It was about this time, last year, that I broke up with my first love. Two years and more of a relationship, of talking almost every single day, until one of us fell asleep. That was what we had, and it was gone, instantly. Looking back, maybe it was inevitable.
Both him and I know the reasons for the breakup, and both of us have slightly different versions. Today, I’m not here to prove myself right. Because what happened, happened. What was said and done, is exactly that, in the past. We both broke down and cried, drowned our sorrows in alcohol and woke up in utter misery. We both wondered what would come next, how we would survive it.
He was my person. He was the person I told about my dreams and my lectures, how a teacher was completely unfair and how the taxi driver was such a humble human being. He told me about football, and I barely ever understood anything. But I saw the passion, and I enjoyed hearing him get excited about a match. Before going to sleep, I wished his team won. And sometimes we would text in the middle of the night or early in the morning about how the clouds were so fluffy. That was my life, and it was suddenly gone.
It hurt, God it hurt. I cried myself to sleep for weeks and almost diagnosed myself with clinical depression (note to self: only because you study psychology and know the DSM criteria doesn’t mean you get to label anyone, even yourself, with a disorder.) I didn’t think I would ever be just as happy again, or even look at someone the way I looked at him. I didn’t think there would be a person I cared about as much as I cared about him, or talk to the way I talked to him. I didn’t think I could be myself without him.
Some words were exchanged over the months. Some good, some brutal. Most of all, though, they got me closer to closure every single time. Because every single time a call went bad, ended up in yelling and accusations, I knew it was better for the both of us to go our separate ways. And so I booked my flight all the way to Zambia, just a country below his, using up the money I wanted to spend to see him. Because I wanted to get away and experience life for myself, for once, be free.
It might have been the best thing I ever did. Because I flew over his country, and I gazed down from my flight. I was the closest to him, but I didn’t end up crying. I did want to see him, in some corner of my heart, I was hoping we get to keep atleast one promise. But the thing is, It only bothered me for two days and then I let go.
And I met this guy, this amazing guy who was nothing like him. He wasn’t into football but he was into mainstream music. He had tattoos and barely ate. But he was also the kind who would wrap his arms around my waist when a drunkard made me uncomfortable while trying to flirt his way into my pants. He would make sure a car doesn’t hit me as I tried to navigate the roads of Livingstone. He was the kind of guy who would kiss me on the street and drop me home, and wait until I was safely inside the gate. He would splash water all over me and try to startle me, and fail every single time. I met him. I may have fallen in love. I don’t even know.
But now, one year from my first breakup, I know I can make it through. I would never want to live alone, but I can. I know I am strong enough to face my biggest demons all by myself. I also know it’s okay to be a little scared. It’s okay to ask for help from friends, and even family if need be. It’s okay to lose sight and have a bad week, wanting to spend all my days in bed. Because I know, I can always get back up.