So much has happened in a year.
I got asked out by my 2-year crush, I decided to finally get into a relationship (after 7 fun years of singlehood!), I got my heart broken and shattered and crushed, I moped for months, I learned to rebuild myself… and just when I thought that love wouldn’t be coming around the corner too soon, well, life always has a way of surprising me.
Before we get into detail about that “new love”, I’d like to share this fulfilling process of healing myself. It’s not exactly “beautiful”; a lot of it involves nights of ugly crying and maniac laughing, and pulling myself back from begging him to let me into his life again. It doesn’t happen overnight as much as we want it to. One day I wake up smiling and feeling confident about stitching our friendship together again (he’s a very close friend and I see him everyday at work!), and then suddenly I end up crying and blaming myself for being so stupid for still wanting his attention.
The pain does not come in soft blows. Damn, it comes in huge waves of anguish. After around 6 months of push-and-pull, I just finally gave in one night. It was that one night when I decided to let everything go. The pain was too much, too heavy, too suffocating that I wasn’t able to do anything but lie crying on my bedroom floor asking God to take away everything that’s hurting me.
That night, I couldn’t remember falling asleep. But I remembered the only thing I was able to whisper under my breath the whole time I was crying (and perhaps the whole 6 months I was crumbling)… “it hurts, it hurts, it hurts...”
I guess, what makes that breakup hurt the most is not being able to accept that I’ve let my guards down instead of seeing if he’s strong enough to break my walls. I couldn’t accept that it was that easy for one “is it okay if we take it to the next level?” to bring down the protective walls I’ve built out of self-preservation and self-love for decades. It was difficult for me to accept that the only person I’ve ever wanted to be part of my life, the only person to whom I’ve attached the entire future I’ve dreamed of, the only person I was so willing to bring for my family to meet was not able to live up to my expectations.
Well, it took that night of dehydrating crying session to make me realize that if I want to let go, then I need to really let everything go. I blocked him on Facebook and unfollowed him on IG (petty, I know! But it helps!). I put everything he has given me into a paper bag (and it’s funny how everything fits in a paper bag!) and gave them away. I burned all the letters I’ve written but never sent. I deleted all our photos. I deleted my Spotify playlist for him (Ha-ha, yes, don’t judge me).
And when I felt like I was finally free of all those external extra baggage, I started to heal what’s inside. I binge-watched Youtube workout videos and YES I REALLY DID WORK OUT EVERY NIGHT AT HOME (for a month hahahahahha). I began cooking (which I never did before, my mother must have been so happy now). And I cut my hair (THIS WORKS. DON’T FIGHT ME.)
One day, I knew I was fine. Not totally fine, but I can say these words with confidence and all honesty: I’m okay. Some days, I missed the very few moments he’s held my hands. Some days, when an important date comes up, I remember him. Some days, the thought of him being happy with someone else would hit me, and I could just smile and wish him the best.
But it doesn’t make me sad anymore. It doesn’t make me long for him again. It doesn’t make me feel miserable of my decisions.
So, yes, I am okay.
And then… the “new love”comes.
He’s the one I never saw coming. We’ve already known each other for a couple of months now but I never expected I’d ever get involved with him. He’s the kind of love that I’ve been trying to give to the wrong people before. The kind of love who isn’t scared to show what he feels. The kind of love who would sweep me off my feet if I let him. I think if I asked him the universe, he would give it to me in a second.
And it scared me.
Because all my life, I got so used to giving love away. And now that it’s here, right under my nose, I do not know what to do with it. Being loved and showered with so much affection feels so overwhelming that it made me want to stay and see where it goes.
Then, it leads me to the question: “Do I want him in my life? Or am I just hungry for well-expressed love?”
And this leads me to feeling guilty.
The fact that I’ve let myself drag him and his good intentions alongside my confusion for more than two months now makes me feel so much like the person who tore me apart. Whenever I look at him, I feel happy that there is someone in this world who is not afraid to love me. Whenever I look away, I feel horrible knowing that I am incapable of returning the same love.
I’ve pushed him away for so many times that we’ve both lost count. He keeps coming back and he blames himself because he can’t let me go but in my head, all I could think of is that maybe he could not let go because he could still see me holding on. But the thing is, I’m only holding on for my selfish reasons. Because I want this to work. I want to prove to myself that my past has not damaged me. That I am still capable of giving my love to someone who deserves it the most.
But if holding onto him even though the thought of spending time alone with him doesn’t make my heart skip a beat, then what makes me different from that person who only held onto me for five months just because he didn’t want to make the decision of leaving me?
I had to let him go. For real.
For 24 years, I got so used to having my heart broken that I didn’t have a clue how breaking somebody else’s heart can give me the same amount of pain.
Because when you get your heart broken, you’re allowed to cry. To be angry. To mourn. To rant about it. To block him. To heal yourself again.
But when you’re the heart-breaker, you don’t even get the right to be sad about it. You can’t say sorry just to pat your guilt. You can’t even say you miss him and tell him that the silence on both your ends is just too loud. You can’t do anything but wait for him to be okay without you.
Because how do you tell him you don’t deserve his love without making it into a cliché? How do you tell him you’re sorry for making him believe he had the chance? How do you even tell him not to hate you and that he should continue living a good life and that he’ll find someone who can love him the same?
How do you tell him all that even after knowing he’s already planned out his future with you in his life?
How do you tell all that without sounding like the bad person in his story?