30th December 2011 – the day before New Year’s Eve. This year, I chose to take myself away from the city I live in, but instead of returning to the city where I was born, I chose to go to a place I have never been. 2011 had been a good year, mostly apart from some drama through the last few months. I wonder what it is about the last few months of the year that just puts people in this state of frenzy and confusion. Could it be the arrival of the religious festivities, or could it be the changing of the seasons?
Yesterday, I was advised to go for a swim as it would help me deal with the things I am going through. My first thought was that I had already gone through them, and it was done, but after meditating last night, I realised that I was, indeed, still going through them. I had been putting off things until I had time to deal with them. I wonder, in the modern world, how many women do the same?
People can be insensitive, and sometimes even cruel. However, I had seen some cruel acts before, like my father marrying the woman he had left my mother for on the 1st of June – the date that would have been his and my mother’s 7th wedding anniversary. These are things that happen, and we have no choice but to go through them. Unfortunately, nowadays, we can’t always go through the full range of emotions that come with these things when we need to. So like me, and possibly some of the other women here, we bottle them up until there is a safe place where we can let them out. Unlike me though, some women have the added pressure of having to take care of the wellbeing of others, including their children or their elderly parents, or sometimes, even both.
Break-ups are hard in any capacity, and it makes it harder when you have to deal with an act of cruelty that comes with it. My ex and I are no longer talking. It is difficult, as after three years, he had indeed become my best male friend, and although we each have separate groups of friends of the same gender, it was always us who were there for each other when the going was tough. Although I speak to my mother a lot, it was always him I first told of anything new. We had gone through the end of our twenties together, from being absolutely wild and drunk together, to this point where everyone around us had settled, and us along with them in some way. There are memories that I share with him and nobody else.
Through the years, we had been both kind and cruel to each other, and through the years, we had cared for and hated each other in equal measure. When I think of a range of emotions that people can go through, I realise now, that with him, I had gone through a wider spectrum of emotions than I had gone through with anyone. Every time I could make him laugh, it would make me laugh, and every time I got angry and hurt him, it would only hurt me. In a way, we had grown up together. We had lived a life together.
That is it though, that is the essence of a relationship. While here in Byron Bay, I had met another woman who had just gone through a break-up, her relationship had lasted for 13 years. It was her that pointed out that after a while, when a relationship ends, this person you lose, apart from being your partner, is also your best friend. You can replace sex, and passion and infatuation, but you can’t replace the years you have built together, the way that you can just look at each other and know what the other is thinking and the way you can get up at three in the morning knowing that even though you are not in the same bed, the other is awake as well.
Right now, we are here, meditating and sitting in silence. Just going through this, whatever it is, realising that for once, we are going through it without our best friends, knowing that when we look into our heart, it is still hurting. There is no choice but to go through it in order to move on properly. Every person leaves their essence and a bit of energy in your life, it is a bit like a dent in a pillow that won’t go away for a while and in the direct aftermath of it, you will feel the emptiness. And just like a thumb-print or a dent in a pillow, it is unique to every person, and bringing someone else into the picture now, although it would be a comfort, would also be like putting a band-aid on an open wound – take the band-aid off, and the wound is still there, or leave the band-aid on too long and the wound will fester.
In time the light at the end of the tunnel will get brighter, and the sun will rise again, and then, you realise that what you once perceived as emptiness was in fact a vast expanse of space. So after you go through whatever you have to go through, take that space but leave your doors open. The sun rises, the sun sets – grow in it, revel in it, and in time, other things will come through the door to fill that space.