It’s Been One Week

It’s like being born again.

That’s the best way to describe life after putting my heart on a plane. It’s like being born. It’s raw and painful and a little surreal. It’s like waking up to a life where suddenly you know you have love in a way you didn’t before. You have real, physical pure love.

Because that’s how he loves me. In a way no one ever has. It’s almost entirely pure. Selfless. Simple.

However, it also feels unbelievably disorienting. Like I don’t quite know how to walk yet, or talk yet, or exist in the way most people exist. (Like I said, it’s like when you’re first born).

I put on clothes today, or tried to. They didn’t fit. (And I don’t mean that in some grandiose metaphoric sense, I mean they literally were too small for my current body). That felt disorienting. Those clothes used to fit like a glove, kind of like my life did, like the person I was before him fit my life. Now I could barely get them on, I do hope they fit again one day (and soon) I liked who I was before Jordy just fine. I don’t want to discard the pieces of that person, not all, maybe not even some.

I can feel things coming back though. I can feel how hungry I am. I want things more. I want to sink my teeth into something, to dig into it and pull back the layers until I not only understand it, but I can use it and work with it, manipulate the information like a tool.

I am sad though, but in a resigned kind of way. I know this is necessary and I realize it more everyday (especially given how disoriented I feel), and honestly as much as I miss him I am glad he’s not here. See, I am more certain with the more than ever that I need this. I want him to come back to a whole person, but more than that I want this for me. (And even though he isn’t the cause, you can’t reboot a computer and use it at the same time). I want to be without crutches and either fall or fly.

And if I fall. I want to pull myself back up, and this week, even though it’s been incredibly hard. I’m doing that. I can feel it. I can feel the falls, and the crashes, and I can feel myself stand up. I can feel this incredible resilience, this strength and hardness. This willingness not to let anything take from me what I hold most sacred, because contrary to popular belief, being without the person you love romantically isn’t the worse thing that will or can ever happen. It’s harder maybe then a lot of things that happen, but in comparison to the possibilities? It’s not.

So that’s where I am right. That’s how I feel right now.

I know it’s a mixed bag. I know it’s a little contradictory, a little bit of a mixed bag, but it’s what I’ve got. It’s what I’ve got to say.

Tonight I Wanna Cry

For the past couple of months my relationship has defined me. It has been everything to me. It was the lifeboat I clung too after the last few months nearly drowned me, but I just took that lifeboat, the heart that’s been keeping the blood pumping through my body, and I put it on a plane to Holland.

Now, know that as I am writing this, he’s just taking off, so of course you’re getting me more than a little raw, but you’re also getting me in the most honest way possible, because right now I feel these feelings so absolutely they’re consuming me, they really are. They’re drowning me, and yet I also feel them lifting me up.

See, the time I’ve had, no matter how rough, (or how bitter recent events made it), it was love, pure and simple. It was waking up to someone everyday who adored me, and looked at me in a way I never thought anyone even could. It was the way he advocated for me, believed in me, and reminded me that no matter what happens I should never become someone else. It was love. Love for me, and for life, our life, in it’s simplest purest form.

Yet, these few months have also been a ticking clock. Slowly moving, slowly pushing towards today, towards this moment where I’m shaky and vulnerable and just so damn sad and scared and also kind of ready.

I’m ready to pump my own blood again, or I need to be. I’m ready to stop living on a timer, stop putting pressure on minutes and hours as they run through my hands. I’m ready to rejoin the world again, and learn how to live in it without just him. I’m ready to take on the kind of life I wanted post-grad, I’m ready to fight for it, and fight is what I’ll have to do.

After all, this isn’t going to be easy. There’s nothing normal about my situation with him, or with the things that have happened to me in recent months (outside of our relationship), and with all of that combined it’s going to be a real struggle—a fight even- to even get out of bed some days. I mean it certainly has been even with him to help pull me out.

However, I need to be take on this fight. I need to relearn how to be my own gladiator, my own savior, even my own person again, because I used to be so proud of being those things, of being self sufficient and it kills me that right now I’m not.

But the truth is, I’m not.

I’m not self-sufficient, or whole, or even happy. I’m not any of the things I should be, or want to be for him, or with him.

