A lot has happened in a year, but nothing really changed

On my last post, I was preparing for a cross country cycling trip, that I ultimately didn't make. At least on bike. I did however end up driving over 12,000 miles in my Jeep and saw the grandeur of our country. I sadly didn't write anything at all other than emails and text messages on my trip (though I took over 4000 pictures). It was bad ass, and if you have the desire and the opportunity, do it. You won't have any regrets (even about global warming). I only spent about $4000 over the entire 2 month trip.

Anyway, right now I am going through a break up and a friend suggested I blog, just to make sure my thoughts are captured, and in a relatively unguarded way.

I'll start by admitting my own impulsive tendencies. The trip I took was a knee jerk reaction to losing my job. I needed something to validate myself, and what better way to do that, than to take an epic cross country road trip and fulfill one of my childhood dreams. I can give a few more good examples of when I have forged steel resolve in a few moments of crisis (maybe it's only these moments of deep emotional angst that have the capacity to produce such mental fortitude and conviction) but for the most part, it's just a series of bad decisions.

I write this, because I just decided to cut my ex girlfriend out of my life tonight (at least for a few weeks until I can get over her). I sent her flowers earlier this week after I hadn't been able to be there for her in a time of need. I received a thank you, but was surprised to get a bit of reproach for sending them to her office (thus muddying the line between her professional and personal life). She also said she would call that night, but gave a flaky excuse why she didn't, and didn't send a text/email to explain that night (and she didn't say anything until I messaged her the next day around lunch). She also said she would call the next day, but called my cell knowing it would go straight to voicemail since I was staying with my parents for a few days in the country. I did get a very terse, 8 second voicemail. No call the next day. Last night I was on Facebook, and looked at her profile. I noticed she had updated an old album, which was strange. I assumed she had deleted a few pictures of me or something. She hadn't, but she had untagged several of them, as well as others on her profile where we were together as a couple. I thought this was rather trivial and insulting to me. I felt like this was the physical (eh, digital) manifestations of her efforts to forcefully push me out of her life. Pile all of this on top of a new relationship that she formed behind my back while we were still emotionally invested in each other (and turned to the second we had our first fight) and it should be easy to see how I feel hurt (or at least sorry for myself. I don't mean to suggest this is all that set this particular action into motion, there have been 4 months of miscommunication, non-communication, arguments, insults, letters, emails, and one surprise visit by me. I just wanted to document for myself what I decided to make this particular decision. I wish I had such clarity for other decisions I have made over the course of our relationship (I'd suggest anyone going through a breakup take the time to do this).

I probably should have given up long ago, but I didn't want to do so without trying to first repair the friendship and give ourselves one last shot to resolve our lingering doubts (or at least I wanted this). I didn't want to go the rest of my life wondering "what if" and live with a giant question mark over the relationship. I had a few big questions and wanted the opportunity to answer them before we severed ties, but at this point probably won't ever find out (though in some ways, this process has answered most of them). That being said, it doesn't bother me nearly as much since I know I made an effort to repair what I could. I am glad I tried.

That being said, I still feel a little bad about doing this, because it's the final nail in the coffin and makes it almost impossible for us to get back together. She's in CT and I'm in SC and I don't have a clue how we will reestablish an emotional connection from such a long distance (particularly if she starts another relationship). I do genuinely feel like we could have been happy together.

As it stands, she still has an incredible capacity to ruin my day. If she says she is going to call and doesn't, my mind focuses on it obsessively. In a lot of ways she was my raison d'etre. I worked on my yard or body because she would have wanted it a certain way. Every time I'd hear a romantic song I would think of her. Obviously, there are hundreds of shared moments. There are countless moments where I turn to the mental simulation I have created of her, but there is quite a bit of cognitive dissonance when the real person doesn't live up to the person I created in my head. It takes quite a while to calibrate the simulation to match the real one.

I have left myself very exposed for the last two months and she has pulled away the entire time rather than opening up to me. I am no martyr and don't have much capacity for selflessness. I have felt sort of noble doing what I was doing, but this is the first time I have allowed myself to be consciously selfish for the first time in a while. I want to be there for her but there is no need to keep hurting myself now that it's clear she has no interest in being emotionally close to me. I feel like the benefit to her is much less than the pain to me. It's time for common sense to take over again. Going back to being the detached rational person that I naturally am.

It's also time to swallow reality. It's an easy pill to take once you believe it - it's the uncertainty that made my decision making process so complicated. I knew she was ending this relationship out of stubbornness, not because she didn't like me. When I visited I expected her to either take me back or tell me that it was over. When I got there, she was pretty overjoyed. I didn't consider the possibility that she could still have feelings for me, but at the same time forcefully extinguish them. I thought she was stronger than that, and I certainly didn't know she was that stubborn (or maybe I just believed I has the ability to sway her more than I though).

It's been a very painful process for me to go through, but at the same time I feel I did learn a great deal about myself and am not upset that I went through it. I hope I come out on the other end a more self aware person. Someone more sensitive to the needs of others (something I wasn't particularly good at during our relationship). Someone who can admit I don't have everything figured out.