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Posts Tagged ‘Heartbreak’

It’s my four-year blogging anniversary.

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Four years ago at this time, my heart was broken. It’s so funny how being heart-broken sounds like such a normal, common term, but at the time, my God I felt anything but.

I felt utter grief, physical pain, an ache so deep I remember waking up thinking my ribs were bruised.

I wasn’t eating and dropped to 125lbs at almost 5’8.

I was crying, somewhat openly to family and friends at first, then secretly, almost daily in my studio apartment.

Night time was the worst. 3am and somehow I’d always find myself crumpled and sobbing, shoulders shaking, on my bathroom floor.

I thought I would never get over B. At times I fantasized we truly were meant to be and we would get back together.

I spent a full year waiting, and hoping. Putting on a strong face, and being his friend. A full year trying to move past that heartache and yet one minor action, like holding my hand on our plane ride back from Ireland, or saying how much he still cared and loved me, would set me right back and I would start the heartbreak process all over.

It’s almost funny that now, I look back, and I am so incredibly thankful for that experience.

I’m thankful I felt love and loss like that, I truly am.

Sometimes I’m even nostalgic for that pain. It sounds ridiculous, but being heartbroken was the deepest emotion I have ever experienced to date.

Most of all, I’m thankful for who I became as a result of it.

I learned many wonderful things from B overall – he taught me to love myself and understand I deserved the best. He truly taught me how to communicate effectively and understand that fighting in relationships is never, and should never be about winning. He made me see an adventurous side of me that was waiting to come out.

But I learned the most out of my heartbreak time.

I learned to be independent.

I learned to love and appreciate my own time, with just me, writing, reading or relaxing.

I learned that I have the most wonderfully supportive and loving family and friends.

I learned that I could put my mind to something – finishing graduate school, getting promoted, signing up and accomplishing a triathlon – and be succesful, even without a significant other.

I learned that I could travel the world, Patagonia with a friend, for two weeks and enjoy every incredibly experience while there.

I learned, after that trip, to let go. That after experiencing the heartbreak you truly have to let go. And I remember the moment exactly… being in a bar in Chile, walking up to a cute guy and kissing him. Just like that.

I learned that opening your heart up and being vulnerable after heartbreak is harder. Much harder.

I learned that once I did, I would love deeper than I could have imagined. Because I finally found a love that loved me as me, even on bad days, and was willing and wanted to give me what I wanted most – a family.

And so it’s almost ironic, though I won’t tell her in that way, that my younger sister has found herself in the exact same place, at almost the exact same time in her life.

My sister has followed many of my footsteps, from college to even moving to Boston. At 24, just about turning 25, she and her boyfriend of about one and a half years broke up. She is utterly and completely heart-broken.

I can’t take her pain away. I can only help to support her, to distract her, and to help her pass the time. Because truly, the one and only thing that helped, was time. Time heals all.

And I hope that one day, a year, maybe four years from now, she can look back at her heartbreak and feel the same way.

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In the past few years many of the blogs I used to follow stopped posting. And then since the demise of Google reader I have only been consistently following a handful blogs. A couple of them are blogs that I have followed and connected with (commented on back and forth) for years now. These are blogs that might not even always be frequent posters, and I might not always read or comment right away, but I continue to read them because they’re real. They share the good, the bad, the frustrations, the heartache, and the random. I love them for that.

It’s rare that I’ll follow a non-food/non-home improvement blog that is always peachy keen where everything is always roses. It doesn’t feel as real. But there’s one running blog that I absolutely love, and even though 99.9% of the posts are optimistic, light and fun I have become very attached to her journey these last years. I’ve grown especially vested over the past year watching her become a Mom, raising seriously the cutest one year old girl and still killing it on her runs.

When I was catching up on blogs yesterday and I read her post that started with the fact that she filed for divorce…my heart broke for her. I know, to many it may sound ridiculous – such an attachment to someone you’ve never met in real life – but I can’t explain it. It was an utterly shocking (to many readers) and stomach-wrenching post. I haven’t stopped thinking about her today.

That’s the thing about blogging. We show only what we want to show. What we choose to show. People reading my blog get maybe 10% of my life (unless you know me on Facebook, instagram, and real life in which case you probably know a lot more).

What’s funny though is that 10% you do know as a reader, is probably the 10% I don’t share with most people in real life. Not because I don’t want to, but in day-to-day life I like focusing on the positive and being optimistic seems to just come naturally.

