different woman who in the beginning of the relationship was very vibrant, engaged and satisfied professionally.

I was changing. Because I was so active in my relationship, I put other things on hold for “once I got settled in Chicago.”

It’s a year later, but I can thank God now for what I went through. I can be thankful for the quiet moments in my own home, where I do what I want when I want.

It’s not to say I don’t want a great man to share my life with down the line, but I want him to fit in seamlessly. I don’t want to have to force him in with a hammer, or drastically change my life to fit into his.

I want my future husband to find me eventually, but I want him to find me happy, healthy, at my best and at a stage of my life where there is growth and abundance and all he has to do is jump in and add to it. I don’t want to offend my future husband by saying this, but I want him to know he is highly valued in my life, but not my life completely.

In church Sunday, the pastor talked about trusting God. He also said we need to stop asking God for the details about how He’s going to do what you want Him to do. Reason being, if we knew all the hardships we will have to endure to get there, we’d just change our minds and say forget it.

I haven’t been this hopeful in a long time.

It feels miraculous. It feels Golden.

The Blog I’m Not Afraid to Write Anymore

One of the grand life events everyone hopes to have nailed down by 30 or wants to nail down shortly after 30-especially women- is getting married.

I’ll be heading to NYC tomorrow to celebrate the union of a good friend and his beautiful and wonderful bride. They are a great couple and I’m very proud of him, especially considering he’s one of those nice guys who had no problem complaining about always seeming to finish last.

He has made it to the winner’s circle. Not because he’s getting married, but he found the right person and he actively works on making her happy. In turn, she does the same for him. When he made his mind up, he was ready.

He was ready. That part takes a lot of patience and a lot of courage.

I should know. Here comes the hard part.

I got through my younger cousin’s wedding  about two months ago managing to get only a bit misty-eyed. But this one may be tougher, especially when friends in my circle take that stroll down the asile.

I wanted to leave my personal baggage out of it, but I’m going to keep it real.

I was engaged for nine months. My engagement ended a few days before the new year of 2011 rang in. The wedding was supposed to be in May. I was madly in love.

Long story short, as time inched closer and the reality of us becoming man and wife was getting more intense, the love of my life said he feared he wasn’t up to the task and that maybe he just wasn’t cut out for marriage at all.

I let out the most heartwrenching wail as he held me in his arms that night and I was numb. The next morning, I took off my ring, put it in its box and went to work feeling completely hollowed out. 

We were very happy for two years. I was going to uproot my life and move to his city. I had gotten the ok from my job to allow me to move and set up an office in our new home. We had passed our premarital counseling with flying colors, until one day he started to change and became more and more distant. I put the deposit down on the dress. The dress was awesome. My goregous shoes still sit high on a shelf in a closet, unworn. My dear friends planned, then quietly canceled showers and parties.

We tried to talk it out. I tried to ease his fears. I told him we could even push back the wedding for a max of two years even, but I couldn’t lose my best friend and we could get through it together and that this change would be scary for me too.

It didn’t matter. For him, a lifetime of dissappointments, a difficult childhood and an uncertain future was too much for him to handle and my love wasn’t going to be enough to pull him out of what was taking him over. He feared his string of bad luck was contagious, and would eventually find me too. He didn’t want to “bring me down.”

But down I went anyway in the subsequent months.

Just a month after the split, I went to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, a birthday gift from him he had purchased well before our breakup. I took a dear friend and as we were led about four rows from the front, I was overwhelmed. I wept in my seat. Embarassed, I prayed the house lights would soon go down to hide me. His gift was beautiful and exactly what I wanted. I would have been happy to just be in the building, but to be so close! That just made things worse. He was the one who was supposed to be sitting with me that day. He was supposed to be holding my hand. I was supposed to be crying because of how moving the show was, not because he was moving out of my life completely. 

The last 11 months have been painful, some days absolutely unbearable. But I’m getting stronger.

There was a time where I thought it impossible to write this down for others to read. I thought it would take years. I’m proud of myself.

Best of all, I can be happy for my friends and family and gush about how great it is to be in love, because I was blessed to be that happy at one time and I will receive that blessing again someday.

So yes, something may stir inside me causing me to cry tomorrow. While my probable tears for my homeboy will be of joy, there is one that I know that I can’t stop from falling– a remnant of the pain still left inside from a great love that just simply could not go any further.

Post Navigation