After stops, starts and stutters, soaring hopes, romantic weekends stolen from our “real lives”, sweaty sexy romps and gentle kisses, I told the Spaniard I just couldn’t see him or talk to him anymore. I need a break, and I need it to be real. No more “I’ll just see you in Boston” when we fall into each others naked arms for the weekend and come up needy. No more “maybe I’ll visit” that end in tears and talks of moving closer. No. More.
I’ve felt emotionally manipulated by him for awhile. Yes, in a moment of frailty I called him last week when I had a freakout - and I shouldn’t have. He dealt with it beautifully, swallowing his pride and letting me scream and cry until I fell asleep. Since then, I’ve felt guilty. He’s milked it for all it was worth “well I supported you, why can’t you just support me when I need you? I’m having a mental breakdown here.” He’s baited me, ensnared me, entrapped me into feeling like I’m the only thing that can save him, and its just too much pressure. I can barely save myself. I need to start seeing someone on the regular (therapy wise) to be able to sort through the fact I can’t figure out how to handle transitions, authority, changes and the real world. And you know what? Thats okay. I’ll work on it.
Its okay that I’m not grown up yet. All of the Spaniard’s hints about marriage and babies and the fact I’m the only girl he’s ever felt this way about (his words) make me sick to my stomach with fear. My mother (the sassy, crazy hippy) was engaged three times before she met my father. Her first husband was apparently extremely similar to the Spaniard. He was funny and sweet and attractive, but ultimately couldn’t get his shit together ever, and she left him. I don’t want my life to be spent supporting a man who is falling apart all over the place, only to end in heartbreak. I’m not going to start dating him again and let him move to DC so that I can keep supporting him for the rest of his life. I’m not going to commit to a relationship, because I can feel he’s in it for the long haul. I’m not. doing. that.
Upon telling him how I felt, it was like a giant weight was pulled out of my body, from my tiny cold toes to my wispy weird brain. The day after, I’m going to say I’m sad. Its okay. Sad is fine, melancholy is okay, but ultimately I don’t have to feel unhappy and unstable about committing to something I just cannot handle. I’m only 23, I’m only on my first job, I’m only dating and I’m totally okay with that. I don’t want to know who I’m going to end up with for the rest of my life. If I let him go and he doesn’t change, I’ve sidestepped an emotional freighter that was bound to wreck my own self-worth. Instead, I’ll let him travel where he needs to go to fix himself, and I will fix my own feelings and thoughts on my own.
There’s a different guy, Penguin, who isn’t too special. Actually, he might be, and I just haven’t let myself notice him yet. He’s intelligent, refers to himself as High-Bro (a bit high-brow but with a large foundation of bro that I can’t seem to squash out of him) he’s still growing, he’s interesting and he makes me giggle. He’s weird-looking, with a hawkish nose and an almost-Gosling demeanor, if only he was cuter. Lets just say he would have been my perfect highschool-boyfriend. A plus is he knows how to dress himself, and although sexually we’re not super compatible, I’m having a good time. He makes me feel worth it (whatever “it” is). I just need to make sure I’m not jumping into this so I feel supported by someone, during this time of being alone and being by myself. He’s said the typical “I like you.” and I’ve responded in a generally favorable and agreeable response, but I’m not going to commit just yet.
In the past three months, I’ve noticed something. Its like a huge magnet is rolling around under us, realigning our thoughts, places and needs. There’s this huge upheaval in the universe. People are shifting, new places, new spaces, new boyfriends, new breakups. Something in the water, or the collective unconsciousness. We’re all looking for a change, and dammit we’re actually brave enough to throw caution to the wind and go for what we want.
Is this what growing up means?