The Break-Up


Breaking up is hard to do.

When I was a kid, I used to love it when the oldies station would play Neil Sedaka and it would spill out of the car-radio speakers. Back then, I had no idea what the lyrics meant, but, I gathered that holding onto love was important. And now, I know, much of our love is the kind that we hold on to, desperately. Not the adult kind where — you know — you let it go and it returns to you.

I’ve tried that tactic. Love seldom finds it’s way back to me. The letting go part is too hard.

I think that’s the beauty of getting older — beginning to see your own patterns. Internalizing them. Recognizing them as they’re happening. Developing a keen awareness of what our bodies and brains would have us do, even if we ourselves are totally checked out. It’s pretty amazing how we all have our own modus operandi. From folding laundry to getting our hearts broken, it’s a cycle — on repeat.

Now that I’m back in New York City, I’m starting to see them. — My old, Portland patterns beginning to emerge. Some good, and some that I was hoping to leave behind. I try not to overthink it. But, of course — I do.

New York. — It’s an old pattern, but, I have to see it in a new way. Because, it is new. I’m new.

I decide I have to break-up with myself. Because, my two selves — we’re in two different places. We’re at the pivotol moment when you realize that there’s this one thing — and it’s just not what you want. It’s a deal breaker. So, you have to let go. And, letting go is hard.

If it were the old me, the Portland-me, — I’d stay. I’d try to make it work. Tip-toe around it. Insert myself in little ways only to have my own current pull me back out to sea. I know the pattern.

I have to break-up with the girl who’s always just skirting the heart of the problem. I’ve decided to be straight forward with everyone now that I’m back home. — And, I’m realizing that I need to have that same candor with myself.

I’m breaking up with the girl who worries about what other people think of her. — Where she is in her life. — Her marital status, her veganism, her body, her life’s plan. I may be sleeping in the same room I was when I was 18, but, I am decidedly not that girl anymore. I’m a grown-ass woman. — I’m weathered and wise. Independent and inspired. I have my Portland-hippie roots grounding me, and, I’m not scared to set them down.

Breaking up with this part of myself is hard. But, it frees me up. It makes room for new love. — The adult kind. The kind that I was once so busy holding on to, I never had time to feel. — So, I say my goodbyes and I let her go…

And now, I stand here — ready to welcome whoever comes back for me.


Artwork: “Letting Go” By: Annalee Davis;


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