It’s probably why I love that my space isn’t as public as some other blogs. The public blogs seem to feel they have to always be positive, only show the good, and hide the bad as if there is none. To me, it can feel fake or too surface level to enjoy. This is my space to vent, to be frustrated, to rant, and to be introspective. For whatever reason when things are great and easy – I tend to write less. It’s happened over the past few weeks especially. I’ve struggled to find the time and energy to read my favorite blogs, let alone post on my own.

Anyway, reading what this blogger is going through, my heart breaks, it really does. I swear, I have truly only experienced heartbreak once in my life, and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. While I wouldn’t take my experience back, I learned from it, I grew from it, and I’m stronger than I could have ever imagined, it’s the darkest place I ever was for a time. I hate to think of anyone else in that same place.

I guess it’s just a good reminder. Blogging is a different type of outlet for everyone. But I would venture to say, that you never, ever, get the full picture in this little space. Something to keep in mind.

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Last night I had dinner with B.

I walked to meet him after work at one of our old meeting spots. As I walked towards the meeting spot, I saw him before he saw me. I wasn’t sure what I was going to feel when I got closer. Sad? Excited? Indifferent?

And then we caught eyes as I got closer, and we both smiled and it just felt right to give him a big hug.

It felt nostalgic. And comforting. And easy.

We walked to his truck to drive over to a Mexican place outside the city. We quickly fell into our normal conversation pace – catching-up on the old, the new, the wants, the dislikes, the good, the different, etc.

As he was dropping me off at home we parked outside my apartment and continued chatting for about 15 minutes. There he mentioned a sensitive voicemail he had left me a few weeks ago. I never got it. He left it the night I was trying to get home from Florida (and got stuck in Baltimore during storms) and for whatever reason I never got that voicemail.

Funny how things works out like that. I don’t know what he said on that voicemail, and maybe it’s better I never did get to hear it.

We gave each other a big hug goodbye and I went inside and sat down to catch-up on shows before chatting with the Townie before bed.

And in early hours this morning when insomnia hit again, I received an email from B that started with this:

 C,
 It was so nice to see you tonight. Thank you for taking time to have dinner with  me. I felt like I could talk for hours more, when we got to your house.

I can’t lie, there’s of course a nostalgic feeling with B. There are moments where I just want to hop in his truck and drive up to Maine and chat with the radio off the whole way.

But deep down I know that’s no longer what I want.

What I want is to see him happy, truly happy. I want him to keep moving forward.

And I want to be happy. Maybe that means with the Townie, maybe it’ll be someone else in the end.

Whatever happens I know it won’t be B standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me to walk down it. But I do know he’ll be standing in a pew smiling for me.

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While my mind is mostly thinking about how I’d like to be on the beautiful beach below today, a conversation with the Townie last night got me thinking.

Transport me here now.

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Last night the Townie and I were lying in bed chatting while I coughed up a storm. (Got my meds yesterday, the official word is I have bronchitis and an ear infection. Waaah. )

We were talking about how for the most part, we really get along. We communicate well, we respect each other fully and it just seems easy.

I’m not sure how it came up, but he said, “The only thing I can see us fighting over is your relationship with your ex“.

On the one hand, he says he trusts me 100% and doesn’t mind that I do maintain a friendship with B. But he’s wary of it, and deep down I know it bothers him a bit. I don’t want it to bother him.

I know I’m being a bit selfish. I don’t want to give B up. It breaks my heart a thousand times over to think I couldn’t check in once in a while with him and catch-up over dinner. I know the Townie would never force him out of my life, but at some point am I supposed to offer?

I tried to explain, which probably came out in the worst way, that I will always love B. No I’m not in love with him any more. But there’s a connection, an attachment, a deep care to continue having him in my life. I’m finally at this place where envisioning him with someone else is ok, as long as that person makes him happy and treats him really well. But envisioning my life without doesn’t seem ok.

The Townie said his fear is that I’m not really over him. But I don’t know if I ever will be 100% over B. That doesn’t mean I want to get back together with him, or ever envision a shared life again. My heart is already falling for the Townie. But is it ok to still love B while that happens?

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Okay so I’m not running but this is the place where I can be 100% honest so here it is.

Last night I went to dinner with B (Townie knew ahead so it wasn’t a secret).

Truthfully? Our connection has been lost a little. I expected that. I didn’t expect to have it feel so clear why I wasn’t with B any more (we spent two hours talking about him, I’m pretty sure he asked me all of two questions…)

But at the same time I was surprised at how at moments, I still longed to be comfortable and safe in his arms.

