Today is the two year anniversary of the day my ex-boyfriend and I broke up. He was my first significant love, and I was not prepared for the end when it arrived. I realize that this isn’t the type of anniversary that is traditionally circled in calendars and celebrated with gifts or cards. But it feels significant to me in that it marks a day that sparked big change in my life. Change that I ultimately came to recognize as good, positive and greatly needed.
The relationship officially ended on a Tuesday, but process of disentangling our lives took all summer. It took him more than a month to find a permanent apartment, and so I rattled around the apartment living with his possessions while his person resided elsewhere.
The morning after the break happened, my boss and I were scheduled to meet with the community liaison at South Philly High School. I took the subway down Broad Street, and reemerged at Snyder Ave., blinking at the harsh June sun, slightly confused as to where I was. I made a quick stop at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts for iced coffee, and when I asked for a large, was handed what seemed to me to be a bucket of liquid. I didn’t know what to do with that much coffee, and when I walked into the meeting, it’s unnecessary size made me start weeping. To their confused faces, I managed to hiccup out the words that made sense of my crying jag. I am grateful to this day that the two women who were in that meeting were friends as much as co-workers. My boss turned to me as we were driving back to work and said, “Remember to be very kind to yourself through this. Dark chocolate does help.”
These days, when I think about that relationship, it feels more like a dream, a memory seen through the ancient, wavy windows of a 19th century house. It is muted and foreign. I don’t entirely recognize the girl I see through panes. I am appreciative that I had the experience, and I acknowledge the gift I was given when it concluded.