Your Heart

It’s Not You It’s Me… Again.

By January 4, 2016 0

I’ve never been dumped.

I’ve gone 26– almost 27 years without ever having been on the receiving end of a break up.

And I think it’s great because I’m always in control, and when it’s your decision to say goodbye, the goodbye stings less— right?


I had written an article about a month or so ago regarding my experience dating an older man. I was in my twenties, he was in his thirties, and the relationship was everything it should have been. Mature, riveting…splendid.

And then I broke up with him. Not because there was anything intrinsically wrong, but because I wasn’t ready for the kind of commitment he was craving: marriage, babies, all a little too much for a 23 year old.

It genuinely wasn’t him, it was me.

But then it gets blurry.
You see I remember the break-up with him clearly. We were sitting in our living room and there were tears shed, and then I packed up my belongings and moved out. I remember saying to my close friend “he’ll be dating someone new in 6 months”, almost mockingly. I was cheapening the relationship, calling to question his pain.

But he didn’t go off and date someone in 6 months.

He went off and did it in three.

Finding out was uneventful. A friend of mine had mentioned it somewhat nonchalantly in a conversation, with an “I still follow him on Instagram, he’s dating some chick already”.
That same night I held my phone in my hand, and I was one digit away from calling him to admonish him with a “how dare you?”. To press for answers with a “how could you?”. To end, frustratingly with an “I clearly meant nothing to you”.
I was just one digit away from pressing send… and then I didn’t.
I instead conjured up a meaningless image of what the girl looked like; maybe she had blonde hair, green eyes, a frizzy pony tail?– it didn’t matter. What mattered was the thought of him sleeping next to her in our bed.
Our bed.
The same bed we’d play “Family Feud” in, on our iPad, two hours past the time we’d sworn we’d go to sleep– because we’d always set a curfew of 9:30, but then it was always somehow already 11:00 because it was always too much fun, and that was that.

Because it was me that laid in that bed and sang “Cowboy Take Me Away” to you in my best Dixie Chicks impersonation, while you laughed. It was you that jumped out of bed to make sure the blinds were drawn, the air- conditioning blasting for my comfort. It was us that would make-believe house-hunt on Zillow, for the perfect home and the perfect town that we would raise our perfect family in someday.

Our perfect family.
And then.
…3 months.

I didn’t even have an emotion. Perhaps I was shocked out of feeling anything. There was honestly nothing left to say, so I un-dialed his number with the realization that I had wasted two years of my life, planning with someone who had an “insert any girl here”  policy. None of it was authentic: the hugs, the kisses, the vacations, the arguments– all but a figment of my imagination.

He wanted the lifestyle, not me.

Not Candace. Not me.

And so I blocked it all out and kept right on living:  my heart fully guarded against such an empty breach, ever again.

Because I know it sounds selfish to say, but I wanted him to hurt more. Fuck–I NEEDED him to hurt more, and I’m making no apologies for the state of my humanity. We all seek validation in the strangest pockets of our existence. Life is a perpetual quest to love and to be loved and for myself, I had chosen to love this man deeply. A decision I never made often, but when made, it was madly and deeply. Irreversibly. With a sense of immortality.

How could anyone stop loving me? How can love exist after me?

But of course it can, and of course it will.
And of course it did.

I don’t have any answers here. This post isn’t arriving at any universal thought or conclusion except to serve as a reminder of our all-at-once fragile mortality:

The process of love is sublime.

And so as I once again throw my fragmented heart out into the world, unguarded, I find myself in awe.
I am remembering how it felt: the slight breath, the first glance, the sweet taste—the delicate sound.
I am remembering how it all feels.
I am reminded the reason why there are millions of people across the planet that are hugging and kissing, and switching partners everyday—bringing me to the realization of this:
My ex didn’t betray me, my ex didn’t forget me… I forgot about me. I had forgotten the lyrics to my own flowing heart. My most loving, most fragile, most sing-songy heart.

And so it wasn’t him, it was me.