(Almost) Over You

There it was, at the bottom of the tan purse I never wear: a grocery list from another life.

Toothpaste

Frozen dinners

Diet Coke

Ice cream

Cheez-Its

Oatmeal cookies

I haven’t thought of buying Cheez-Its or oatmeal cookies since the day I moved out of your house. This list was pre-breakup.

A year ago, finding this list would have been devastating. Alongside this list would have come tears, regret and hurt. This slip of paper would have been a painful window into a world where I was part of a “we” who were planning to get married and live happily ever after.

Today, this list is simply a reminder of my past. I feel nostalgic, but not sad. Pensive, but not overwhelmed. And I throw the list away.

I’m (almost) over you.

I’ve created this timeline of my life. There’s pre you – the years until I was 18. There’s you – 18-25. And then there’s post-you, my life after canceling our wedding.

I’m realizing that post-you are some of the best times of my life. I like who I am post-you more than I’ve ever liked myself before.

I’m (almost) over you.

I don’t think of you as often as I used to. In fact, this is probably the least in my adult life I’ve thought about you. Since we started dating when I was 18, it was all you, you, you. I liked you. I loved you. I worried about you. I cared for you. I thought about you. With you, I had some of the most romantic moments of my life. You, you, you.

And then it all came crashing down. You hurt me. You lied to me. You caused me pain. I was angry with you. I couldn’t bring myself to forgive you. I missed you. I yearned for you. I wanted you back. But I didn’t want you back. I wanted my old life with you back. You, you, you.

I don’t think of you every morning. I don’t dwell on the pain. It still hurts sometimes, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t allow myself to be swallowed up in the sadness. I no longer go swimming in the memories, hoping for an escape from my new life. I no longer close my eyes and conjure your eyes, your lips, the way I felt in your arms. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I cried over you. I can’t promise I won’t shed another tear over you, or our relationship, but it’s nice to know that my tears are my own again.

I’m (almost) over you.

When I think about a relationship with another man, I don’t think about whether or not I am ready. I do not consider if I’ve moved on too fast or if I’m on the rebound. I think about whether this person is right for me – regardless of what happened with you and me. I try not to compare him to you. I mostly succeed.

I’m (almost) over you.

Sometimes I still wonder how you are doing. I wonder if you are happy. I wonder what you think about me, and I can almost imagine you reading this, shaking your head. You always told me that I care too much what people think of me.

I wonder if you’re proud, or what you think of my new car, and I know that you hate my blog, but what about my writing? Do you think I have potential? What do you think of who I’ve become?

If I close my eyes tight, I can still feel myself dancing with you in the pool in Jamaica. The cool water splashes around us as you dip me. I watch the people gazing at us as the moon rises in the sky. I’d never been more in love. I’ve never experienced such romance.

I listen to the sounds of the lake, and I can faintly hear us talking. “Let’s buy a cabin,” you say excitedly as I float lazily in the water. Maybe we can buy a cabin after all; we had been looking at rings …

I glance at the hallway in my apartment, and I can see us kissing. You had just helped me move out of your house, into my new apartment. My sister and Dawn left us to be alone, to say goodbye, and I kissed you for the last time. I can see myself hugging you, watching you get in the U-Haul, and then I see you driving away. I saw you a few times after that, but I will never forget watching you drive that truck away. Suddenly, you were gone. It was really over.

I’ve thought for months that these memories are unhealthy, signs that I am not over you. I’ve worried that if these thoughts haunt me forever, I will never be able to move on.

But then I close my eyes and I can remember exactly how I felt the day I was offered my job at the agency. My heart beats faster when I imagine the day my blog was featured in the local newspaper. I can summon the pain of losing my uncle. All those experiences feel like they were yesterday, as well.

They are memories. They are part of me. The culmination of these memories, experiences, feelings and thoughts are all part of me. Good and bad. Pre-you, you and post-you.

I’m (almost) over you.

This post was originally published on the Simply Solo blog by Catherine Gryp.

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Catherine Gryp

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12 comments

  • Oh, I liked this. I have a feeling I’ll be thinking about it for a little while.

    • Thank you, LMB! Trust me, I know what you mean. I thought about writing this for months… it’s a pretty simple piece, but it took me a while to get it all out. And I’m still sort of thinking about it. There are so many indicators when you are over – or almost over – someone. I think it’s important to pay attention to those moments… helps in your recovery. Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

  • Very nice. I could have used an article like this a couple of months ago!

  • Oh goodness…I’ve definitely felt this way. Lovely writing, and the message is clear, but gently put.

    • unbounded,
      Thanks for the kind words! I bet many of us have been through something like this… I have a theory that everyone should have their heart broken at least once. That way they are more gentle with other people’s hearts, because they know what it feels like. I’m glad you liked it.

  • I hate finding stuff that reminds me of past relationships!

  • I thought this was a beautiful piece, Catherine. Thanks for reposting it here!

  • This was really poignant and helped me feel better this morning as I’ve been feeling particularly sad about a recent breakup. It was a very short but very involved relationship and I thought he was the person I was going to marry – so I feel encouraged knowing that I WILL be over it and soon enough there WILL be a day when I don’t think about him.

    Question though – do you feel like its much harder to get over a broken relationship when you feel like you were mostly to blame for the relationship failing?? Not that I cheated or did anything really bad, and I know I wasn’t 100% to blame, but I feel like if I could do it over again I’d do so many things different and it might have worked out. How do you forgive yourself for that??

    • Melanie,
      I’m sorry to hear what you are going through. Well, now that’s a good question. And it’s almost impossible to answer. I mean, relationships are always a two way street, so one is ever 100% at fault. We all make mistakes. With my ex, I made mistakes. Now, they weren’t as serious as the ones he made, but there are things I would change. I think as humans, we always look back on decisions or actions and consider what we could have done differently. Unfortunately, we can’t go back in time. So the only thing we really can do is learn from these mistakes. In my new relationship, I’m trying to remind myself of the mistakes I made in the past, and try not to make them again. The only way I can forgive myself is by assuring myself that I have learned from my past relationships and will do better next time. And, I just have to stop beating myself up. I am human. To be humon is to make mistakes. Beating myself up for my mistakes doesn’t change them and it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better about myself. So I try to be more positive, more kind to myself. And try to move on.

      I hope this (long winded) advice helps you some. Good luck to you.

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