Adulting can be hard.

I’m not exactly sure at what age I considered myself an adult, but the tasks once thought of as self-sufficient have turned obligatory, defaulted to responsibilities, and have matured to “adulting.” I don’t know what follows (#old?).

I look back at my last nine years since moving to Seattle and much has changed. Though my biggest changes have come in the last five years.

I did all those things and more, all because of FOMO. Also, because of a breakup. You see, it was a breakup that left me so numb and cold it shocked me to my core. I was so hurt by it that I foresaw myself spiraling, surrendering to an abyss I dare not speak. The breakup occurred during a pivotal time in my career, where I had to travel and live in another state for eight months. I threw myself to my work.

After reading the breakup email I received–a method I can only ridicule in hindsight and compare to a juvenile high school fling–I hopped out of bed and packed. I had a flight to Texas in less than six hours. I had to pack to finish my out-of-state assignment; I was only back for a week to visit the boyfriend. There was too much at stake and I was too afraid of my own vulnerable state to process anything. I would give myself no time to mourn and busy myself with life. I put on a brave face and told myself I would cry later when things weren’t so busy. Once in Texas, I joined a gym. I wasn’t going to feel sorry for myself, I wasn’t going to stop living my life. It’s at that point I realized I did not want to live with regret. All my plans and goals did not depend on someone else.

I dragged my introverted self, kicking and screaming, fearful and cowering, to entirely new experiences. A part of me compares this to my late ‘bloom’ in developing a personality with likes and dislikes; all things I blame on the JW upbringing. (Though a part of me thinks that stigma of never belonging will never quite go away).

And then… he messaged me most recently.

Things are different now. Wanted to reach out again. If you don’t reciprocate I understand. Looking good btw.

Looking good btw?

Sure. It hadn’t been in the first time he had messaged. He had messaged me three years after the breakup to apologize for how things had ended so abruptly and via email. His message, like his email, said that he was just in a bad place at the time and wasn’t ready. Back then, I accepted his apology–rather, I appreciated the apology. I didn’t continue the conversation and left it at that, sort of closing a chapter.

Now, for some reason, this message hits differently. It coincidentally is right around the time I finally canceled my first gym membership, the one I got in Texas that sparked this entire new phase in my life. It’s odd timing.

Looking good btw?

BTW… I’ve gotten a tattoo since you’ve been gone. I’ve joined a gym. I enjoy fitness. I’ve ran 5Ks. I’ve gone back to school. I enjoy massages now. I’ve tried facials, pedicures, manicures. I’ve taken care of my health. I’ve not only allowed people to take pictures of me, but I’ve even gone to a nudist camp! I’ve gone to Europe. So many things. I’ve allowed myself to live and enjoy things I never thought possible. All without him! I’ve done all these things, but… mourned.

Like I said. I never cried. I never allowed myself time to process it much. I was way too busy, exactly as intended… …

Now though… there’s a sort of hangover. It’s a dull ache. I’d like to cry, but it wouldn’t be over him, nor about mourning the former self, but perhaps from sheer happiness. I’m honestly not sure. I haven’t figured it out. The journey was rough at times, all of it new. All of it worth it.

Thanks, btw.

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