There are several websites I visit on a daily basis; the blogs listed to the right, Facebook, Twitter, and The Frisky.
Since discovering The Frisky more that 2 years ago, I have followed the lives of the women who write for the site, their trials and tribulations, from financial issues, dating dramas, marriage woes, getting in shape, among many other life journeys. When I started reading, Editor in Chief Amelia had just gone through a similar broken engagement situation that I had just experienced a few months earlier. I read her writings and felt a kin to her, as I had just experienced those same emotions too.
Another writer, Jessica, wrote frequently about her 2 year relationship. One that was "practically perfect in every way". She wrote about how they talked about an upcoming engagement, even bought a dress for the eventual engagement party. I have felt like I know these women, I follow in their triumphs and their failures, like finding best friends in the pages of a book.
On Saturday evening, Craig and I had ventured out to Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn to search for some additional storage pieces for my apartment. We took the ferry in the snow to Brooklyn, found the perfect piece, and ventured back home to put it all together. Craig got to work building the shelf while I ran to the store and came back to make dinner. While waiting for some mushrooms and onions to caramelize, I checked out my Twitter feed from my phone. I was surprised to find Ameila tweeting about un-following a friend/co-worker's ex boyfriend and taking sides "20th Century style".
I quickly dove in to find out who it was. Who had broken up with their boyfriend? Who had even been dating someone? It didn't take long for me to find it: Jessica's boyfriend dumped her.
In the following days, she has written lengthy articles about their relationship, how surprised she was about the sudden turn of events, and today, how she has been able to fall out of love.
This week, I have literally been in a tug-of-war over my emotions and it hit me today that Jessica's failed relationship has struck a chord with me. It has shaken something deep within me. So much so, that I have subconsciously questioned everything about myself.
In Jessica's case, she was in a relationship she thought was on-track to marriage and was completely struck with the reality that it was not as it seemed. The man she loved was not as he seemed and she is left reveling in what she should have done, could have done, and what she will do now.
Why does this affect me? I'm not exactly sure. Maybe it's because I know what she's feeling. I know the shock, the hurt, the disbelief, and the embarrassment that comes from a breakup like that. I know what it is like to finally uncover and understand that the person you thought you were with was not that person at all. And ultimately, I guess it makes me wonder if it will happen to me again.
Of course, I know that she and I are not the same person. Where something that happens to her will not automatically happen to me. Please know that I am aware of this. I know that I should never compare my relationship and my life to one of another and that each individual has experiences that are unique to them. But, I have to admit it has affected me.
"Why do you doubt me?" Craig has said to me this week. And in reality, I don't doubt him. When I think about him I see him as an individual, one that has no ties or connections to anything in my past. If anything, I see him as my shining light at the end of the tunnel. He fills my heart with joy and happiness each and every day and I hope that he feels the same way about me.
When I think about the situation at hand, I think that he is exactly the person he seems to be. No smoke and mirrors, no lies, nothing concealed from me. He is honest and kind, loving and affectionate, and takes care of me. More importantly, I feel that he wants to do these things, to be that person, not because he feels like he has to.
So why does one article written by someone I have never met affect me so? Why does reading about someone else's shock and betrayal make me think that it will eventually happen to me? Is it because it has happened to me? Are we all destined to have one huge heartbreak in our lives and once we get past it we're good to only have happiness? And if not, how do you know? How do you protect yourself?
In trying to answer my own question, I know that no one can predict the future and you can never be prepared for the rug to be pulled out from under your feet. You can only love with your entirety, for that is the only way to love. That is the only way I love. And in moving forward and pressing on, I will try to remember to push away the demons of the past and love wholly and completely, with everything I have.