It happened, I cried in public today. I had my list in hand, earbuds in my ears to avoid as much human interaction as I could and just wanted to go into Target and get some much needed items and a few additional things to spruce up my apartment. I’m walking down the lighting isle looking for a bedside table lamp and then this song comes on and like a ton of bricks, it hits me….

Music has a way of transporting us through space and time. The song Happiest Year by Jaymes Young did that very thing. I was taken back and the tears started to flow.

The song starts to play and it’s melancholy intro makes me stop dead in my tracks. The musicians soft voices enters and it’s filled with sadness and regret but also this lingering sense of desperation and anger. Then the song progresses into this beautiful story about what it’s like to be in this transcendent relationship and then it just all goes wrong. That first year of a relationship is special isn’t it? It’s the best! It’s all the firsts and awkward moments and laughs and smiles. Then somewhere along the way things just start to unravel. Sometimes you’re able to recover and sometimes you’re just not.

But you look back at the first year with so much fondness. After a break up though, that first year haunts you. “Thank you for the happiest year of my life” takes a darker turn. The thank you is more like a cry of anger to that person who gave you such an awesome year then took it away. It makes you wish you never had that year at all.

Then you have those moments where you wish you could travel back in time and re-live those moments. Maybe you could change something that would lead to you still being together. Maybe you could do that one thing different, be more honest, care a little more, try a littler harder….maybe, just maybe, it would’ve worked out.

But that’s not really how relationships work. We usually only get one chance, sometimes two if we’re lucky. Then it all falls apart and we have to walk away. The “what ifs” and the broken promises don’t really amount to much when it’s all said and done. You’re just left with a ball of emotions that slowly starts to unravel as the healing process begins.

So where am I at right now?

I teeter back and fourth between the grateful thank you and the angry thank you. Sometimes I’m grateful for the times we had and look at that time fondly. Other times I’m just so angry and upset and sad that it didn’t work out and I wish it never happened at all. This sad feeling fades and I sink back into a peaceful place of gratitude but enough time hasn’t passed yet for me to just feel grateful.

Many relationships in my past I’m able to feel grateful for, even if they didn’t end so well. I’m not there yet with others. Right now, I’m just really fucking sad. I don’t think I need to hide that or pretend to be successfully moving on right this moment, whatever that even means or looks like. It comes and goes in waves and I just try to ride each of them out.

I won’t try to numb or escape – I’ll just sit with these very uncomfortable emotions and remember that those times were good when they were good and there will be more happy times in the future. I will practice letting go of the hurt and pain of what once was. I will give myself the time and space to heal before even considering putting my heart back out there.

For now, I’ll sit and I’ll cry to this song and other break up songs and that’s just the way it is for now. And that’s okay.

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