When I remember it, I just feel pride.
I think I knew, even as I was living it, that I’d miss this period of my life when it was gone. It didn’t last terribly long — I was sleeping on the floor of my apartment, trying to cohabitate with my ex. Too much of that would grind anybody down. Yet, for that week, I had hope. My life was a mess, but it was mine. I had control. I met no one’s expectations. I removed those who hadn’t met mine.
I didn’t own much. Plates, a computer desk, and an outdated desktop. Clothes. A few lamps. But those few items were mine, absolutely, and I found it easier to appreciate them. Like I had a finite amount of appreciation to go around, and now each could have more.
Of course, my most valuable possession was a new sense of self assurance.
I’m not the most decisive person. I like looking at all the options, making compromises or testing the waters when I do take action. While I don’t get down on myself for “wrong” decisions like other people do, I often look back and remark on what I’d do differently.
This breakup was not like that. I’ve written before that I took a long time to come to this decision — months, if I’m being honest. I knew I was unhappy, and not at all proud of myself at the time. I had to be sure my disappointment in the relationship wasn’t coming just from my disappointment in myself before I went any farther with it. But when I knew, I knew. Down to the bones. Even wrote an article about it that is somehow still being read, six months later. I wish I could tap into that magic again, but I don’t quite know how.
After all, it wasn’t really about sleeping on the floor or being in an uncomfortable living situation. Trying to replicate those circumstances would absolutely not get me the same results. There’s something the world admires in making the hard choice. For one sliver of a moment, my world was clean and simple. It got messy eventually, as breakups tend to do, but those first few days were simply a relief. It wasn’t as hard of a choice as people think, because all I could feel was certainty.
I miss that feeling. I miss the success I felt when creating from my pile of blankets on the floor. Maybe the bar was just low, and anything would seem like success. But I could have turned my life into whatever I wanted. The opportunities were endless.
And I was doing it by myself.