jeudi 29 novembre 2018

The Dust

Sometimes the feeling that all is right with the world comes from the most unexpected places. Sometimes the universe works in strange, marvellous, fucking baffling ways.

I have grown infinitely more as a person in the past four years than in the entire decade before that. At the time, when I was in the midst of it, I didn’t really want to. I resented it. Doing the work was hard and I didn’t want to do it.

Conversely, during the decade before that, I thought I was happy. I thought I was a real human. I thought I had it all figured out. What an idiot I was. What a ridiculous, sweet little idiot.

I had a boyfriend and a job and a flat. I looked like such a grown-up.

I thought we were happy. I thought we were growing together. It didn’t occur to me that we might be holding each other back. We were both artists. We were so supportive of each other… weren’t we?

I was one of those stupid people who always claimed loudly that I knew I'd be fine on my own. That my relationship worked because I didn't actually 'need' the other person. I was with that other person from the age of 22 until 33. Of course I didn't have a fucking clue what 'being on my own' even meant. I didn't have a fucking clue about anything.

After we broke up, in an ugly battle of recriminations, false accusations, and secrets that we’ve never even spoken about, the spectre of our relationship haunted me for a long time. Longer than I ever realised. Until quite recently, in fact. For a long time, I was not remotely fine.

A subtle but insidious whiff of what-ifs, might-have-beens and the sick sort-of feeling that maybe we made a mistake. I wasn’t aware of it all the time, but it never went away.

Until earlier this year.

I saw my ex and I knew it would be the last time we ever crossed paths. I let myself get angry for the first time. I felt the universe shift and I realised it was because a massive, heavy fucking door had slammed. I was on the other side of it.

I cried like I had never cried before. Then I sent him an angry text message in which I told him so, after which I took four Valium and slept the best sleep of my life.

The next day I was fine.

Since then, life has got better in literal leaps and bounds. A month later I went on a holiday that set me on a new course. The day I got back, I sold a book, which is both terrifyingly personal and, by far, the best thing I have ever written.

I’ve got a new phone and changed my number.

I think of my ex today because, since then, everything has got better for him too. My social media feed has been flooded recently with news of how well his new band are doing – he is doing the thing he should always have been doing.

His new single, which incidentally and fucking coolly is currently charting in Japan and Spain, was described thus, in an article I happened to read this morning:
“It’s the sound of broken relationships that linger in the dust once the decision to break up becomes reality. It’s the emptiness of making that tough decision, the upside-down, gut-wrenching feeling of walking away from something that clearly doesn’t work anymore. Those urges that still pull heart strings when you see your ex-partner… and you realise they are still thinking about you even though they broke your heart.”

I don’t need to listen to the song. I’m sure it’s nothing to do with me and I couldn’t care less if it is or not. I won’t be listening to it or reading any more about it.

I couldn’t be happier for him. I feel lately, for the first time in a long time, that everything is as it should be. I wish him everything good in the world, that talented man who I spent a significant chunk of my life with, the first person I ever loved who loved me back, and who I never want to see again.

Thank you, universe.

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