12 hours ago I did a final walk through with my friend, and new landlord. The hard wood floors shone with fresh varnish. I had butterflies in my stomach with the excitement of leaving this place, of starting off new. And now sleepless with imagining where I will put the dog crate or my desk, or if the movers will help me put together the spare bed my friend left behind, I decide now is as good a time as any to update my address on the dmv website. I will be without internet for several days.
The dog has crawled under the warm down, burrowing next to me for warmth, this pleasure of having a short haired dog; she rests her chin on my bare feet as I pat her skinny little backside.
I feel like a box full of sunshine, my rays all spraying out of the cracks, like a tin lantern.
This last year has been a slog, I have trudged through it, holding on sometimes, like fingers scrambling on rock, at times my soul has felt bloodied and raw. Or wound tight, talking too loud, being too much on edge, hard and brittle and cracked just a little. My therapist assures me that I am quite sane, and an easy client. I love that. But here is what I love best, I have left this relationship with integrity. We both knew it was over, a while ago. And he has helped me pack, we have had open and honest discussions about how it was going to go. I still will, for the time being, have keys to his house; he still will, for the time being, dog sit if I need it. And every step of the way, I have informed him of my choices and what I would be doing. I have consciously done this. Because leaving a relationship any other way is cowardly and immature; packing your bags and leaving without warning or saying goodbye, is weak and pathetic. I am none of these things. And when you leave someone this way, it is a brutal, heartless and cruel way to treat them, it results in unbearable pain, no understanding of the meaning behind it, and a vile anger.
My brother had a friend, who, many years ago, came home from work, or a weekend away, only to find that his girlfriend had left him. She took everything, including the toilet paper hanging on the roll. And there were people, who advised me to do the same. But i remember thinking, then, that it was a pretty heartless and petty way to go about leaving a relationship. Is this what I wanted to do? The message about myself that I wanted to show the world?
I am better for having done it this way, I am better for knowing that my strength and integrity will always carry me.
I feel like my tin lantern is made of tempered steel.