A month ago my girlfriend dumped me. We’d been together since high school and I didn’t see it coming at all. I thought we were happy. I was planning on buying a house with her. I was totally settled into our relationship. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe I was too settled. But she completely threw me for a loop and I fell so hard.
I spent the first two week sitting in my apartment eating crap. I told my job I wouldn’t be in for a few weeks (good thing I have the kind of job that will let you do that because otherwise I’m sure I would have been fired). I wouldn’t answer the phone. I wouldn’t go out. I was pathetic really. My buddies kept trying to come in and I wouldn’t answer the door.
Finally, one of them got sick of it and convinced my caretaker that I was a danger to myself and he let them in. They forced me into the shower and dragged me out to Rhode Island Dolls in Woonsocket. I was still a mess but that was the beginning of me getting my life back.
I started going back to work shortly after that but I was still really depressed. I didn’t know what to do with my life. Everything I’d assumed was normal and would be part of my life forever was gone. I was just going through the motions.
Over the last couple weeks though, I started remembering things. I remembered how she never let me go out with the guys. I remembered how she wouldn’t let me hang out on the computer playing my online baseball games that I loved. Well, for short periods of time but if I was up to late she’d get mad because I wasn’t in bed with her. I remembered how she would get upset if I even talked to one of my friends on the phone for too long. I had to call them when she sent me to pick up take out just to have a decent conversation.
Then I remembered how I always wanted to travel and how she hated travelling so we never went anywhere. And I realized that I hated my job but I couldn’t quit because it paid good money and we were saving for a house. There were a bunch of other things, too. And I was still doing them and acting like I was still with her. And I didn’t have to.
So, I decided that I was going to start doing the things I wanted to do. And the first thing I wanted to do was apologize to all my friends for the crap I did to them when I was with her.
I told them all to meet me at RI Dolls. And when they were all there and we had all ordered our food (I know this sounds crazy but I could now eat whatever I wanted! No more salads and green crap for me!) I stood up at the front of the table.
I told them I was sorry for all the times that I put them on hold because I was putting in an order at the fast food place. I told them I was sorry for all the times they had to hear her voice in the background when I was on the phone with them. I told them I was sorry for all the times that I had to cancel things on them because she changed her mind and said I couldn’t go. I told them that most of all, I was sorry to myself for not being true to me and not sticking up for myself.
That night was a celebration of starting my new life. I was going to be the man I wanted to be. I was going to live life the way that I wanted to live it. And I wanted them all to be part of it. I found out that night that a bunch of them were planning a trip to Thailand towards the end of the year but they hadn’t told me about it because they were sure she would never let me go. I told them right away that I was in. To show them I was for real, I picked up my phone and ordered my tickets right then and there.
That night, was so freeing. I was going to be ok. In fact, I was more than ok – I was great. Tomorrow was the first day of the rest of my life. How cliché right? But it was true. Life hadn’t ended when she broke up with me. It was just getting started.