Finishing Wine & Other Lessons

This past Monday was rare. I didn’t have to get out of bed at 5:23 like my alarm clock suggests every morning. With no school and not having to work for the first time since January I had a Monday to myself. Before heading to sleep I texted Slam Poetry Piece to come over for breakfast, so we could enjoy the morning together.

Naturally my body woke up about 5:30 and I had the urge to text him, “I wish you were here so I could steal the covers from you and bring you coffee.” But I didn’t.

Later that night we met up so I could bounce a few ideas off of him and after we went our separate ways I texted him, “I absolutely freaking love you,” and I meant it. I would go on to ramble about how when we were eighty years old I hoped to send each other love letters and we would have to retrieve them by a blue spruce tree. Although we were just friends, I felt like we had figured out a routine that just worked. It wasn’t complicated, but it was deeper than simple.

I had written him a letter and I was going to give it to him the next day.

Tuesday morning rolled around and the letter was misplaced. I cried. A few days before he made the comment that the flowers that I had gotten him were wilting – I tried not to think of it as a metaphor, but I knew he wouldn’t have told me that if there wasn’t something he was trying to convey. And now the misplaced letter. In my heart of hearts I knew that the letter would never be received by him, even if I did find it … because those words that were being held in that pink piece of paper were never meant to come from me. It was like the universe was holding me back from making a terrible mistake, and at the same time saving him from a world of heartache. 

The thing about words, I have come to find is that often times the words you want to hear, never come from the person you want to hear them from. I swear, it is one of the deepest heartbreaks we will ever feel.

Sometimes I find myself torn, taking the risk and giving away the words you want to hear yourself, to someone else, even if it isn’t from you that they want to hear it or not saying anything at all. Selfishly if it were up to me, I would have given Slam Poetry Piece the letter so quite possibly it was fate that set in. He would confirm later that night that he was seeing someone else.

It is going to hurt, allow it to hurt. Go on an eight mile run and listen to the music so loudly that your blood starts to flow faster to the beat to assure you that you are alive. Call your mom and tell her your heart is broken. She has been there. She cares. It isn’t embarrassing. Go to the liquor store and buy two liters of red wine.

On Wednesday, crawl back into bed a noon after your obligations and drink another glass of wine before lunch, it’s okay. Curl up with a book and listen to the rain drops on the window. Find comfort in those three things: wine, books, the rain. And then after an hour get up, go for a walk and then start studying. You’re going to feel better once you start accomplishing things. Go to the gym with your friend and try a few exercises you haven’t tried before. Listen to Beyoncé.

On Thursday you might start to feel silly because you two weren’t even together. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

In between classes, my friend took me to a French bakery for Nutella croissants. We just talked and it took everything I had in me to make sure that my tears didn’t start dancing to the same rhythm of the rain outside. I was frustrated, we didn’t even date.

“I think that loves that only last for a month or two are grander than those that last for two years,” I confessed.

It’s like with Slam Poetry Piece I knew that we would never end up together. One day he is going to make a lovely spouse, and probably be one of the kindest, most understanding fathers who rocks the “Greatest Dad in the World” tee to all basketball and soccer games, but he was never meant to be those things in my life. Not knowing how long it was going to last made it all that more intense. When you know the time you are going to share with someone is finite you have to be brave enough to put every fiber of you into each second. I fell fast and hard. I told Slam Poetry Piece things that it would take years for me to tell a boyfriend. I wrote about him, probably the rawest form of endearment I could give to someone. I made my schedule open for him. And to try to show him that he wasn’t alone in the mess of it, I brought up old ghosts from the past that I buried a long time ago. I had to constantly give him my all when we were together because I didn’t know when it would be the last time – the last chance that I had.

Maybe that is why those quick, intense loves hurt the most because you fearlessly give it your all. Somewhere inside of that messy, beautiful heart of yours you realize that the time you have is limited. There is a braveness behind it all. So give yourself credit that you were able to put your heart out into your hands once more, instead of beating yourself up that you didn’t even date.

