My ex boyfriend and I broke up about six months ago. We’d been together for over three years in the phase of life where your views are shaped, you learn to have opinions, and you grow into the person that you are. And I cannot stress enough how grateful I am to have done that with one of the most amazing and intelligent people inhabiting this planet. We shared a connection I can’t even explain. Even now, when we call every now and then, it’s like nothing has changed. We know each other better than we know ourselves, and he has always felt like home.
But some things are best learnt alone. I thought it would be worth discovering the world independently. There is so much more to life that we wouldn’t be able to discover by staying together. Our relationship was amazing, but it also got comfortable. And while comfortable keeps you warm at night and ensures you can always talk to someone, it also means your plans for the weekend are settled. And we’re young as hell. Your twenties are the years for discovering who you and the rest of the earthlings are. The period in which you’re free from constraints and the need to settle. It’s the time where you’re old enough to make your own decisions but young enough to get a pass on every bad one you make.
My mom (aka my main icon) raised me all by herself since the day I was born. While she has been through her fair share of crap in life, she didn’t need anyone else for that. She worked, took care of me, and taught me - unknowingly - the most important life lessons. Being able to do that by yourself makes you priceless. By conquering obstacles alone, she became the most powerful woman.
I’m not advocating for anyone to be alone. If you found your love and are ready to spend the rest of your life with that person, good on you – honestly. But for me there’s this self-destructive yet empowering force that pushes me out of my comfort zone, to my limits and over my boundaries. It’s a curse and a blessing. It makes life harder but grows me into a stronger person. Letting go is hard, but thriving is beautiful.
So I’ve been by myself for half a year. And it’s good. The first few months were amazing. I suddenly had a freedom I never had before. I could do whatever I wanted, without having to tell anyone or to explain my behaviour and decisions. So I went to Tunisia by myself. I went out a lot, suddenly had heaps of time for my friends and doing what I love. I wrote more, created more, and travelled more. I did a rescue diving course. I went to Australia without hard feelings, I wasn't leaving anyone behind. I'm having the time of my life in Melbourne and am extremely grateful for my best friends and new experiences over here. I’m falling in love, mainly with myself. I want to get so lost in the journey of finding myself that I’ll never want to go back.
But it’s also been hard, and it still is sometimes. We’ve seen each other twice after we broke up and it was rough for me. There is so much history, so many feelings and memories and heartbreak involved. When we call every now and then I am reminded of how well we understand each other. And that's rare. We don’t miss each other a lot, but the longer I’m away, the more I’m starting to realise that he is no longer around. For a while I held onto the belief that we would eventually find our way back together. And maybe we will, I don’t know. But if I want to learn to be okay alone, I’ll have to accept that there is no safety net to fall back into. This life is mine and mine alone, and if I want to be free, I have to learn to be okay with that. No longer seeing someone I spent a fifth of my life with was never going to be easy. Most of my memories and experiences were with him, and it takes time to create new memories with others and yourself. That's how time heals and why healing takes time.
I sometimes miss having him around. More often than I’d like to admit. There are times I want to share everyday things, like where I got my coffee this morning or a beautiful sunset on an Australian beach. And while I still share things with my friends and my mom, I want to find strength learning how to create validation within myself. There is so much beauty in being by yourself. Not one single person filling up the valuable head space you have. I can fry a single egg. Eat sushi in the park without sharing. I can watch a sunset alone while my thoughts wander wherever they want to go, because no one intrudes the process. So I’m on my way. Alone, but far from lonely. You need yourself to become your own. And once you become who you need, anywhere will feel like home.