Warning. Annoying How I Met Your Mother reference ahead.
A little over a year ago, I think I got my heart broken.
I say I think because I’m not even sure if it was love. According to the most badass character from 500 Days of Summer, “just because someone likes the same crap you do doesn’t mean they’re your soulmate”.
I can’t really say how it ended, it was rather unceremonious. I don’t even know the exact moment I knew it was over, but I am ashamed of how long I held on trying to make it work.
I cried for about 2 hours max in the aftermath. Then I went back to work and buried myself in unrealistic goals and milestones.
At the end of 2020, I embarked on my first commissioned travel trip to one of my favourite childhood cities.
I should have been delighted. I was with great friends, our Airbnb had the friendliest canines, I was speaking to fascinating people, and the air was rather crisp.
But at the end of each day, I didn’t have the energy to hang out over drinks or get dressed up for a night out.
I just wanted to lay in bed and watch cartoons. I was doing what I loved, but it felt like a part of me was missing from me.
After my trip, I was plagued by constant exhaustion. I didn’t want to write or speak or anything.
I blamed it on burnout from work, I had after all thrown myself into it non-stop for almost 2 years.
But after a week of missing deadlines, abandoning my blog and laying in bed doing absolutely nothing, I realised it wasn’t just burnout. Everything sucked because I was still caught between bargaining and depression in mourning our relationship.
Now, I wasn’t still in love with him. I could barely remember what he looked like, I scrubbed every trace of him from my gallery and I never follow my lovers on the internet (gotta take me to the registry for that fam).
But I did miss him; more specifically, the way he loved me.
The way he stopped the world to listen to me when I spoke.
The way he said “we” and “us” about all his plans.
The way he carved out time to spend with me in all the chaos. “I have 30 minutes for lunch babe” “Ride to work with me in the morning so we can listen to the radio”
The way he smiled amusedly when I told him about my latest naive discovery of the world.
The way we wanted the same things; no babies (maybe just one) and a house on a farm with two happy retrievers and one grumpy cat.
The way he’d try to get into whatever I was watching or reading, so he could catch my random references.
The way he accepted my aversion to sex and never made me feel like less of a woman because of it.
No offence to anyone I’ve been with since him, but no one has ever come close.
I’ve cared for other people since, developed rather deep feelings even. But the experiences were never the same, and I began to dread life after him.
Where on earth would I ever find another human who remotely wants the same things as me and understands my language?
Then, of course, the pandemic happened and told everyone “fuck your love life”.
How do you even rebound when you can’t go outside?
So here I was, a year later, forced to deal with the fact that my heartbreak was incomplete.
And so I did.
I slow danced in the arms of someone else to what was “our song”.
I kissed someone else, in many places and felt new kinds of butterflies.
I make plans for “us” with my friends and enjoy creating new, beautiful memories.
I’m vocal about how I want to be loved and continue to wear my heart on my sleeve.
And hey, it turns out there are many other people in the world who like the same things I do.
It’s over. I’ve never been happier.
Because the greatest thing about accepting that your heart has been broken is finally being able to embrace all the endless possibility that’s waiting.
It’s like swimming in a sea of yellow umbrellas.
There are so many places I’ll see, and so many people I’ll meet. All that magic (COVID please I’m begging).
There’ll be other people waiting to listen to my stories, to hold my hands, and indulge my need for quality time.
It may take five months or five years (god please I hope not). They could be right here in Lagos (okay this is a bit of a stretch), or somewhere far away in Seoul.
I won’t lie, I’m nervous, even a little weary; after all, a can girl only answer so many more “how was your day” and “wyd?”
But hey, let’s go, I guess??