You were never meant to darling. That doesn’t meant that you weren’t supposed to love them.

I am starting to wonder if moments and quick loves like this is to garden our commitment of someone’s growth. You plant the seed that they are worthy of love, you did it so damn well for two months and now you get to watch them grow all on their own.

Hold onto that. Because that makes all of this worth it.

I get it though, it might take another 24 hours and class of wine to get to that point. The point of accepting it all. Don’t cheat yourself out of that time. Desperately do I wish I was able to play it cool and not visibly show and act like my heart was bruised but I knew that if I was to pick up the pieces of our friendship – which seems to be the most important thing – then I was going to have to allow myself a grace period before I became graceful about the situation myself.

While you go through that grace period, remember this  

Don’t skip class, just because you don’t want to see him. No one is worth sacrificing your education and if he is half as decent as you say he is, he wouldn’t want you to do that either. Apologize to your roommate for slacking on the dishes because you could care less about anything; sometimes you just need life to reflect that it is a mess. Drink more green tea than coffee during this time. Your heart needs something that with soothe it, not make it race – it barely survived the race that the boy just put it through. Schedule lunches and dinners with your friends so that you don’t feel alone. Cook that meal you wanted to share with him and share it with someone else. Sob in the shower. Genuinely lose your breath because the steam is so hot and you are crying so hard.

When you are ready clean your apartment; sometimes we need life to reflect that we truly do have it all together. Clean your sheets three times so that the essences of him being there no longer lingers. Ah, but always remember how lovely he looked as the sun hit his bare back while you quietly tip-toed around the room trying to get ready for the day. Continue challenging yourself at the gym. Go buy spinach and ripe vegetables for salads. When you aren’t buzzed off of wine or coffee, text him. Tell him that you are happy for him if he is happy. Tell him that you are excited that he has a reason to jump out of bed in the morning and how happy looks good on him. But only do it when you genuinely mean it.

Then pull out your day planner and reorganize your life. The funny thing is, it was never a mess. Sure your heart felt like it was in messy cahoots, but your life never was. Sure you neglected a few responsibilities and you let an assignment slip past your best work that is the safety net of being young. We are able to pick up the pieces and learn from them.  

The first time that you are going to see him will come quickly. Less than 48 hours when he tells you that he has moved on, laugh with him at his joke. Don’t shy away and stop looking at him, that isn’t fair. If nothing else, marvel in the love that you tried to fill him up with. Ruminants of those honest compliments you gave him will help shape his heart, just like he did yours.

And when you have the urge to write him love notes, do it. Write it out. But don’t send it to him. Hold onto those words until the right person comes along. The person who doesn’t need to hear them from you, but the person who wants to hear them from you.

As you go through this process of crying, my wish for you is that you don’t become bitter. You have just proven that your heart is full of so much love and goodness, don’t allow those empty spaces to be filled with bitterness or hatred.

Something remarkable happened during this week as I was sorting myself out through it. It rained on Wednesday with me. The Earth just poured itself out with me without yielding. There was some thunder and some lightening, but mostly just rain. The replenishing of one’s self. The process of washing away and nurturing new life all at once. On Thursday it rained and snowed here, it was a mixture. It didn’t know what it was feeling. I didn’t know what I was feeling: do I go to class? Do I say hi? Do I give him a hug like it won’t break me? Do I ignore him? And during class with him and as we walked in the same direction after class the weather just stopped. It was just what it was. There wasn’t rain to wash away, there wasn’t snow that was a blanket of harshness, it just was. And it was in that moment that it just was. Suddenly, it is Friday and the sun is back out. The air is easier to breathe.

I want to be the girl who can tell her great-grandchildren that she was in love 300 different times during one year, opposed to just once. During those other 65 days that are unaccounted for I am going to use them to fill myself with the love that I just gave away. I am going to spend an extra day with someone like Slam Poetry Piece. I am going to learn how to cry and admire what I had while I had it. I am going to chase grace. 

I am going to believe even harder in the idea of fairy tales because for a brief moment I felt it laced in between my fingers.