Let’s say you might have been dating a guy for a couple of years and end up mutually deciding that it is time to allow your paths to go in separate directions. You might have lived together and now need to pack up your things, put everything in storage besides the clothes you really need, and start staying with your parents.
An emotional week might go by and you might decide to take a trip to New York to celebrate your sister’s birthday. You might have an amazing weekend tearing through the city and barely think about the breakup because you are too busy biking, eating, drinking and dancing. There might be a moment where you get choked up waiting for the subway in Brooklyn because that was the same spot that you and him took photos of each other when you flew him there 9 months prior. But you might forget all about that in a few hours when you’re swimming in your clothes in a rooftop pool with the New York Giants.
You might start to think that the breakup is going to be easier than you expected because you’re able to travel anywhere your heart desires, party and meet tons of new people. But when your epic weekend ends and you come home to the car that you’re using as a closet, you might realize that you can distract yourself, but you can’t run away from the feelings that you need to face.
You might go back to work and really lose your grip. You might catch yourself tearing up while you’re pouring drinks in the aisles and have to run to the bathroom to pull yourself together until you can finally pretend to smile at the passengers. After service, during downtime, the other flight attendants might ask you where you’re from and where you live and you might have to fight back tears again when you remember, but don’t mention, that you’re currently in between places because you just ended your best and longest relationship.
You might get to your layover hotel and spend hours journaling, over analyzing and thinking about why you wanted the breakup and how it all happened. Even though you might’ve been confidant with your decision when you made it, you might wakeup in the morning and still feel shock that it’s all over. It might feel like you’ve lost a limb. And you might have to remind yourself that even though you love him you’re not the best person for him anymore, and you owe it to him to let him go. You might wish that he treated you badly and that the relationship was toxic so that it would be easier to let go of.
A month or so could go by and you might still have your moments where you remember your inside jokes, or the stupid voices you used to talk to each other in that only you guys found funny. Sometimes you might wish that you could just see the person you used to wake up to every morning when you were home and tell him what you dreamt about the night before. You might be having a good day, working out of the Seattle airport and get a sudden, unexpected wave of sadness as you walk by the bar you guys were drinking in last time you flew standby and had to sit there for 4 hours.
After a while of soaking in sadness you might decide that you’ve had enough. You might remember that every time you’ve been hurt in life and every time you thought the world was ending, you survived and found happiness again. You might change your perspective and realize that there’s worse things in the world than two young people splitting up to explore what the universe has to offer without holding each other back. You might even start to see how much beauty there is in that.
You might get to the point where you can think back on some of the fun things you did with your ex and feel grateful for it instead of sad. You might decide to put yourself out there and start going on dates, and realize that being single isn’t so bad. You might rekindle friendships with people you fell out of touch with when you dedicated most of your free time to your relationship. You might start taking more spontaneous trips, using your flight benefits and remembering how lucky you are to be able to travel the world while you’re young. You might find the perfect apartment and be overwhelmed with gratitude that you were able to stay with your parents and spend more time with them while you were saving and searching for the right place.
And, hopefully, you might come to realize what a blessing it is to be able to feel both happiness and pain, to learn, to grow up, to be alive, and to be on this adventure.
It might be something like that…