A Breakup, Boxing, and Blessings, Day 42
Had I not seen part of the parade on television, lots of green shirts, and many happy drunkards on my way home, including a woman who seemed interested having me as a third with her partner, I might have forgotten entirely about this party day for the Irish and alcoholics. In fact, I had no interest in celebrating anything today. After writing half of yesterday’s blog on the subway after rehearsal, I returned home to Elliot, who looked very distressed waiting for me on my futon. For someone who has had many relationships end and who before a few years ago had initiated all of those endings, I have a remarkable radar for the start of the “I’m going to break up with you” conversation. So it began.
We talked about his thought processes since our conversation Thursday and how our different personalities and experiences have led us to needing different things in our present lives. At a younger stage in life and with very different interests and tendencies, he has things to explore that simply cannot include me, and I do understand and respect that. Similarly, he and I have incompatibilities that leave me wanting as well, which I think we overlooked for quite some time because of our mutual respect and genuine admiration for each other as good, kind, well-meaning people.
Although I initiated the conversation last week that led to our breakup, I did not want it to end and therefore did not really play the role of the dump-er. I won’t lie, that never feels nice, but I felt most saddened by his future absence in this part of my life. I had grown to trust and eventually love him since we met last May. Although I trust he’ll take his future place as one of my more treasured friends, I will miss what we shared for quite some time.
Appropriately, I’ve done my fair share of contemplating and a bit of grieving since he left last night. I had previously decided to try an Intro to Boxing class at the Crowne Plaza New York Sports Club and then perceived it as potentially the best possible post-breakup remedy. A man named Abby (yes, really, Abdel) taught us two beginners and, knowing my frustration, encouraged me to push myself harder than I expected in a way I definitely needed. Boxing really takes some serious energy. I highly recommend it.
In an unexpected way, I found it difficult to look at passers-by at the gym and on the subway. Knowing some anti-egoic messages about spirituality and acceptance might help, I spent my travels listening to Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth on audiobook. Slowly, I began letting myself look around, catch glances, hold doors for and interact with the strangers around me. It felt uncomfortable and a little scary at first to let people in even slightly after an admitted ego bruising, at the least. Nevertheless, I continued throughout the evening to relax back into the awareness I have embraced over the last couple of years. On my way back to shower before a friend date, I even discovered that I can actually see the Empire State building from way up in my neighborhood. Not such a bad concept, this whole awareness business.
Thankfully, I had settled back into myself for the most part by the time I arrived at the Metropolitan Opera to pick up Megan for our Max Brenner adventure. I ran into some very empathetic and lovely friends from the chorus and then traveled with Megan to Union Square to commiserate and enjoy some well-deserved chocolate. We chatted for a long time about bad dates, good and bad relationships, and good friends, and though we might have enough material for a book someday, I truly and shockingly do not feel the least bit bitter or jaded this time about the prospect of having to continue searching for a lasting companion.
Unlike my state of emotions following previous letdowns, I don’t feel like I have to start over in the whole dating process. With Elliot, I progressed at least a solid step forward toward finding someone who suits me. I know more about my needs than ever before, and though I will likely take some time to adjust and heal, I’m incredibly grateful. Thanks to Elliot’s influence, I have a different perspective about entrepreneurship and how it relates to my career and my habits. I have a new blog-driven passion (and passion-driven blog) because of conversations with friends to whom he introduced me and books and ideals he lent me over time. I have a deepened appreciation for Hayao Miyazaki, Rock Band, and the value of stability and dedication to hard work and good people. I will miss him, but I know we’ve given each other quite a lot. Any of his friends or family who met me said “Elliot’s such a good guy,” and anyone who met him said, “He seems so sweet.” Truly, from the first time we met to the way he ended our worthwhile relationship in person with dignity, patience, and care, he treated me well and with the utmost respect. I feel grateful to add him to the growing list of dear friends who have become my home, without whom I never could have come this far.
Looking forward to tomorrow.