I went home and met up with the Townie for the night. Here’s a guy secure and understanding enough to let me go out with my ex boyfriend. And sweet enough to have officially asked about being my boyfriend.

And yet last night as we were falling asleep, the fear set in a little bit.

Is this happening to fast?

It was so different than with B. With B we were together almost 6 months before calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend – and at that point we were basically falling in love. Becoming boyfriend and girlfriend at that point made it such a secure decision. I knew he was 110% in it.

While it’s only been about two months, the Townie and I for a few weeks now have said that we aren’t dating anyone else. We see each other multiple times a week. We go out places, we stay in, we meet each other’s friends and starting to meet each other’s families. So label or not, we’re acting like boyfriend and girlfriend.

So why is fear creeping in?

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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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Exactly one year ago I wrote this post, Confessions at 25.

My God how life has changed.

For one, I’ve moved on from B. I still can’t believe it, but I’m exclusively dating someone, and it ain’t B. For another, I’m no longer jealous of other’s relationships. The “why not me” has turned into, everything truly does happen for a reason at the right time. I trust in that.

I want children one day. Actually, recently I’m scaring myself by wanting children now. (If someone would like to let me borrow their baby for a day so I can understand that I’m not quite ready for a baby yet, that would be great). Point being, I do want children, I just didn’t picture myself having them with B.

My Masters did have a return on its investment. Even if it was only in bonus and raise ($$$) form from my job at this point. Eventually, it’ll have some additional ROIs.

I’m sure as hell enjoying the travelling part of life and I’m making moves – between my tri, my trip to Patagonia, online dating and countless amazing times with family & friends. I’m living, happily.

So today, here are my confessions at 26:

I’m scared I’m falling for someone so different from what I expected that I may have to meet quite a few challenges to make it really work.

I’m scared I’m still not fully in the right career, and I don’t exactly know what the right career would be. I’m not sure I ever will.

No one tells you how hard it is to grow apart from friends. Even if you’re still surrounded by the most loving family and friends, losing even one friend is just plain tough. 😦

It’s almost too easy to get caught up in the “why not me, why not nows” in your mid to late 20’s. Why is she getting married? Why don’t I have that prestigious job? Why am I not buying a house yet? Wrinkles, maybe a gray hair, sweets sitting heavier on my thighs – is it time for hair dying, botox and lipo already?!

I can’t predict the future. Clearly I can’t considering my post last year couldn’t imagine letting go of B let alone being with someone else. So who knows what the next year will bring. All I know is I’m going to put myself out there, with the most positive attitude I can.

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The Townie and I had a good third date on Saturday night. Dinner & drinks at a sushi place near my apartment then back to my apartment. And before getting any ideas it was pretty pg rated. 😉

We had gotten together at about 7 and then walked to my place around 10pm. We put on 127 hours which we semi watched, mostly talked though (we clearly watched when he actually cut his own arm off …disturbing). After that ended I think I put on a dvr’ed episode of Criminal Minds and we just kept talking and then a few other shows played on tv. All the sudden it was 4am and I was pretty surprised I was still awake that after being up early and having done that crazy workout.

For another I was taken aback by how easy it was to just hang out with him and talk and cuddle up on the couch.

He left around 4:15am with a kiss goodbye (ok first kisses – still awkward even if at the age of 26) but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I am cheesily smiling as I type this…

Anyway, we have plans to see each other again on Thursday and got to a sox game next week.

This whole thing has gotten me thinking. I think no matter what relationship, whether it’s 2 weeks or 2 years you end up learning something. For some reason that relationship was part of your life.

I already feel like I’ve learned quite a bit in this one. It’s called, seriously Caitlin, don’t judge a book by its cover.

The Townie comes off as a tough, 6’2, jacked-up, Boston-accented party boy. In reality he was a party boy during college (we had similar college habits actually) but now is very much type a, needs to be in control, cares a lot about his career, is an athlete, and parties but not nearly as hard as he used to. He’s funny, he can definitely make fun of himself, and we can be playful together – all of which I wasn’t sure of with his first marine like impression.

And another lesson-learned, getting over the initial fear of him meeting my family or friends and how they’ll judge him and let’s be honest then judge me.

But this all got me thinking. Everyone LOVED B. They loved him because when we went to a family function or a party or a wedding he made a point of making sure everyone liked him. So afterwards it felt good to think that everyone approved and was taken aback by him.