I’m just lost.

But I’m also not.

I’m also right here, and alive and in love, and still holding the heart of a man on a plane who’s gone right now, but hopefully not for always, and I also have a unique chance to get found, to get myself back. To turn pages in a book that I’ve shelved for so long, and find the words that he fell in love with in the first place, to find the character and heart of the girl that he’s holding now as his plane moves farther away.

Because I if didn’t want this for me, Jordy didn’t want it more. He didn’t want the circumstances to put our lives on hold like this. He didn’t want to have to squeeze months into hours, and spend hours dreading months apart. He wanted normal. He wanted our own rooms and jobs and lives, that of course would coincide but never be so convergent, but also never so divergent at the same time. But that’s what we’ve got. That’s our reality. That’s our story, and even as I sit here crying my eyes out, I know I’ll make the best of it.

I know I’ll fight. I’ll fight to pull myself up out of bed, and force myself to reengage in life. I know I’ll hit the ground running and land that post-grad job. I know I’ll figure out this long distance thing. I know I’ll find my friends again, and thank them for their patience and for their support. I know I’ll get back into my old routines and I know I’ll relearn how to be on my own again. But I won’t do any of that right now, and I won’t do any of it tonight.

Because tonight, I just put the love of my life on a plane to Amsterdam. Tonight my heart is breaking a little bit, (okay a lot), and so tonight, I’m just going to cry.

 

Why You Can’t Ever Go Back to Undergrad

They say undergrad will be one of the best times in your life, and in almost all ways it is. They also say that it goes by way too fast, and it does. But what they don’t tell you, is that you can’t ever go back.

Because here’s the thing:

Your undergrad experience isn’t just a place. It’s not a bar or a restaurant, or your apartment. It’s a time. It’s a four-year period when almost all the people you loved, liked, or just wanted to be around (in my case other Western students) were in the same place, not just geographically, but in their lives.

It was a moment where any and every bar were filled with faces that were at least familiar to you. When you couldn’t be on campus, like anywhere on campus, without running into at least 5 people you knew, and this familiarity, this feeling of community felt so solid that it didn’t feel like it could ever end, like it would never not exist, but you come back and you realize that it has. There’s been a diaspora of your graduating class, and it means that even if the places never change, even if they stay there forever, the moment you lived in for four years isn’t something you’re ever going to get back. It’s a moment —a feeling really— that you’re never going to have again.

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A moment of pure undergrad joy captured by the lovely Nicole De Khors

This is the big secret our alumni events committee don’t want us to know. It’s the thing that’s swept under rugs and disguised by promises that alumni events will let you “relive your ‘insert university here’ experience!” It’s the elephant in the room. Because despite the yearly homecomings, the friends you make and manage to keep, and the places staying (relatively) the same. Once your time is up, you can’t go back, not to undergrad and certainly not to the moment you felt the opposite of loneliness, not even for one night. I learned this for myself the hard way recently.

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I came up to visit friends (who are still doing their undergrad), drink, go to ceeps (aka my favourite bar, aka London’s best bar), and honestly, to feel a little like myself again. To for one night be the girl who drinks pornstars, never waits in lines and knows everyone in the room,  a kind of Cinderella night.

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However, it turns out that even though that girl still lives inside me, even though she’ll always live inside me.There are no Cinderella nights for post-grads. Our moment has just simply passed, our clock has struck midnight, our magic nights are over and done and once they’re gone, we can’t get them back.

Now, that isn’t to say I don’t still bleed purple, and happily dance through the pain in four inch heels to Fetty Wap, because on occasion, I do. (Though not for as long or as well as I used to). It’s to say that, for the first time, I’m realizing post-grad is hard, not just because it’s a change, but because in many ways it’s also a huge loss, and I think that without even realizing it, a lot of us grieve for it as such.

So all that being said, I think it’s time. It’s time to shatter this myth, that our undergrad is something we can go back to, can re-visit on for a night or a weekend, or at a homecoming event. And it’s time to stop propagating this myth that we can go back, because believing this doesn’t prepare us for how it feels when our undergrad bubble bursts (and how to cope with that), and it also doesn’t help us enjoy what we have while we still have it.