Last I posted, Bobby and I were renovating our new house together. It was October, and I was 31. The leaves were just starting to turn and fall. The landscape was changing, and apparently, so was I.
It wasn't planned but it also wasn't spontaneous. I'd been dissatisfied for a long time, restless and contemplating if there was a different path forward for me. After nearly a decade together, the nature of our relationship had shifted to something I wasn't comfortable continuing.
And so I moved out. I left behind my best friend, my new house, my dog, and life as I knew it.
There are mornings that I have to talk myself out of bed. Most days, I struggle to get by without hating myself too much. I try to convince myself that I'm not a horrible person. I close my eyes at night and feel fear and self-doubt.
There was a period of time where I seriously considered suicide. I'm past that now, but it left scars that I doubt will ever fully heal.
Physically, I'm 25 pounds lighter than I was in October. Emotionally, I feel as though I'm wading in the ocean with bricks strapped to my feet.
I saw a therapist who asked me what I hoped to gain by leaving. What goals do I have that I didn't think would be fulfilled if I stayed? What do I want my life to be?
I told her I had no idea; I just knew it was time to go. She said it was okay to not know, and that validation from her, a total stranger, brought me to tears. It made me feel almost human again.
The silver lining, if there is one, is that I've learned who my real friends are. The cliche is true - when shit hits the fan, people either turn on you or they'll show up in ways you couldn't imagine.
When I deep-down believed that nobody could possibly love me, co-workers drove through the night just to sit with me. My mother jumped on a plane without thinking and put her life on hold so that I knew I wasn't alone.
On the flipside, I haven't heard from my father and brother at all. People who I'd considered close friends either told me outright that they didn't agree with my life choices, or disappeared without saying a word. It's been inexplicably painful, but, on the bright side, I suppose life has a way of taking out the trash for you.
In three days, I'll celebrate my 32nd birthday. Celebrate. It's something I haven't done much of lately. I haven't felt that I deserve to be happy, but my friends have convinced me that I am, in fact, worthy of a party.
So I'll spend this birthday with the small handful of people who genuinely care about me no matter what decisions I've made. That, in and of itself, is worth celebrating.
Welcome! I'm a pie-baking, dog-loving, antique-hunting patriot. I'm a fan of rustic home cooking, the Yankees and scenic drives through the mountains.