How’s your 2022 going so far? Mine is turning out to be complicated…. First, I tested positive for COVID-19 right after New Year’s in Germany (more here). Then, I had to endure a 7-day isolation in a Ferienwohnung (more here) and seriously alter my travel plans. Finally, and most recently, my boyfriend and I broke up.
If you follow my blog, you will notice that I quite frequently mention my boyfriend in passing. There’s a good reason for that — we’ve been together for a few good years (okay, and one less-than-good year — I’m looking at you 2020…). Our breakup wasn’t filled with screaming and fighting and it wasn’t because we weren’t happy together (in fact, we really, really were!). It just turned out that we wanted different things from life, or maybe even many of the same things, but the timing was off. As much as our wants and desires overlapped, they also turned out to diverge in what we believe to be in irreconcilable ways.
In my last post, I wrote about how we took a spontaneous short trip to Miami (more here). When we finalized the tickets, we were happy as clams and looking forward to escaping the Boston winter. However, in the days before we were set to depart, we had a series of serious (kind of existential) conversations that made it more clear to us that the paths that we wanted to follow in life diverged in significant ways. Regardless, we decided to take the trip as a pleasant distraction, before talking through the serious stuff more… yeah, we couldn’t flip the mental switch that quickly (go figure). Then, in the middle of a beautiful place and an exciting time — boom — we broke up, just like that — poof! Our union, that we pictured lasting years and years and years, vanished into thin air. I was surprised! Never did I think that such a strong relationship could be severed like a piece of thin string that encountered the wrong end of a knife.
Of course, I was sad, but the weird thing was that I didn’t have any regrets. I didn’t think to myself — oh, if only I had done this, then maybe everything could have changed for the better. All in all, we had a good relationship. I don’t have anything to regret; maybe, this is why I didn’t feel absolutely gutted when things ended so suddenly.
We made each other better, kinder, and stronger people. We saw the world together. I wrote my first CuriousWordsBlog.com posts when we were on a trip to Iceland (more here). We explored the Scottish highlands together (more here); we saw Red Square in Moscow together in the winter; we dined in the dark in Berlin (more here), amused ourselves in Michigan’s fake Bavaria (more here), and suffered isolation together in real Bavaria (more here); and we took numerous mini adventures around New England together (more here and here, for example). We really, truly had a good run. How could I regret that? How could I ever resent a relationship that was so significant to my personal growth?
For many, breakups mean that you go your separate ways and disappear from the other’s life. Sometimes, this means erasing all traces of your former partner from your Instagram posts or photo albums. Although drastic, I’m sure that expunging the relationship can be helpful and healthy for many reasons, for example, if one partner still clings to the hope of reuniting and has trouble moving on, or, as another example, if the relationship (maybe filled with toxicity and abuse) has become triggering. Neither is the case for us. There is no grand hope that with time we will find our way back to each other and pick up where we left off; and there was never any toxicity. Instead, we were lucky enough to be able to truly enjoy each other’s companionship, build the other up, and really grow and experience life together.
Without any hard feelings, great compatibility, and a strong foundation of respect for one another, we have decided to try out a friendship. With this mindset, we were able to enjoy our remaining time in Miami. Maybe it is only fitting that our union, which was punctuated by frequent travel, just so happened to have come to an end in a location that was new to us. The sun, the blue skies, the warm air, and the crisp ocean certainly helped us both cultivate a sense of optimism for our new and separate futures.
A message to my new ex-boyfriend:
It wasn’t always easy, but it was always good. I look back fondly on our time together and do not regret that it ended how it did hundreds of miles from home. I wish you only the best on your path forward and I want you to know that you still have a friend in me.
To my dear Reader, I wish you only happiness. I wish you guidance during the tough times and I very much hope that you will always, always be able to see the light at the end of your tunnel. I hope you will exercise gratitude and appreciate all that you have, be thankful for all the lessons you’ve learned, and make the best of all the second chances that you have received. I hope that you will actively choose happiness and find fulfillment in your lives. You are so beautiful, dear Reader, I hope you can see it too.
Finally, I wish myself good luck and good things for 2022 and beyond, as I begin this new and certainly unexpected chapter in my life moving forward.
In the end, I hope that we all live well.