I finally caught that yellow chariot.
It whisked me away through Central Park, glittering past glowing street lamps and weaving through semi-windy roads. I sat alone, my purse laid by my side, listening to the cabbie mutter to himself. His stammering made me feel better about my tears at nearly two in the morning. He probably thought I was just another wounded drunk girl coming in from a Saturday night out where I spilled my beer and kissed a faceless boy at a bar.
But no, I was sober. And now, I was single. I mean, I am single.
It’s funny, I thought, once we reached Amsterdam and my heart released the anxiety that always comes from trusting a stranger to take you where you tell them to. A year ago, on this very day, I was crying in the bathtub, depressed over my birthday party where I didn’t get asked to dance, where I didn’t feel very pretty, where I was so sick of being single that I was an absolute mess. I hysterically cried and then made up my mind — I wasn’t going to feel this way anymore.
Am I right back where I started? Really Lindsay? I rolled my eyes at myself, glanced down at my silent Blackberry and felt the freshly Autumn air hit my cheeks. Here I was again, even with all this daily hard work for the past year, crying over some guy. At least it isn’t in that disgusting bathtub, huh? I thought and grinned. I also wasn’t an emotional wreck or crying because I hated being single. This time, they were movie-star tears that glistened through mascara eyelashes, and I wasn’t upset because I feared being alone but because I wanted to be.
That was the final straw, Linds. You really had no other choice but to walk away. You’d be selling yourself short and giving away yourself if you stayed, I reassured myself to gain enough courage to brave the face of the cabbie to pay him. My birthday had brought the next season, and with it, I was moving on to the next chapter. As much love as there is, as connected to my heart and my New York life as he was, Mr. Possibility didn’t turn back into Mr. Unavailable or grow into the only possibility, he just became impossible.
Maybe if you just gave him some more time or ignored him for a week or two, then he’d come around. Then he’d see you were worth it, the other side opposed as I turned the chunky silver key, allowing access into my safe haven, my home. I knew I could have stayed longer, I could have played the manipulation card as fiercely as he did – but there is a difference between being able to do something and wanting to do it. That was, after all, at the crux of our relationship: he may have wanted to give me what I needed but he couldn’t, and I could have stayed but that isn’t the type of love I want. It’s not what I deserve.
I deserve so much more.
Because I’m not that distraught girl anymore. I’m no longer afraid of being alone, but afraid of being alone in a relationship. There are worse things than being single, and unrequited love is one of them. There are worse things than having to go through the emotional warfare of a breakup, and settling for less, I can assure you, is much more painful. You’ve really come so far and you did the right thing, the rational voice came back with easy clarity. It hurts to essentially give up on Mr. Possibility but he needs to go through the 12-step program more than I do now. He has to love himself before he can ever love me, or anyone else, in any way that matters. I can’t love him enough to change him, and he can’t love me enough to change my mind.
So here ya are, Linds. You’re back to being single again and the blog is over, I thought as I looked out the window of my room, watching the lights flicker with the arrival of the morning. I couldn’t sleep, too much thinking going on. Too much aching for something I never quite had but know I’ll find one day. I’m different from I was a year ago. I’m much stronger, more settled. I’ve loved someone in New York and I’ve loved myself enough to walk away. If that isn’t progress, I don’t know what is, I sat up and felt my heart sink back into the bed. Sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are the same, and sadly, also the adult thing to do. Mr. Possibility isn’t a bad guy – he’s actually quite the opposite. He’s a wonderful man with so many possibilities but the past isn’t allowing him to have a future, and we’re in such different places that nothing between us makes sense anymore. It’s not worth fighting with someone you love, it’s better to love them enough to calm the fight by leaving.
And the fighting had been too much. We were starting to destroy what we had, the friendly foundation was turning into resentment. I couldn’t put my heart on hold or allow someone to love me with only half of their heart, and he couldn’t be there for me in a way that was constant and dependable. And so, on the corner of 12th and Third, I gave him one last opportunity to make amends, to step up to the plate, to prove his committment. But he passed and I turned the corner, only to look back and see him catch a cab in the opposite direction.
Well, looks like there’s no game of cat-and-mouse here, huh? I crumpled to the side of a building, wishing I hadn’t worn heels and covered my face, preparing for the flood. My friend M braced my back and promised me he was only the beginning of New York love, not the end. But the devastation didn’t come. Instead, I felt just a little bit of fear and longing, but mostly, I felt relief. Now I could be happy, he could find his happiness, and the happiness we had won’t be overshadowed by the disaster of the last month. After all, what I’ve wanted for him from the beginning was just to be happy, and now I see that I wasn’t helping him to happiness, I was just keeping him from really trying out those wings and learning to love himself as I have learned. I miss him, I will miss him but his brightest years are still ahead of him, just as mine are. We just won’t be sharing them together.
So does this blog end with the end of Mr. Possibility and I? Have I really completed the 12 steps because I found enough security in myself to not have to lean on a man for support? To not stay in a dead-end relationship because I couldn’t stand the thought of being single while all my Southern friends got married? How do you end something that’s been part of your life for the past year? How do you put that into words?
You don’t. So I’m not.
