Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I’m at a place in my relationship with W where I can no longer protect myself. We are feeling out the details of a life built around each other. Would we decorate our Christmas tree with big colored lights, or the little white ones? What if we set up an office so we face each other while we work? What if I want to chop the onions my way (and not his way)? These questions sketch out the details of an everyday life. A life where we bend ourselves to make room for one another. Where he buys the orange juice without the pulp, and I buy the more expensive tomatoes.

If you asked me a month ago how things were going, I would have said something like “It’s going really well, I think this might work out”. And then, either out-loud or just in my head, I would have added “but if it doesn’t, I’ll be ok”. But now I have to admit that I wouldn’t be ok. Not for awhile. I’d be heart broken- struggling to breathe under the crushing weight of the hurt. I’ve been in serious relationships before, and watched them fall to pieces at my feet. I know how it feels to lose yourself in heartbreak. To become a wisp of yourself, curled up at the bottom of a dark hole, hiding your raw skin from the sun, just waiting to heal. I know eventually I would pull myself up, and walk calmly back into my single life, stitched back together with new lessons learned. A little more guarded, a little less optimistic. Already I feel stretched and hollow along the fault lines of past relationships. I worry that each time I am able to give a little less of myself.

I’m testing my footing in this relationship, whether the foundation we’ve built is strong enough to hold my fears and my hurt along with all the easy parts of me. I feel exposed, and emotional, and crazy. I know this is my way of staring down the worst that could happen. Of saying yes, I could end up there. I’m taking a moment to acknowledge how deeply invested I am in this relationship. Tomorrow I will be back to focusing on all the amazing parts of this adventure, but tonight I’m going to let myself feel the weight of all the possibilities.

photo above from Audrey Hepburn Complex


  1. I completely know what you mean. I have never felt more hurt than when I broke up with my first love. I was hoping that nothing is as painful as letting go of the first one. Nice to know it hurts through each break up.
    I would also argue that it is that ability to let someone one, to be completely emotionally open, that enables you to feel things more deeply. Those that are closed off, might not get the low lows, but they also don't get the high highs.

  2. Sorry Brittany, it doesn't get easier! If anything I would say it gets harder. I agree, with the lows come the highs, it's a balancing act, and "balance" has never been one of my strongest qualities... thanks for the thoughtful comment!