Today is the fifth anniversary of the release of Taylor Swift’s album Red, an album that is very very important to me. And up until yesterday, I had planned to devote this blog post to explaining why. But then yesterday, another anniversary crept up on me and punched me in the gut. And for the sake of transparency, something I have attempted to maintain on this blog in all of my posts, I am going to talk about that anniversary instead.
October 21st, 2017: what would have been my and Justin’s 3-year anniversary. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite make it. Back at the end of August, right as I was leaving for school, we decided to take a break. It was my idea. We had a rough summer; we argued a lot, I was angry and irritated with him for most of the time. Sometimes it was irrational, other times it was justified. I felt like he was not thinking about the future enough (or at all, really) and that he didn’t take anything I said seriously. So I thought that some space would be good for both of us. I wouldn’t be breathing down his neck, constantly anxious/frustrated with him. And we would both have some time to think about what we wanted for our future and start moving in that direction. For me, it was a temporary situation for us while we worked on some of the problems in our relationship.
I was not expecting for it to suck so much. Here’s the thing about being in a serious relationship with someone for almost three years: you talk to them all of the time. And suddenly, I got back to school and I couldn’t talk to Justin anymore. Every day, I had to stop myself from texting him or snapchatting him when I saw something that reminded me of him or that I thought he would find funny. I knew I would miss him, but I didn’t realize how overwhelmingly much I would miss him. I didn’t think about that, I just thought about how our relationship was souring and we needed to do something to fix it. Maybe it wasn’t the best way to go about fixing things, but it was all I could think of to do.
And so, for almost two months, we didn’t speak at all. I was miserable, and I didn’t really have a way of knowing how or what he was doing. But even when we were fighting and our relationship was strained, Justin and I really loved each other and we made each other happy. So I got tired of making myself miserable and I called him. We talked for a long time; it was a hard conversation and it lacked the usual comfort and familiarity we usually have with each other. But I swallowed my pride and laid everything out for him: I missed him and I hated not talking to him and I needed to know how he was feeling about everything. I needed to know what we were going to do; we’d never really talked about our relationship post-break. I told him I wanted for us to work on the relationship and make it better. He didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear; he told me he didn’t know what he wanted and that he needed some time to think. So I gave him some time.
A few days later, when we talked again, he told me he thought we shouldn’t get back together; he didn’t want me to have to think about him when making decisions about my future and we fought too much and nothing ever changed. And as much as I wish I could have, I couldn’t change his mind. So, just like that, in one hour-long phone call, our days-away-from-being-a-3-year-long relationship was over. And now, I’m struggling to come to terms with losing someone that was so important to me. I don’t foresee that happening any time soon, though. I can only distract myself for so long before I remember that I’ve lost someone who I thought would always be around.
I hate change, and this is a huge change, so it’s understandable that I’m upset. But it’s not just that. I’ve been missing Justin for months, and now it’s only worse because there’s no end in sight. For me, out break was always temporary. But this is permanent, and I’m having a hard time accepting the fact that Justin is not a major part of my life anymore. As dumb as this sounds, I really like Justin. Obviously I love him, but he was my best friend too and I’m not just upset that my life is changing as a result of his absence. I’m upset because he’s going to be absent. I miss him.
Justin told me he didn’t want me to have to consider him when making decision about my future. But he didn’t consider that I’ve already been doing that for a long time. I’m a smart, fairly logical person, and I know it’s naive to think that I will spend the rest of my life with the boy I dated in high school. And I’m too young to think about that right now anyway, and I should be focused on school, and in the grand scheme of things, 3 years is just a short portion of my life. But I was so in love with Justin (still am) that I couldn’t help but assume he would always be a part of my life Any time I envisioned the far off, abstract future, Justin was there. I was never going to let that stop me from pursuing my education or my career. I guess I just (naively) assumed that we would figure it out together. A lot of people have tried to console me by telling me we’re on different paths, and that this was inevitable. Maybe they’re right. It doesn’t make me feel any better. Part of me still believes that it doesn’t matter what “paths” we’re on; that if we wanted to, we could make it work. But I guess we don’t want to.
So that’s where I am today, the day after what would’ve been our 3-year anniversary: pretty lost and pretty confused and kind of angry and kind of guilty and very sad. I know I’ll survive; I always do. I’m nothing if not resilient. But being resilient is hard and exhausting and I’m already so tired. This wound is still so fresh, and I am not looking forward to the healing process. I know it will take a lot time and healing is by no means linear. So I guess I’ll celebrate the 5 year anniversary of Taylor Swift’s Red and mourn the loss of my relationship at the same time by listening to the sad breakup songs on the album and eating chocolate and crying. I don’t know what else to do at the moment.