Something Worth Saving

How is your day going, when you wake up shortly before 4am, only to find yourself googling how to get rid of dead animal smell? And then, shortly thereafter: how to get your landlord to answer you in a crisis? There’s a story there for sure. But my other recent activities might be more interesting.

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Let’s see, we also have: how to stop overeating, tips for working remotely, how to cope with stress, things to do alone in NYC, egg recipes, more egg recipes, how to push through a fitness plateau, what it’s like to live in Brooklyn, definition of a hipster, and how to get over a break up.

Let me tell you, there are some real gems for those last two. But so far, the best thing I’ve come across is this:

“He may still love you. He probably does. He probably doesn’t know what he wants. He probably still thinks about you all the time. But that isn’t what matters. What matters is what he’s doing about it, and what he’s doing about it is nothing. And if he’s doing nothing, you most certainly shouldn’t do anything. You need someone who goes out of their way to make it obvious that they want you in their life.”

What matters is what he’s doing about it, and what he’s doing about it is nothing. And if he’s doing nothing, you most certainly shouldn’t do anything. I need that stamped across my forehead. I need to see it every time I look in the mirror and watch my reflection start to swim.

I’m not exactly sure why the temptation to reach out hasn’t dissipated. It’s supposed to be getting weaker, not stronger. According to everyone. (Search engines included.) I thought the number one answer was to let time do its thing. And, if possible: move far far away, get a new job, learn how to make yourself happy, work on being a better friend (and all-around human being), and go out on a few dates. When you feel up to it. Maybe even a little bit before.

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Check, check, check, check, check. I’ve done all of those things. I’ve made a new life, all by myself, and I’ve filled it up to the brim.

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But I suppose that when I made it my mission to start from scratch, I also made sure to set aside a little room for him. At the top. You can live right here, always. Why? Why did I do that? Because we promised that we’d never forget each other. 

And do you know what makes me sad? More than anything else? I am starting to forget. I don’t know his number by heart anymore, I’m not 100% sure of his middle name, and I can’t tell you much about his laugh. Beyond that it used to be my very favorite sound in the world.

I can remember the big things, but the details are starting to go. And I know that’s what I keep saying that I want — to break that connection altogether — but half of me wants to fight like hell to preserve it. Can you understand that? Half of me wants to show up and shake his shoulders and stamp my feet and say if it still hurts this much, there is still something here. Something worth saving.

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But I won’t, because I’m a coward. Because I tried (not all that hard) once, and it hurt. And because pride and ego and fear and self-preservation feel greater than love, although it should never be that way. And wasn’t that the problem in the first place.

{Note: Photos today are courtesy of @nickersonross. Thanks, Rossy!}

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