Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ever Fallen In Love With Someone You Shouldn't Have Fallen In Love With?

"Go away from my window
Leave at your own chosen speed
I’m not the one you want, babe
I’m not the one you need
You say you’re looking for someone
Never weak but always strong
To protect you an’ defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door
But it ain’t me, babe
No, no, no, it ain’t me, babe
It ain’t me you’re looking for, babe"

That's just perfect, don't you think?

The night we got back from the conference, I broke off my engagement with Shelley. Long story short, there was a lot of weight on our backs and I just couldn't do it anymore. In the time since our break-up she has moved to live with her cousin in San Francisco. It sounds like we're both getting the fresh starts we've needed since graduation. I'm so glad she didn't go back to Dallas.

A lot of my friends here have graduated to close/dear friend status in reaching out to me. I know some people can be weird about having their name mentioned on the Internet due to privacy or whatever, so I won't rattle off a list. Many of my (known) readers have been there for me, whether we actually hung out (and made a 7/11 run) or if they just listened to me talk and shared their own experiences with me.

For that, I'm eternally grateful.

This year was the first year I actually followed through and bought myself a little black book of a planner. Periodically I use it to remind myself of important events I have coming up, but it's quickly turning into a log of my days. I spent most of the immediate period following our break-up listening to "Ever Fallen In Love?" by The Buzzcocks and "It Ain't Me Babe" by Bob Dylan, calling friends and family, letting them know I was okay, but that I had been better.

Anyway, at the top of the page for the week of our break-up, I scribbled these notes:

" 'buy the ticket.....
take the ride.'
What a ride it was, four and a half years.
Goodbye, Shelley...and God Bless You."

How could there be any animosity? She was my best friend, and that's what I was more afraid of losing. Spending all of this time alone has been good for me. I thought about what I truly wanted. Not just in a woman, but in life, in my friendships, all that fun stuff.

There are a few casual acquaintances who aren't Facebook users and thus haven't seen the changed relationship status, which makes for an awkward moment when I'm asked, "So, how's Shelley doing?"

It's really hard to tell someone you've broken up with your significant other and then utter in the same breath, "But I really am fine. I'm ready to at least meet other girls now," without sounding like a man on the brink of a long period of waking up with a hangover next to a different woman every night until the sobering reality comes at age 30 that I've lived a shallow existence.

It isn't easy to explain without sounding like a callous jackass, but I had to keep telling myself "Shelley is worth it! Things will work out in the end, just hang in there!" off and on for most of the past 11 months. That's how and why I'm able to say, after shedding some tears since the break-up, that I'm ready to move on with my life. There's no point in dwelling on all the negative, though. It's in the past and what's done is done. I'm glad we stayed together as long as we did, I don't regret a single day, and yes, I do think she's quite a catch...but it ain't me, babe, indeed.

Where does this leave me? Right back where I started with that lonesome scribble, now just under two weeks old. It's taken on new meaning for me, as a benediction for an entire chapter - who am I kidding, it's an entire volume - of my life has drawn to a close.

So once again...
Goodbye, Shelley, and God Bless You.


This is just as much for me as it is for her: