Posts Tagged ‘emptyness’

It was sunny and warm this morning as I slowly walked home from my 6am kettlebells class.

It gave me the itch. The deep desire for summer days.

The smell of fresh mowed lawns.
The feeling motivation to be outside early in the morning and late into the evening.
The thought of sipping wine on a front porch.
Or having off of work (sometimes I really miss being in school).
Driving with my sun roof open and my windows down.

But I won’t lie, I’m scared for the summer to start. Deep down I’m hiding the inevitable ache that’s going to come. When it becomes real that each weekend I can’t hop into my car, drive to Rhode Island, and spend the days with my family on the beach and the nights playing cards and drinking in our old wooden cottage.

The escape I had for 25 years, doesn’t exist anymore.

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The last two weeks I haven’t been myself. My posts are full of frustration, anger, and irritability.

In 20 days I’ll be 26. I’ve never cared about my age before. If anything I always feel like each year gets better.  But this year to be honest, it’s a little scary.

In 14 days B and I will have been broken up for one year. I’ve let myself “heal” for 1 full year. But something about getting to that 1 year mark without having so much as kissed another guy is getting to me. I’m scared to hit that 1 year milestone.

And so something is nagging me this morning. It’s time to make some changes.

The first few months after the breakup and my 25th birthday I let myself wallow.  And I spent copious amounts of time with friends and family to distract myself. Then I pushed myself to move on – by going on vacations, working to get promoted at work, doing a triathlon, and even trying online dating and going out with 4 different guys. 

Now though I feel like I’m getting really comfortable with my life. I’m sure most people think, but comfortable is a good thing. But is it?

I hate feeling uncomfortable, but I find that’s when the best results occur. I hated getting ready and going out on dates, but after those dates I realize that I still had it, that guys were still attracted and interested in me.

I hate trying new things and I was anxious the first day of boxing. But look where I am now, I LOVE boxing.

I hated being terrified at moments to actually do my first triathlon, and yet it still is one of my favorite, all-time most positive moments of my life.

I need to branch out. I need to push myself to be a little more uncomfortable. Yes, I like that lately I can come home and no one plays a role in what I am doing. But I don’t want to be alone forever.

And I don’t want to just feel comfortable forever. It gets boring. It starts to make me feel a little empty.

So I guess today I’m thinking about what I can do to start pushing myself. To feel happier every day but to ultimately feel happy overall.

I’d like to start my 26th year (my golden 26 on the 26th) in a positive place. And I’d like to make the most of that year.  No more excuses and no more being afraid.

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One of my friends and her boyfriend broke up last night.

To be honest, many of us had a few thoughts in the back of our minds that she might not be 100% into how serious the relationship was getting. While it was clear she truly cared for him, it seemed like there was always something slightly missing.

But I still don’t think any of us saw this coming. And no matter the situation, when you truly care about someone, and spent the past year of your life with them – it feels horrible.

After her email came through this morning, and I sent an email and a text offering whatever she may need (hugs, talking, dancing the night away) it made me flash back to my breakup.

I can’t believe it’s been just over 8 months since B and I broke up. For one, I never, ever want to be back in the place I was in last December. That emptiness and pain was like nothing I ever felt before, it even physically hurt.

And thinking about it made me realize how far I’ve come. I can’t believe how strong I feel and how my feelings have changed so much with time. As I was sitting on my bus ride this morning I couldn’t help but think, I’m so happy to be in the place that I’m in now.

I still miss him. I still love him, although in a bit of a different way, and I still get excited to talk or hang out with him. But, it doesn’t hurt the way it used to.

After spending a day with him, I leave smiling.

After exchanging emails, I feel fine with the exchange stopping – even if it’s in mid discussion.

After texting, I’m not reading into what I think his tone may or may not be.

I still do not want to hear at all about his dating life yet because well, I’m just not that level-headed. Even if he isn’t dating anyone (which I know he’s not) I still don’t want to know.

I think though I will always love B. Right now, I still can’t imagine someone will compare to him. And yet, they will. In a different way, when the time is right, I’ll meet someone. I know I will.

Although, and silly as it sounds, I’d like to meet someone soon. To have gone a full year without any one sparking an interest in me scares me a little. But I guess I have to realize that while at the end of this November it will have been a full year, we were still so intertwined for so many months after our breakup date.

So I guess I’ll just have to wait and see. 🙂

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The difference in my myself today versus Sunday night through last night is incredible. Thank God I only feel like that for a few days a month. Even though today physically I’m not 100%, mentally I’m coming back 🙂

So in highschool after my parent’s divorced my Mom tried to have all of us girl’s (her three daughters) attend therapy. I actually really connected with my therapist and found her a great resource for talking, learning to communicate, and understand my feelings through my highschool years.

One thing my therapist always said to me. “Caitlin, you burn your candle at both ends.” I had a pretty serious class schedule between AP classes and extras, I had what looking back now was almost a full-time job (and not legal to have me working that many hours) at 25-30 hours a week, a serious boyfriend, friends and other commitments while applying to colleges. I remember the summer before my senior year of high school I even decided to take college classes at NYU on top of everything else.

The thing about being a “candleburner” (what as a joke I started calling myself) is that when I’m really busy, that’s when I become the most productive and the best version of myself. The more I have to pack into my day, the more I seem to be able to fit in and the better I am at doing it.

It’s why the past 3 years juggling a pretty hectic full-time job, part-time graduate school, a boyfriend, friends, family, traveling, working-out, races, etc worked out so well. It made me feel really content. Sure there was always one huge I-have-too-much-on-my-plate melt-down day every few months but I learned that I always needed a little “me” time each week and I would be OK.

So now that I am single and I don’t have graduate school I have noticed I have felt a bit empty. I have been clearly searching more and more with all my goal lists. I’ve also become more aware and sensitive when I don’t see my friends multiple times a week.

So this all brings me to my mini melt-down yesterday when I realized I didn’t have a packed weekend schedule. I actually started to feel really lonely, lost, and depressed.

Today I’m feeling a bit better. Partially the hormones are back on track, and partially because I realized it’s OK. I do actually have some plans but (gasp!) I may have some free time for myself.

Thursday night: drinks with my friend S
Friday night: no plans
Saturday morning: a long catch-up brunch with my friend J
Saturday afternoon/night: no plans
Sunday: 10k with B and lunch together after

Today I’m looking at it in a different light. Wouldn’t it be nice after work on Friday to go home, cook dinner and watch some tv and just relax? And maybe it would be nice Saturday afternoon to make a quick trip to JCrew at the outlets for Fall clothing without a herd of friends. And Saturday night I can actually clean my apartment, write-up an excel budget list, work on my vision board and get a good night’s sleep for my 10k.

I think my overall feeling of being somewhat lost, and the lack of a boyfriend has definitely been taking its toll on me. I’m working on it.

In other good news…

My photography class on Monday night was awesome. We learned more in one night than I could have imagined. The class itself is a mix of people who used to be really into film photography and beginners like myself. Quite a few foreign students too. I think overall I’m going to learn a lot and I’m thinking of creating a page with some quick tips about what I learn. I am sooo loving my camera 🙂

And now I’m about to head to my first boxing class. I’m nervous! One hour of boxing with a semi-pro and a few other people?Ahh! I’m excited to change it up though and it would be nice to meet some gym friends.

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I don’t know if it’s the rain, the change in season, or a lot of little things combined but I am in a funk!

After reading a few other blogs I realized quite  a few others are too. I wonder if it really is seasonal?

image source

I’m trying right now to come up with a list of some things to get me out of this funk. It’s really hard when I’m not totally sure what’s causing it.  I can’t even blame it on hormones. 😦

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It was a dark, rainy day in Boston today. Sometimes when I’m not in the best mood (post-vacation blues meets some other stuff swirling through my mind) I like when the weather matches it.

I think what I needed today was spin class. I felt lethargic and wanted to hermit away in my apartment after work. I find though that when I’m in a dreary mood that’s the worst thing to do. Doing that will heighten the weirdness going on in my mood. Anyway spinning tonight definitely helped and then I came home and actually COOKED. I’m talking sweet potato fries and pan cooked chicken with some BBQ sauce. That’s tough to do after a spin class when I come home a starving monster.

It feels like summer is coming to an end. And with that I realized that I was lucky this summer – as crazy as it’s been I have seen my core group of girlfriends at least once a week, and sometimes for a full weekend straight. Then we just spent a week together in a vacation house.

But a sad reality is setting in. They are all going to be incredibly busy this fall. One is finishing up her master’s, has a part-time research job, another research job, tutoring, night classes and a husband to balance. Another is in her second year getting her MBA, has a long distance boyfriend, and a crazy schedule because of that. Another is in her last semester of her master’s, has a part-time job, babysits and truthfully is a bit of a homebody. Another just moved to DC last week. And another just started a new position and our relationship has been a bit off lately. Basically my core group has become overwhelmed with things to do and now that I’m done with school, ending my tri training, I’m feel a little more than lost.

I hate to admit it, but I am. I feel really lost.

And I know I have other wonderful family and friends. But two are in NY, cousins are in other states, and my little sister is headed back to school. A friend here who I have spent a lot of time with and has been great to train with and great to hang out with but is missing that deeper connection that I feel with other friends. Her negative attitude sometimes can really take a toll on me. (I spent the day with her yesterday to drive up north to drive our tri course and then bike 12.6 miles of the 16.6 miles.) Then there are two who are fun to see every few weeks for a dinner out but not people I see often or could really confide in.

I’m sad about that. I feel like this is something everyone says – that as you get older, especially in your 20’s this happens. But for me, I am always willing to make time for people I care about or want to see. But maybe right now I have too much time. And don’t get my wrong, I’ll still see them but it will just not be nearly as much as I used to. I’m used to these girls knowing everything that happens in my life basically as it happens. And vise versa. It’s a hard adjustment to realize now we all always have to play catch-up when we see each other.

It’s times like this that I deeply miss B. I miss the intimacy of our relationship, the best friend, the companion, the travel-mate, the adventure buddy – all of it. Because it went without saying no matter how busy we were we planned and made sure to have time together. He was my constant supporter and friend through everything.

I think I need to figure out what I want to do with my spare time this fall. I just read this blog post and it knocked a little sense into me. I love this mantra: I will not let the fear of the unknown cause me to settle.

Lately I haven’t been dating because the idea feels exhausting. Having to be nervous, put myself out there, feel awkward/shy just sounds beyond exhausting. But some great guy isn’t going to just fall out of the sky and magically know my life story. I have to get there. [Side fun note, a waiter at a bar on Saturday night during my friends pub crawl asked me out. He was really cute…until he told me he was 21 and a sophomore in college. He didn’t believe I was older than 22. I am steering away from being a cougar until I’m a bit older 😉 ]

And for friends, I am not going to just magically meet some new friends who would be interested in partaking in some of the hobbies. I hate that I am really shy at first it’s been mistaken for being stuck up or snobby many times. But maybe taking a few more social gym classes, or a cooking class, or better yet a photography class would if nothing else put my into social situations with other people. And maybe even introduce me to a few new friends with similar interests.

And for hobbies, aside from what I mentioned above. I spoke with a woman at a charity group where professionals act as mentors for young girls (8-18) and run with them once a week. The mission statement behind the organization is that running is meant to be used as a tool for life – to build self-confidence, to relieve stress, and to find yourself. That idea is exactly how I feel about running. The problem is it’s 4:30-6:00pm on Wednesdays and I work until at least 5. I am going to reach out to my boss, because if I am following my new mantra it’d be silly not to but I’m a little sad because I don’t think it’s going to be feasible. I’d just love to find an organization like this where timing worked out!

I’m feeling a bit drained and out of sorts still but definitely a little bit better than I was feeling earlier today.

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Looking back at this past weekend I can pinpoint a few of my favorite moments. And they all have something in common.

The first is my drive home from the wedding weekend. On the drive up we had just one car packed with 5 of us (our other friend had to go up early for the rehearsal dinner). It was a fun drive, lots of snacks, music, and laughing. On the drive home though we split up because we had two cars.

In my car was my friend J and A. For four hours we didn’t once turn the radio on. We talked about our life passions, how we can fix the world – in large ways, in small ways, in overwhelming ways. And at the end of the ride we talked about B. This was a topic I was trying to avoid. I was avoiding it because I wanted to keep a strong front. That everything was ok, that I’m not still hurting after 8 months, that our friendship was in a good place, that I felt like I was over it. But I realized as they asked questions, they were truly asking because they care about me. Because they care how I feel and they want me to be happy. I mean I knew that before but I realized as I honestly filled them in on how I was feeling, the deep down feeling of loss, sadness, vulnerability, emptiness, fear, all of it – they listened, they empathized, and just were the perfect friends I needed and finally allowed myself to need. I really didn’t think talking about it would help but something about releasing all of that to them made me feel like I was taking one more step in the right direction. I made it all real by talking about it and after I did, while it’s still really sad, somehow it’s just not as scary anymore.

The second moment was on Sunday day while I was sitting by the side of the town’s pool, my legs were dangling in, while 3 of the girl’s were in the water. I was having them do handstand competitions, somersaults underwater, and synchronized swimming as I played judge. We were laughing hard as we all splashed around and it felt like I was 10 years old again. It was this feeling of genuine bliss as I looked at some of my best friends and realized how much I value them.

And then last night. We were all set to go get sushi and see a late showing of Inception, clearly none of us really wanted the weekend to end. As we walked outside there was my car with a ridiculously flat tire. My heart sank. I hate dealing with car trouble, I hate that I know it’s going to cost an arm and a leg because it’s never really just a tire and I just felt frustrated because it ruined our plans. But we called AAA and we sat down on the sidewalk and chatted and giggled as we waited and it hit me. This isn’t that big of a deal and when sitting with my friends, it really wasn’t a big deal. After the AAA guy put the donut on we took a look at the tire. The inside of the tire, the side facing the car had all of these weird slits in it . As if something from my car is actually slicing the tire. The guy said I was really lucky because if it had happened while on the highway it likely would have burst and I would have lost control of the car. Just a day prior I had two of the girl’s in the car with me going over 70mph. I’m so thankful nothing happened then. After he left I was staring at the car, thinking about how overwhelming dealing with a car can sometimes be and my friend C turned to me and said, “bring it in”. She enveloped me in a big long hug, exactly when I needed it, without me having to say a word. So tomorrow morning I’ll drop my car off  and they’ll fix it. And it’s probably going to be more than I am expecting but shit happens.

Lately both wonderful things and shitty things have been happening. But you know what? That’s life. And each time something happens I look around and realize how lucky I am because my life is full of these amazing, supportive, fun-loving, and smart people.

“Truth is a deep kindness that teaches us to be content in our everyday life and share with the people the same happiness.” – Kahlil Gibran

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I’ve never dealt with heartbreak before. In my mind I somehow had because I had been in such long-term relationships but the thing is, when I ended them (and the key word being that I ended them) I had already moved on.
I never woke up aching for that person, I never felt alone, I just moved on. And quickly for that matter. It was just weeks after my first boyfriend A (of 3.5 years) that I found myself with a guy that was really just an in between before immediately moving onto my second boyfriend who I was with pretty seriously for a full year. And that ended by my semi-cheating on him with someone new, who I spent the next 4 years on and off with. I ended that relationship days before we were supposed to move in together and one week later I was hooking up with my then coworker. In the midst of the messy coworker situation I met B and it went from there.
This is the first time since I was 13 that I am on my own without a boyfriend. That I can’t fathom starting something new with someone else.
I have never felt like I needed a boyfriend and was always so independent in my relationships and in my life. I’ve always been the friend who could balance it all – boyfriend included. But what I’m starting to realize is that of course I never felt like I needed one because I always had one. It’s easy to feel like you’d be fine on your own when you haven’t ever been.
I have never felt true rejection before either. I’ve always gotten what I wanted when I went after it. And the truth is the night B and I broke up I went after him trying to get him to break up with me. I have struggled to explain it to anyone but that’s what I went after. Was it a test? Maybe. Was it some way of me having him do what I was never going to do? Maybe. All I know is I felt doubt that night and I pushed and got what I was after. Like I always do.
You could look at my life a number of ways.  Have I put myself out there in life enough? Meaning have I actually pushed myself beyond what I know I can get – or all this time have I been playing it safe? Meaning this is the first time I really let myself be vulnerable and I got burned.
Or have I always just gotten what I wanted because I went after it hard and luckily what I wanted was what I needed at the time. And maybe this time, I got what I needed whether or not I consciously wanted it.
I guess it doesn’t matter. And what’s most important is that I haven’t stopped living. Even in the first 6 months I more than lived. And in a lot of ways, and for a lot of the time I’ve been pretty content. But my quality of life has always been so high, that these past few months, and today especially there are these moments of frustrations, of anger, of sheer emptiness.
I know today, I felt it, a slight hint of the peace that comes with letting go. So let go…

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I’d be lying if I didn’t say this afternoon is painful. Of course it is.
Camping with B was awesome. We kept it entirely in the friend zone, no cuddling, no hand-holding, just a fun day and a half. We had a fun chatty drive up to the campground, set up camp, ate lunch, went on alpine slides, came back, hung out and played cards while it started to drizzle, cooked dinner, ran into the truck to eat dinner while it down poured, made some s’mores, walked the campground while smoking cigars, and got into the tent to chat a little and go to sleep. This morning we went for a quick very cold dip in the swimming hole, drove for breakfast in another town, stopped very shortly at the outlets and now I’m back.
And empty.
I know I’m doing it to myself by hanging out with him. And I guess that’s just it, I’m willing to feel shitty for the afternoon because we did have a great time, and it wasn’t hard to be around him. When we’re together it’s just good – it’s good to be around each other, it’s good to talk about everything, it’s good to feel comfortable. It’s hard this afternoon because now I don’t know when or if we’ll get time like this together again.
And it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to take his place. Part of it is that I don’t want someone else to take his place. Part of it is that I just can’t imagine anyone actually being able to. I know deep down, things happen for a reason. There’s a reason for all of this.
But I can’t believe how much it still hurts. He’s home unpacking his tent and probably getting organized for the week. I’m sitting on my couch praying this ache can one day go away.
For whatever reason I wasn’t enough. I’m still not enough.

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