my heart isn’t ready

It’s been a fortnight.

I realised that I had been mourning my relationship before it even officially ended, ignoring verbal protests. When our summer travelling ceased, there were no longer any distractions from facing the rifts that ripped open the very core of what we once meant to each other.

April ’12, Seattle, Washington – photo by¬†Kayleigh

Anchor wasn’t a simpleton. The very act of saying “I don’t think it’s a good idea to continue this relationship” didn’t shock him in any way that I’m aware of; all it yielded was a shrug and a murmur. I also happen to be terribly expressive without talking. I don’t pretend to know or speak for him, but perhaps he had been mourning something too.

The interactions to follow grew tense on both ends, however, and I have made myself scarce.

Food intake and sleep have both been compromised due to going from friend’s place to friend’s place (though I remain grateful for the ability to). I’ve already lost ten pounds.

Looking for a new safe space has proven unsuccessful thus far. I’m not seeking a quick fix solution, but something long-term, sustainable. I still love my job, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say I was happy for excuses to think about other things for 8+ hours out of the day.

Three years gone. My second longest relationship. There’s only so long I can feign that I’m infallible, and that I’m stronger than all this bollocks, don’t you think?

A few people have asked, “what happened?” Most of them haven’t bothered asking me anything else when I didn’t offer any sordid details. Sometimes things just don’t work out.

I’m not sure what it is about being single that others pick up on. It could be coincidence, but there have been a good deal of incidents lately to suggest otherwise. It’s been… educational.

I won’t lie. I’ve been known as a serial dater. I’ve gone as long as a year without seeing anyone else, but I’ve also lasted as short as an hour or so. An irresponsible hedonist, if you will. That too could be part of the reason for the surge in aggressive activity towards me.

Over the years, it’s been more difficult to take on that persona, especially while in long-term relationships. No discounting the interactions, but three relationships of mine should’ve been established much later than they were, if at all. Time is absolutely necessary to grieve.

I’m attempting forward movement by letting others know that I honestly can’t be arsed to dabble in romance at present. My heart is too tender and I’d be a pretty crap date.

Getting into something too soon would dishonor the positive time spent previously, and would sully the potential of a new beginning. No one needs that, no matter the attraction. I also have a great deal on my plate to square with that would be best served with me single.

May ’12, Tacoma, Washington

Here’s some advice for interaction offline and on: when and if you see me, don’t treat me any differently than you would before, bearing the previous information in mind.

You can talk to me. I may falter a smidge emotionally for a while, but I’m pretty much okay in general and am parallel with my goals for the immediate future and beyond. That’s all.

the property of closure

There comes a time where you have to stop whatever it is you’re doing to think. 

You breathe in, and as you slowly, deliberately exhale, admit “my cup runneth over.”


Now, how do you figure out what to do with that knowledge?

I seem to have some awkward perpetual bond with my very first love. I’ve been able to dispel most of the energy from other lovers, if I’ve felt it necessary. Not this one.

It’s awkward in the sense that we’ve been broken up for a couple of years now, yet frequently talk to one another with a timid warmth indicative of a connection that has been worked on at length by dedicated parties. (Our conversation is also occasionally seasoned by the hurt we’ve placed upon each other over this time; let’s not forget.)

Awkward in the sense that we’d had an off-again, on-again unparalleled romance over the course of the near decade that we’ve known each other. 

Awkward in the sense that the closest we’ve ever been to each other is when we decided to travel by plane or other mode of transportation. We do seem to have a knack, however, for tucking away and carrying memories in our pockets, which fly out and screech “hey! look at me!” right at moments when we’ve finally started to believe we’ve moved on.

April 2009, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, California

I think we’ve both made good-to-honest strides to distance ourselves from each other, because that’s the healthy thing to do.* I’m in a long-term relationship with Anchor, someone I find myself even more smitten with today than when our friendship first began to take on much stronger, meaningful connotations. First Love is actively dating in his area.