And yet, whenever we’d leave those family functions or parties with friends, or his friend’s weddings deep-down, I felt upset. Because at each of these activities when I was supposed to be the one he was thinking about, or caring about, or hell, even noticing – I was the person he noticed the least.

Instead of dancing with me during a couple’s dance he was chatting up a semi acquaintance to make a good impression, and didn’t even notice me sitting at a table while the other girls were taken by their dates to dance (true story, his friend actually came over at that point and asked me to dance). When he noticed someone’s glass was empty he’d run and get them a drink but wouldn’t think to ask me as I stood there with an empty glass. He’d make weekend plans to fit every friend and acquaintance in – making sure to show face at parties/activities/etc and put me last because he knew he could.

The thing was, he had already won me over. At that point he was busy making sure everyone else he encountered liked him or thought highly of him. And with that it meant that his mom, his sister, and myself – the 3 people he loved the most in the world – always came last. No matter how many conversations we had about it, it never changed.

So sure, it matters to me what my family and friends think. But truthfully most times they notice the surface level of people. Deep down I know they all want me to be happy. Maybe the Townie comes off a little rough, but his attention is already 100% on me.

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Tonight will be my first second date since B.

I’ve been on SIX first dates since B (not including my mini-makeout session in Chile) and I just haven’t felt it with any of them. Well tonight I’m giving the Townie another chance.

However, I wish I had done a few things differently:

1. Worked out at least once in the past few days. It always makes me feel a little more confident. FAIL.

2. Done laundry. Or at least planned my outfit a little more. I somehow thought that this perfect dark green cardigan I saw at Ann Taylor Loft would be there today (I saw it weeks ago). FAIL. So right now I am left without clean clothing and no second option. JCrew will be my friend this afternoon instead of taking a lunch break. 🙂

3. Shaved. Ok TMI but it’s been a while since I have felt the need to shave. And while there are NO plans of my pants coming off, it’s that confidence sexy feeling. It’s hard to feel uber sexy when my legs resemble a bear . FAIL.

Oh well, either way, I’m breaking the first date only habit 🙂

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I had my reading yesterday. Some of the things he said hit the nail on the head, some were eh. All in all it was a fun and different thing to do with a friend on a week night.

What the cards said about Love:

  • I’m past the pain of my last relationship even though it was a rip your heart out breakup. (True.)
  • I’m the one holding myself back from dating and committment. I need to actually put my own foot out the door. (True.)
  • I feel like I need to get more grounded before becoming committed again. (True.)
  • I should start realizing that I don’t have to do anything I am uncomfortable with and that by going on a date it doesn’t mean I have to marry the guy. (Ha, such a true fear.)

He doesn’t necessarily see me entering into another serious relationship for another year. Lots of little dates which will be important, one of whom may turn into a good friend, but the serious guy won’t start until next year.

I will be married, with kids and happy one day. It won’t be with B.

What the cards said about CAREER:
He sees I’m an asset in my current company and I won’t be leaving it but my role may change, especially when it comes to being creative (yay).

That was clearly the vague overview of what he said but for the most part he or the cards sounded about right. I don’t know what is holding me back – for a long time I blamed it on getting over B but recently that’s just no longer an excuse.

Part of its fear, part of it is this lack of control feeling when it comes to dating. It’s easier and more comfortable to just cancel on dates or not put the effort in.

It also causes me such anxiety to feel smothered quickly when it comes to dating or love, like with DC boy, or really any guy I’ve gone out with.

Part of me also just feels this chaos in my life right now. Like I need to get my own shit together before being committed again even though I miss having a guy in my life. I want to get ahold of my workout routine, I want to focus a little more on my career and figure out what I’m meant to do, I want to spend a lot of time with my current friends and develop some new friends who might have similar interests in me. I want to dedicate time to training for my upcoming tri’s or planning my sister’s wedding or figuring out my faith and what I believe in and how I want to practice it.

The truth is I could probably do all of that with someone by my side, but it would mean compromising. Maybe I’m not ready to compromise yet. Because when I was with B as much as he wanted me to “do me” I held myself back. Maybe I need to spend some time learning how to be a stronger healthier version of me so when it comes time to being committed again I can compromise without giving up too much of myself in the process.

I want to put aside the friends and family who keep asking why I’m not in a relationship, and how I could possibly be single. I want to put aside the wedding and baby fever that’s going on all around me and realize things will happen at the right time for me, even if it’s not the same time as my friends or sisters or cousins.

I’m going to keep putting my foot out the front door and dating, but for the most part I’m going to start focusing on settling this chaos feeling I’m having.

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