Friday, December 7, 2018

Well, I've got thick skin and an elastic heart

From the iPhone journal:

You'll need to reclaim your space.
Redecorate, clean thoroughly. Hurry up, hang your clothes where his used to be.
Until that space is yours again and you forget that,  for a while, someone else lived there too, someone you loved deeply.

You'll need to reclaim your heart.
Focus on ideas, ambitions, plans changed or put on hold for him, for "Us", plans you had before you met. Write them down, then fill your days with anything, everything, that will put distance between you and that day.
Be with friends and laugh and think about the positives, and forget his eyes, his smile.
Stay busy.
Until your heart and your mind are once again "Me" instead of "We" and you forget that the "We" that you had, was something you once loved so much, and wanted so badly.

You'll need to reclaim your body.
A space that became his, just like the home and the heart you opened up to him.
Change the sheets that smell like the both of you, get a haircut, plan your next tattoo.
Dye your hair pink, shave your legs.
Until your body, like your home and your heart and your time and your future, once again belong to you, and you alone.

That was the first thing i did. The next day, still numb and in shock. Reclaimed the space where his things used to be. Instinctively i knew i had to be quick about it, same way i knew to delete all the pictures off my phone

The next day i got offered a new job, two days after that i left my old job, carrying a large blue trash bag full of the things that had been accumulating there for nearly two years, smiling all the way to Schönleinstraße where i was meeting Wendy for brunch to celebrate leaving a job that had been making me miserable for longer than i care to admit

I'd been crying the night before for the first time since he left, but leaving that office i felt a sense of relief that i can barely describe and i think it shows on my face. Relief and finally a sense of hope for a future that's now mine to create

I picked up Lucifer that weekend, and then it was just the two of us again

My friends were amazing. They made me dinner, ate brunch with me, took me out shopping for plants, or to get a drink at a nice bar, hung out while i sat quietly, unable to really socialize but also needing people around to not feel like drowning. And they let me play with their hamsters. And it wasn't only my friends here in Berlin who took care of me. Followers and mutuals on instagram and facebook flooded me with unexpected messages of love and support, which made me feel like i mattered, at a time when i was really questioning that. I can't describe how much those messages meant to me. Not everyone has that level of support in times of need, and i am grateful for it. Thank you 

I think it took me a full week of redecorating and moving stuff around before i started cleaning, but when i did i scrubbed every corner and smudged the whole apartment with sage.
Then i organized all of my German paperwork in preparation of things like applying for a freelance tax number, which i suddenly needed for my new life

My new job forced me to leave the house, to get out and explore the city. To be creative again.
I needed that as a reminder that while bad things happen, sometimes bad people too, there's too much shit to get excited about to let the sadness completely bury you. I'm not even writing this on a particularly good day, i currently feel insecure and full of self loathing, which tells me that i'm generally doing ok

With a timing that was even better than Lucifer's, Angus came to stay with me for a week, for the first time since he moved back to Australia

His list of places to go and things to see was as long as mine, and we had an amazing week that i think made us appreciate both Berlin and our friendship even more (that's sand, btw...)

We drank a lot of coffee and wine, had a lot of good talks, and ate a lot of good food

Lucifer's health isn't the best at the moment, he has a lot of lung problems, asthma, oedemas... basically he coughs and wheezes almost constantly, and there are more vet visits than any of us would like, but other than that he's the same adorable little guy he always was

This is work now, basically 

I take selfies to remind myself that i am not broken or unworthy, and someone failing to appreciate me or treat me right doesn't determine my worth.  
My countless flaws, my cellulite, my age, my insecurities, none of this makes me less loveable. 
I am ok, i am enough (repeat mantra until it's louder than the negative self talk that's been playing on repeat since childhood)

I get my espresso here now

Family portrait

A few weeks after i left my job, i got a second new one filling in at my friends' beautiful shop once a week. Basically freelancing means i'll need lots of little jobs instead of one all-consuming one, so i spend a lot of time searching for work and writing applications, while trying not to panic too much

Shooting the sunset and people at Tempelhof

I'm a nice person, but the next man who breaks my heart won't get a chance to quietly pack his belongings because they will already be on fire. 
A warning.

Angus' last night in Berlin at a small restaurant in Neukölln that we both love

People keep telling me this will make me stronger. I get that, and it's not untrue. 
But the truth is, i don't need to be stronger. One more breakup and i'll be fucking invincible, but that's not what i want or need. What i want, some day, maybe, hopefully, is a partner who is not weak. Someone who is as strong and as brave as me, someone who's strong enough to be open and to be vulnerable.
Until such a person comes along, i'm gonna be just fine by myself

Some days i force myself to smile, until the fake smile turns into a genuine one

Berlin life: the freedom to try and be your most authentic self... and eating noodles

I still have really dark days, full of blame and self doubt and self pity, but there are fewer of them, and i try to just visit that dark place instead of moving in there

A blessed image

In less than a year i've created a really special home for myself and i need to remind myself, that the fact that i'm the only one here to enjoy it, doesn't make it any less important or impressive

I gave myself a month to get over the breakup, even though i know that's not how it works.
Healing isn't linear, but i still had that goal in mind.
A week for every month we were together, no longer.
I spent too long in the past mourning someone, who wasn't even the person i thought they were, to ever go down that path again.
I don't have another year to spare for grieving. I'm already behind on living, i got shit to do.
To my surprise it worked, and without me even going to a bad place of excessive partying or unhealthy rebounds or anything like that.
I'm over it in every way you can possibly be over something, that will always remain somewhat unresolved.
I think i've finally accepted that people won't always give you the closure or explanations you need, so it's up to you, to ourselves, to stop craving them, and find a different kind of peace.
A kind of peace that comes from aggressively loving and appreciating yourself in a way they didn't, or couldn't.
A peace that comes from forgiving yourself for making mistakes, or trusting the wrong person.
For loving and missing someone who wasn't good to you.
And i do. I do miss him so much, but it's ok to miss someone and still not want them in your life anymore.