End To Begin

One year ago this week, my best friend of years and I decided to stop being friends for awhile so one day we could get back to being friends.

It all happened really quickly. The conversations seemed to take place in rapid fire and elevate to their peak as if they were routine or we’d done this before. Most finished with glances of disbelief and shrugs of “is this really happening?”

And then it did. Less than a month after the first telling of the truth that our marriage wasn’t meant to last for the forever that we’d hoped, we ended it. But we didn’t just end it, we ended it in a way that I will always look back on with true fondness and a belief that it was the only way a storybook love like ours could end.

During our twelve years together, one of the most constant pieces of our relationship was our love of travel. And as was quite normal, we had a trip planned. A trip that we had planned long before the unraveling of our story was a reality. And so, we kept our plans and decided to take one last trip together. Looking back on that, it is incredible to think about. Two people in the middle of breaking each other’s hearts deciding that spending a long weekend together in Berlin is the right move. But also, looking back on it, it was absolutely the right move.

“How about this, let’s not have any hard conversation until the last day, let’s enjoy this for what it is, our last trip.”

And so we did. We ate amazing food, we stayed at amazing hotels. We laughed and we smiled like everything was okay. And we reveled in what had been one last time.

But then the last day came. And the hard conversations did as well. We went downstairs to the elegant lobby of the incredible hotel we were staying in and found a corner to talk. We negotiated the terms of our divorce over coffee, took a selfie, and then had what I would argue is the world’s greatest last kiss.

Then I stood up. I grabbed my bags and walked out to a waiting taxi, turning to wave goodbye to my best friend as my best friend one last time. And it was over.

As my taxi raced to the airport and as I boarded my flight back to New York, I thought to myself that that weekend and that scene are either the saddest ending to a romantic drama or the best opening to a soon to be produced romantic comedy.

A year later, I think I can confidently say it was the latter. It was an incredibly sad ending that has given way to glimpses of what is starting to feel like a whole and new beginning.