Or are just feeling better about life.
1. When you wake up one day to realise it’s been awhile since you last stalked him on Whatsapp\Facebook\MSN. Not a premeditated decision (because that resolve doesn’t usually last long), it just happened.
2. When you listen to Stronger by Kelly Clarkson, and instead of telling your best friends that you’re not going to come out stronger because this whole fiasco is going to kill you (true story), you tell them that you’re going to be alright.
3. When you can listen to the relationship drama (that parallels your own situation) in your best friend’s life and instead of deciding to wallow and die together, you tell her there’s better out there, and that one day she’s going to be alright.
4. When you stop listening to Try by Pink (this is the part of the song I feel resonates the most – “Where there is desire there is gonna be a flame, where there is a flame someone’s bound to get burned. But just because it burns it doesn’t mean you’re gonna die, you gotta get up and try, try, try.”) on repeat, and allow your playlist to shuffle. The addictive side of my personality usually comes out at my lowest and highest points.
5. When you remember why the relationship ended in the first place, and finally realise why it was for the best.
6. When you don’t mind laughing at yourself by writing “10 signs you’ve lost your mind”, knowing full well that once it’s out there you can’t take it back – or do it anymore because that would just be creepy.
7. When everyone around you starts commenting that you’ve been looking happier, and you can flash a smile in response.
8. When you stop trying to make plans with and around him that you know are never going to pan out. You just make them because those future dates provide some comfort that you have an excuse to talk or see each other, and it makes you feel a tad better to know that you aren’t just going to disappear from each other’s lives. The truth is, such idealised plans are just ways of cushioning the gut-wrenching heartache.
9. When you start thinking about the future as a world of potential possibilities instead of a lifetime of daunting nothingness.
10. When you still wish him well, and want him to be happy.
Relationships are a tough nut to crack. There are times when everything falls seamlessly into place complete with violins and fairy lights. And there are times when things fall apart no matter how hard you try to keep it together.
I’ve never felt more broken than I did, but I don’t regret a single minute of the last five years. I don’t believe in regrets. Everything happens for a reason and I reckon you live and learn. As painful as certain parts of the journey was, there were also many happy memories we created. I’ve learnt more about myself over the last couple of years, and even more so in the last few months than I would otherwise have. And I believe I’m better for it now.
So whilst I’ve ended up on the twisty Grimm Brother’s route instead of the straightforward Disney path I always thought I was on (given my sheltered upbringing in a world where nothing truly bad ever happened), I choose to believe that I’ll find my happily ever after to conclude my once upon a time.
That’s how life rolls.