‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all ~ Tennyson
The Lumineers are one of my favourite bands and often on repeat in my living room. They have a unique sound and their songs can dip into the melancholy, a place I’m addicted to visiting. As a words girl, I’m attracted to great lyrics. To the story of the song, or a great line that will grab me and drag me in. Stubborn Love has that line…it’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all, the opposite of love’s indifference. I’m not sure if I agree with Tennyson or The Lumineers. The anguish of heart break brought me to my knees. In the darkness, I would have traded all of the shared moments of pure, ecstatic and unparalleled love, passion and affection just to have the gut wrenching pain disappear. To be able to take a deep breath and feel hopefulness again. I would have erased all of the love, all of the moments that were burned into my brain and heart, just to not feel anything. Nothing would have been better.
Yes, I agree with Tennyson, who wrote, “ ’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” But heartbreak knocks the wind out of you, and the feelings of loss and longing can make getting out of bed a monumental task. Learning to trust and lean in to love again can feel impossible ~ Brené Brown
Facebook decided to punch me in the gut last weekend by telling me I had memories to look back on. It was exactly two years ago that I met him. The One. We met like all “traditional” couples do these days, on an online dating site. We had messaged, shared lengthy phone conversations and finally, arranged to meet in person. He didn’t live in my city, but rather was an island dweller, a short, yet long, ferry ride to each other. Our first “date” was in a completely different town, we both were going to see the same band. We decided to meet and go for a run. Running became our thing. I remember when we first laid eyes on each other, the air sizzled, he looked right into me and said, “wow, you’re really beautiful.”
Then we ran. And we continued to run. Moments and milestones flashing by, while we floated away in our fairytale romance. It was a relationship rivaling those in the movies, the ones that aren’t supposed to exist in reality. But it did.
A few months later I broke my foot and my running stopped. It all stopped. As more time went by, it became painfully obvious that the timing was wrong. And timing is everything. Fuck timing. Our conversations turned toward heavy. Long distance, my inability to run and not enough time and space from his past life proved to be too great a hurdle. Every time we were together, I believed it may be the last, but together, face to face, it couldn’t be done. We were in love. Our relationship came to end the same way it started, in a text message. The final one, “please let me go.” It all faded to dark.
The days were long, the nights were longer, daily tasks were impossible, breathing felt hard. I am grateful for the amazing people in my life who forced me to eat, brushed my hair and held me tight. I had no idea how I was supposed to live in a world where he existed but I couldn’t be with him? For numerous reasons, I was on the edge. As the darkness started to fade to grey and the grey to white and eventually, the white to light, I chose to move away from the edge. I chose to believe in love again. And I chose hope. I will now always choose hope.
I had to flip the script. Now I feel that the world is better knowing that love exists. Knowing that he is out there. Recently I learned that the timing was better for him and he is ready to love again. My setback was learning that it was not me.
One of my best girlfriends has an unwavering hopefulness. She believes there is someone out there and she will continue on in that belief, somewhat uncompromising in what she wants. I will never return to that hopelessness.
We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time ~ Brené Brown
I choose to be brave and to lean into the discomfort of being authentic and vulnerable. Last night I sat with a new friend. I asked him how he would describe me to someone else and he answered without hesitation, “authentic, you are so yourself.” Wow. Thank you.
I have hope. I believe. I believe in love, I believe in vulnerability, I believe in authenticity, I believe in quality. And I believe I need to close this chapter to move on to the next. I’m excited and I’m hopeful and I’m loved.