Friday, February 1, 2013
Breaking up, breaking down, and rebuilding
There's this saying about how when you hit rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up.
Within a week of my last blog post (it's been about 3 months now...I'm sure some of you were scared I got swept away by Frankenstorm Sandy), I split ways with the fellow formerly known as "The Sherpa." Despite seeing it coming, it still rocked my world (in the bad way) and knocked me on my ass. From my last blog post, it should've been obvious that things had degraded over the past year when a guy who didn't want to be the Christopher Robin to my Winnie-the-Pooh had been the Woody to my Buzz Lightyear just a year ago. I knew in my head that breaking up was a good decision, but in my heart, of course it still sucked. Really bad. Living with the guy and owning a puppy together made it complicated and extra painful. We were together for over 2 years, which is the longest I've ever been with someone.
I was self-evicted and am eternally grateful for the generosity of my circle of friends, both in Delaware and beyond. I didn't even realize I had so many people I could count on until I was going through a shitty time and needed help. My couch-surfing days as a pro triathlete came in handy as I stayed at a different place each week. For someone who considers herself an emotional eater, I found my appetite disappear completely. I just wasn't hungry. I went through a phase of just eating french fries and drinking gingerbread milkshakes from Burger King to force myself to eat SOMETHING. ANYTHING. And I still got skinnier. I contemplated writing a book called "The Break-Up Diet."
Not just the past 3 months have been hard, but probably the last 2 years have been a struggle. I think when my triathlon career was ending, I felt like my world was shattering, and wanted to hold on tight to whatever I seemed to have left in my life. One trait of being a competitive athlete is that you are always willing to work hard to get what and where you want, and have trouble letting go of things you should, because you see it as giving up or failure. Sometimes relationships just don't work out, no matter how hard you try, and many of those times they shouldn't work out, and it's time to say good-bye and stop holding onto something that's not there and not healthy.
I felt like I was in that scene from New Moon, where Bella just sits in her chair, staring aimlessly out the window, and the months go by, and the world spins around her. (Damn right, I just made a Twilight reference!) I remember this part in the book, when the chapters are pretty much blank, but you keep turning the pages... For a while I didn't know where I was going to live, what I was going to do. I felt like I failed as a pro triathlete and failed as a girlfriend. My pages were blank, but I went through the motions nonetheless.
When you hit rock bottom, there's nowhere to go but up.
Then 3 months have gone by, and I feel like I'm slowly waking up from a coma. And I'm waking up in a different state, at a different job, in my own studio apartment on the 14th floor. I live alone. Giving up my puppy dog was a heart-breaking decision. Taking this job as "junior clinical prosthetist" at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center just outside Washington, DC? Not a hard decision at all. It's been a month now, and I'm absolutely loving it.
I cut my ties, I'm moving on, I'm starting all over. I think I'm ready to start some blogging again, as I have always found writing to help sort out all the crazy thoughts that run through my head. I thought about glossing over this chapter in the story of my life, but suddenly jumping to a brand new city and brand new life wouldn't make much sense, would it?
Oh yeah, happy new year. 2013, the year all our dreams come true.