Let’s go on an adventure.
Today marks the day of 1 year being single. On the eve of when he left (our life, the apartment, this city), our four housemates decided to have a farewell dinner. We ordered what we whatever food we wanted to keep our bellies warm and we took pictures together and in them everyone was smiling — as if it was a celebration. As if something great was happening and we wanted memories of the night. We had dinner together in a little Korean restuarant that was entirely Melbourne-esque. The seats were wooden and the air was thick with the steam from bbqs and hotpots and we were all safe inside from the cold air that still stung a bit like winter. There was a roar of happy miscellaneous conversations filling the Friday air and the warmth from all the vibrant, hot dishes streaming endlessly from the kitchen was enough to fog up the glass facing the street outside. At our table we had drinks and played drinking games and asked the waitress to take photos of us where we were all smiling and, in the most livable city in the world, we should have been the pinnacle of happiness. From the outside peering in it looked like a happy occasion – like old friends meeting or someone’s birthday or promotion, perhaps? When what was truly happening was I was saying goodbye to the life we had built around ourselves together for almost 6 years. A part of me. It was bitter sweet experience and I don’t know why but I still keep the photos on my phone. The most ridiculous part is that even though my heart felt hollow at the fact that he was leaving and I couldnt bare to see my friend go, I still opted to go out drinking with my best friend and her friends instead of going home to spend one last night with him.
Today I’m sitting in a new apartment with the last 2 standing — my best friend and her boyfriend. We’re in a cute little apartment with a spiral staircase and high ceilings. The apartment warms up when the oven is on and it’s not the biggest, grandest or newest apartment but it is cosy and homely and filled with our own quirky belongings. The living room is regularly filled with the yellow glow of lights, the sound of my best friends laughing and the smell of the lunches for the week cooking. (Their lunches — not mine. I’m a fucking rubbish cook. )There’s a glass of red wine in front of me and the murmur of a tv show in the background, and while I’m writing this I can hear my friends fake bickering about who should get ready first for our celebratory dinner.
1 year on I am a whole person again.
It took different guys on rotation constantly for 365 days.
It took countless alcohol fueled nights.
It took 2 different jobs, 2 trips overseas.
It took the start (but not the end) of a new degree.
It took lots of cigarettes, facebook stalking and moments where I felt so alone and lonely my heart ached for something (anything).
I thought about him so many times in so many ways in so many different places.
Tinder swipes, throwing away his shit, looking through old pictures to the day that we met.
The months leading up to when he was leaving, I gave him all of me — every last ounce of effort, love and courage I could muster. I was in the midst of my own tragic story love. When he left, he took all of me. But it left me with space to grow.
How fucked up is it all? Love — In all it’s forms, including for yourself. The one topic that transcends time and space. It imprints itself into culture, literature, music, stories and pictures of the past, present and future. It continues to break us, build us and change the very fabric of who we are, try to be and want to be. It has to power to bend, shape and frame the words we accept, the voices in our heads and every intention behind our action. It is intoxicating, heart-breaking, all-consuming, overwhelming, absolutely passionate and tragic at the same time. It has the power to saturate your thoughts and leak into your blood until it becomes the very DNA that you are made of. I’m both aggressively a romantic and drunk on the idea that you can’t force it, you can’t fake it, you can’t dream wish or hope for it. If it’s love, if it’s real love, the pull should be so strong that you can’t fight it no matter how hard, long or much you try. It should override all logic and law because it should be this unbreakable fate that should always find itself. It should be raw, unadultered, fierce and so gripping that once it touches you, you are never the same.
He is gone and I will never be the same. It doesnt have to be sad, but it most certainly is true.
But anyway, back to the today.
Today I had dinner in a restaurant I have been to about 4 times in the past 3 years. The first time was with him when we were still somewhat happy. The second time was when my best friend moved to Melbourne and we started living together and I took her there to celebrate her new life. The third time was with him and his mum, where she proceeded to tell us that in Chinese culture women pregnant with a male baby exhibit a clear symptom — they are happier. [how fucked is that?] And the fourth time was celebrating the fact that he had been gone for a year and that the empty, boyfriend sized hole in my heart [yes i have one. don’t know where i found it.] has been filled, in part, with booze, cigarettes, drugs, an eating disorder, a job at one of the most prestigious firms in the world and ultimately days and nights filled with laughter. It all sounds kind of grim but I can promise you, it’s just the beginning of the adventure.
Let’s go on an adventure.