It’s hard to find a balance. Because this person still means so much to me, I don’t wish to push him away. My life would be darker without him, no two ways about it. Still, I can’t imagine how hard this has been for Anchor to process, mostly silently. I think about the crap he’s had to take from me, my insecurities and my past, and I find it amazing he’s around.

June 2010, private home, Portland, Oregon

The feeling of a stalemate on this subject is difficult to ignore. It leaves me frustrated, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I have a habit of wanting to hammer at something until a solution produces itself, but not everything works out in that uniform a way. I may have to act somewhere in between being practical and being honest in the near future, and the part of me that chooses to act with my heart will absolutely hate the shit out of it. 

I can only hope that all of us come out of this as unscathed as possible, which seems silly seeing as pain has been entering from every avenue since this rift has formed.

I don’t have all the answers. I was so sure I did as a kid, but boy was I wrong. Perhaps no one really does.

*While I have been in open relationships for years now, there are some lines that can’t and shouldn’t be crossed. Sometimes you have to choose, and live with whatever consequences may come with that choice. I have, and I am, and overall… I think I’m OK.

cities in common

Since last spring, I’ve completed two week-long trips to Boston. I might have just a tiny crush on the city.

I’d say that any time less than a week there wouldn’t be fair – there’s lots to take in (especially if you’re from the west coast, as I am). Hell help you if you have people you know in the general Northeast area, not to mention if you happen to be travelling with someone who hails from the Northeast itself.

Boston is filled with gorgeous sights if you’re lucky to catch it on a non-gloomy day, as is the case with the Northwest. Missing a glimpse of the Charles River is unacceptable. Taking the T can be quite the adventure in itself (as I can personally attest to after many mishaps on the Red). You’ll also find yourself among some amazing food and drink, and insanely aggressive drivers. It is definitely a good time.

I did my second trip with my Anchor a week ago. It was a good time to take advantage of the opportunity to visit Connecticut for the first time, meet some new people and absolutely unparalleled new visions.

I have to say that the stuff I liked best about this Northeast trip were the chances I got in reconnecting with others – people who, for the most part, I’d met during my many years living in Los Angeles.

I am going to talk about three of them.

Gingerbread came to Boston on account of school, and is very passionately working at it.

He is one of the most mature teenagers I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, probably the result of lots of personal growth. Folks like Gingerbread just go to show you that people should not be immediately judged on the number of their years. I left our interactions feeling glad I’d reached out, and made a mental note to do more of it in the future.

Bubble made a short trip to meet me in Boston. Most of the time he was away soaking up the environment with an exciting new mademoiselle. He has the talent of coming off as full of positive energy, and he surrounds himself in a great percentage of it. I’d forgotten how easily he makes me smile with such little effort. It was truly a treat to chat with him, and I’m grateful the effort was made.

Last Chance was the one I ended being the most excited about, in the end. I’m not sure why, but our history in Los Angeles was fairly intense. Our correspondence hasn’t always been strong, and I felt slightly disappointed when he chose his new home as Boston over Seattle (for obviously selfish reasons).

I can’t explain why a casual trot turned into a good-to-honest sprint for a hug – in a hipster restaurant, no less. It didn’t matter. I became captivated all over again, in the middle of a table of six, and digested more personal stories than I did any of the delectable food.

My last year in Los Angeles happened to be one of my most miserable. Bubble and Last Chance both contributed to bits of happiness I managed to snag along the way, so seeing them one after the other was overwhelming in the end.

I would do it all again.

I most likely will.

Boston being Anchor’s old stomping grounds, it goes without saying that a trip to Los Angeles is long overdue. I suspended the idea of doing it in May because I felt going for an extended weekend wasn’t enough for me. There are even more people to see than the ones I hooked up with (and didn’t) in Boston, family, and those in between.

I don’t regret leaving Los Angeles. It was time. Despite that, it is always good to return home for a while – a home in which I struggled, fought, sweated and bled. While I have forgiven all of those responsible (myself included), I don’t risk forgetting the hard times, else I won’t recognize the better ones when they come about.