24 Hours after writing my last letter

Last night I submitted what was to be my curtain call for what has been my ubiquitous seven-month’s worth of dating columns. A satisfied writer and romantic, I went to bed cuddled up next to a warm body after I put my Macbook to rest, having just completed my final submission. Slightly smug but mostly just satisfied, it was the perfect happy ending to end all happy endings.

It’s amazing what 24 hours can do. Since that span, I’ve gone from a squishy, happy, newfound-love type place to being ‘broken up with,’ technically before the relationship had officially began. I am not going to sit here and deconstruct that situation. I have something far more pressing to say, and that is the idea of how, in a roundabout way, I have, in fact, found perfect love.

I rode that long transit ride home tonight, thinking I would be my usual mess of tears and emotion, knowing myself well enough to gauge what I’m like when a romantic situation ends prematurely. Instead, I sat, slightly numb, but mostly introverted.

The last time I had my heart smashed, my best friend Faye and I had a very detailed conversation about it. We decided that I should proceed only with caution, and only release my heart from a locked up wooden box in the case of sincere certainty. With Devan, I released my heart from the box too soon, and subjected myself to a very quick but painful dissection. I was what Carrie Bradshaw calls “Emotionally slutty,” and gave a piece of myself up far too soon. It is only in myself that I can blame the pain of this situation. I let myself become attached, because I told myself it was time. It was certainly not.

I have learned many things in the months spent writing this column. I have also changed in some ways, going from a passive aggressive wreck looking under every nook and cranny for a shot of love, to realizing how important love is in other realms of my life.

To be frank, when I first started writing this column, I flat out could never be loved back because, in truth, I did not love myself. I was looking for someone to give me what I couldn’t even give myself, and no wonder that did not pan out very well. Yet, through the eyes of some very good friends, I have learned that I am worth that kind of love – it just has to ‘start at home.’ So I evaluated everything, and I kicked out the demons that have been haunting me from my first breakup two years ago. It is not about forgiving and forgetting, but about processing the moments and evaluating future situations based on your past experiences. I’ve learned to be less angry and less cynical, and to embrace things as they come. People tell me every day that I have an “old soul” or “big heart,” and I know what that means. The type of love I am looking for does not exist on a general level. I have never felt that anyone I have been with has been looking for the same type of love as me, and I see that now. We must be a rare breed. As important as I consider my career, my family, and everything else, I look at love as the utmost tool of success in life, which many people find ultimately shocking.

Faye, in fact, said it best: “You deserve to be happy, you deserve to be with someone amazing, but you need to take a real hiatus from the pursuit of love and happiness and get your organs sorted out. Head. Heart. Testicles.”

I am not giving up, but for now, I have me, and that is enough. Now that I can look into the mirror and love the person I see there, I know that sometime, when the time is absolutely right, someone perfect will see that as well. Until then, it’s not “Love, Awkwardly,” or “Love, Dangerously,” just love, period.

//JJ Brewis

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