So it might come as a shock to you, especially if you don’t know me personally, that I have just undergone a breakup. I was with my now-former partner for 4 and a half years. That’s a long time and a lot of experiences to throw away, in my opinion. But I think that it was for the best. In retrospect, having taken that step back, I can now say that the relationship had grown unhealthy and that if there was any hope of fixing the problems that preceded the break-up, it would only come from taking the necessary steps of backing up and looking at things from an outside perspective.
It sucks, going through a break up. There’s no two ways about that. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s harder for women than men, considering that I’m a girl and I swear to you, I felt like I was gonna die for a while there. Or at least shrivel up like a fish out of water from dehydration because of all the tears. (Okay, so that part is a lie, I don’t actually cry. I save my tears for entertainment. I cried like a little bitch when Dale died in The Walking Dead, and the season opener of Doctor Who made me cry, too.) I tend to let my emotions get the better of me and yes, I did consider apologizing and taking him back and trying again. But I let those emotions go, and tried very hard to look at things from a rational, logical point of view.
It’s been 3 weeks as of this writing since we split and I admit that I still wake up sometimes wondering when he’s gonna get home, or curled up with my arm around my pillow only to wake up and realize that yes, it is indeed a pillow that I’ve been spooning (and occasionally, drooling on.) I’m still a little bummed out over the whole thing, though the initial depression and doubts that I suffered have lessened significantly.
On the other hand, I have noticed a lot of things that have changed in my life since the break up. I’ve gotten a HELL of a lot more productive. I have filled my days with things that hadn’t been happening in the last few months of the relationship. I’m writing every day again. Lots, actually. I’ve picked up crocheting and sewing again. I’m prepping for a new business venture and am creating amazing products for my current business venture. I’m editing my writing (and we all know how much I hate that!) I’m back writing scripts and am working on several specs that I fully intent to query out within the next few months. I have secret projects happening. I’ve lost weight, and inches, off of my body. I feel less stressed out about everything. I’m still not sleeping most nights, but hey, you win some, you lose some.
I have moved beyond the point of feeling like I need to fulfill the expectations of someone else. If I feel like staying up all night writing in bed, with the lights on, listening to my Devil’s Carnival soundtrack on repeat without headphones (or doing the same things but instead of writing, crocheting because it’s more mindless than trying to make proper words at 5 in the morning on no sleep) I can. If I feel like staying in my pajamas all day and eating nothing but microwave popcorn I can. Granted, I tended to stay in my pajamas all day if I wasn’t doing anything anyway, but now I feel like there are no expectations. I don’t have to have dinner at 5 p.m. every day. I don’t have to go to bed at a normal hour. (Not like I do, can we get a hello for the incorrigible insomnia?) I don’t have to share my video games or my computer and I certainly don’t need to allot time to spend with the significant other. I have a Thor poster on my wall that I picked out myself, I have my favorite art pieces hanging on my bedroom walls. I don’t have to ask opinions or permission to put something else up, or to take something down. I dyed my hair pink and purple. (Although, I used to do that anyway, but had to stop due to work not liking it.)
I feel like I have gained back of the old spark that I had lost as my relationship had deteriorated beyond the point of repair. This makes it sound like my ex was to blame for all the unhappiness in my life. That’s not true. Situations arose where there was nothing either of us could do to make things happy, but that is neither here nor there. The relationship had just run its course. I’m just glad that we hadn’t tied the knot when we were planning to because the break up wouldn’t have just been as simple as it (kind of) was. I just feel like there is now a sense of self that has returned to me since breaking up with my partner. I feel like all the problems we had during our relationship had kind of put a stopper on my whimsy.
I know that a relationship, especially a long-term relationship, is about compromise. You have to share your life, and share your living space with this other person. You share your body, your soul, your home, your life… it’s a lot of compromise. And that’s the way it should be. I felt like there was no compromise, there were just changes that weren’t always for the better.
Do I regret the relationship? No. Have I grown as a person for it? Yes, I think so. Do I know more clearly what I want in a partner now? Oh hell yes.
And that’s a good thing.
I do admit, though, that I have a Queen size bed and I’ve grown accustomed to curling up against the wall, so there’s more than half the bed just going to waste. I’m more than willing to let someone into my life to fill that other side of the bed. I’m just warning you though, I tend to hog the blankets, so for that, you’re on your own.
Kai Kiriyama is a weirdo. She’s still working towards publication of her novels and her scripts, but she is a current contributor to Zombie Training Magazine, which you can find at http://www.zombietraining.com.
Kai lives in the Frozen North with her pet snake, Rhaegar.
You can find her on Twitter at: @thekiriyamaheir
You can email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can catch her on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/authorkaikiriyama
And she has a tumblr at: thekiriyamaheir.tumblr.com