I won’t write every single day anymore, but I’m still going to write. Confessions of a Love Addict isn’t ending, it’s just changing. It’s going back to Step 1 to repair myself through the five-moods of a grief over impossibility. To learn how to put back together the pieces I lost of myself in the relationship, even if this time, they aren’t as scattered or jagged.
I wanted to blog for 365 days and I have – so now it’s not about meeting my own deadline. Now, it’s just about writing as I feel, sharing what I want, and starting the journey all over again. Really, the process of accepting and loving who you are is never-ending. Because just like the New York skyline is always changing, so are people, and so is time. Stages come and go, love grows and then it hurts. Friends go their different ways, luck comes around ever now-and-then. Sometimes you get what you want, but mostly you get what you need.
And I still need this blog. Because now, a whole new journey is about to unfold, and if the last year is any indication of the thrills ahead of me, I couldn’t be more excited. Especially since now I’ve traded that bathtub for a cab, those tears for a red dress, and that fear of being alone for the option of having something extraordinary. And that hatred for the word “single” into a thankfulness that through it all, I still have just what I’ve always needed:
And of course, a bottle of champagne, some great friends, a heart that’s still beating and believing, and the faith that the best is yet to come. Stay tuned.
I truly believe your best days are ahead of you, and that you will have all that your heart desires. And more than you ever thought to dream. Kudos to a terrific year! NC love <3
I’m so glad to hear this isn’t the end. After reading all 365 posts, it would feel like losing a friend who has been there to offer words of wisdom. It seemed that whatever you were going through, I was as well. Possibilites, break ups, break downs…I’m preparing for a drastic move just as you had when you moved to New York, sans job, apartment, boyfriend…only mine will be in Washington D.C. I hope to have even just half of the bravery you did Linsday…You’ve taught me more than you know.
I have been wanting to comment for a few days now…but I can’t comment from my phone…but I wanted to say that you do need move on…and I’m happy to hear that you are. Not because of anything bad but for everything you have said in this exact post. I’m proud of you and all your accomplishments this past year and I’m proud of myself to finally be able to know what i want and also not get stuck in dead end relationships!
You are fabulous. xo
I was not with you from the beginning but did subscribe to the email half way through. I have to say I have gotten used to checking my phone to see if you had a new post yet. From last two years I have been in and out of a dead in relationship I keep hoping will change. You have given me the courage to think beyond relationships and see just me and my life. I have also given me the strength to step forward as a single twenty something even if all of my friends are married with kids at 24. This morning I was hiding under my covers, still in a slump due to MY recent break-up, but your post has inspired me to think not of all that I feel I have lost but all that is still yet to come!
Thank you Lindsey
Have a Blessed Year
Thank you for the inspiration. I’m gaining strength from your words. Truly, the process of loving yourself and finding what makes you happy is a never-ending journey. Thanks again, Lindsay! You are fab indeed! :)
Selfishly, I am thrilled you’re going to continue blogging. I found your blog at exactly the time when I was coming out of a relationship, incredibly broken. Coming here, reading your words, it’s almost like a safe place. It’s okay for me to cry about the loss I’m still feeling, about the pride I have in myself for so much growth. As painful as it has been to let go of my past, it’s so freeing to see what can happen in the future. The same will be true for you. Happy Birthday (belated) and thank you for sharing your life with those of us still figuring it all out.
“Thank You” for sharing your life and journey with us. For the past year, 365 days, I’ve followed along in your journey. Along your journey, you have helped me through some of my darkest days. You have helped me move on from my past relationship. You have helped me learn how to be happy being single and happy being me. I am forever grateful to you. I’m so happy that you’ve decided to continue blogging because I don’t know what I would have done without hearing from you. Thank you again Lindsay! And Happy B-Lated Birthday! :)
So many stories left to find, live & share. Thank you for continuing on.
& you better believe it there is beauty in learning to stand on your own – in cute heels! Hoping this next year brings you bliss beyond dreams.
We Virgos might constantly long for perfection, but sometimes we get pieces of greatness that light the sparks needed to invent something even better than what we could have ever dreamed of wanting.
Good luck on making all your wishes come true…. as long as they are what is best for you!
Onward & Upward.
Glad to hear you will still write for your fans/readers/distant friends.
Know what you like and get out and do it, not just out for drinks with the girls. I don’t think you can build much happiness that way, except with the girls !
Think of quiet guys as potentially respectful, nice guys. Many of them may be a good guy like me. Just need a great girl to have for that special focus. Able to commit to a woman, not cheat, do the dishes, want you happy.
If you have any 50’ish readers on thw West Coast …
I just wanted to say Thank You! I stumbled onto your blog 3 months into your year-long journey and felt like you were literally writing about me on a daily basis for a good majority of the year. There were so many times you put exactly what I was feeling and thinking into words. I even passed on your blog when friends would ask me what was up because you wrote it all so well! So thank you and good luck on the next chapter of your life. I came to the point you just did with Mr. Possibility. It is/was a lot easier to be single this time around because I am happy with who I am as a person in and out of a relationship and won’t compromise who I am! You’ll find your prince charming soon! I have faith that it will happen for me too!
I miss you already. And this is by far the best post written ever
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I can sooooo relate to this in every single way. Just started reading your blog a couple of months ago, you’ve inspired me :)