I'm pretty content with my life. I have a great job and a busy social life in an awesome city that I adore. I have incredible friends and the kindest family. I also just ate a cheeseburger. So yeah, life is good.
If you had told me a few months ago, though, that I'd be happy again someday, I would've yelled at you to "shut up" from underneath my covers with a mouthful of fro-yo.
This is because about six months ago, my pretty close to perfect, 5+ year relationship with the love of my life (I'm talking Pinterest-planned wedding) abruptly ended. Without any warning, I got the "we need to talk" text while at work on my THIRD day of my new job. And just like that, after a couple of texts and a sobbing phone call in the bathroom, the guy I was building a life with (let's call him Ex) was done. The next day Ex was on a plane on his way back to his home town and I was devastated.
Pretty common story right? Guy breaks girl’s heart, girl eats ice cream and drinks wine in PJs for months. Don't worry, it gets better.
Looking back now, it wasn't completely out of nowhere. Ex and I had become pretty distant -- kind of living separate lives but in the same apartment. When you're in a long-term relationship though, things get comfortable. I guess I confused disinterest for comfort, because he couldn't get out of this relationship fast enough.
He also couldn't get into a new one any faster. Less than a week later, after some pretty stealth detective work that I'm equally as proud of as I am ashamed, I learn that Ex is seeing someone new. Like, really seeing someone. Like she's already met the parents kind of thing. I was hurt. I was shocked. But I brushed it off pretty quick by convincing myself that it was probably going to fizzle out in a month or two.
WRONG. The new girl (I'll call her Replacement Me) was apparently sticking around. Maybe three or so months later, my Instagram feed was FLOODED with pictures of Ex and Replacement being all happy in their honeymooning phase of their relationship. What's worse, though, is that a bunch of them had captions similar to the following:
FINALLY all moved in!
It look the other girl 2 and a half years to get him to move in with her and it only took me a couple of months! HA!
OK the last one wasn't really one of the captions, but with every selfie I saw of the two of them I was feeling more and more like it was real.
Here I was, moving into a new apartment, still getting my feet wet at a brand new job and trying to come to terms with the fact that I was going to have to start frequenting bars, coffee shops and sporting events much more frequently in an attempt to find another male willing to spend time with me. All while they're playing house. How could this get ANY worse, right?
Well, throw in some expensive jewelry and a really awesome roommate and it totally gets worse.
I'll never forget this moment. It ranks in the top three most dramatic moments EVER in my life. Right before the time I saw a large bird swoop down and pick up a smaller bird while walking home from yoga and right after the time I hit some black ice and sent myself and my car spinning down a one way street.
I was out for drinks with some of the incredible friends I mentioned earlier and I was feeling pretty good after a big win at a game of trivia. That's when I got a call from my roommate saying she had to tell me something and that maybe I should sit down. The words that came next sounded like someone was talking to me in a foreign language -- "Ex and Replacement are engaged and it's all over Facebook."
Cue the tears, texts to mom and tequila shots. The guy that only five months ago was rubbing my back while we watched endless amounts of Netflix just put a ring on it. And "it" wasn't me.
I wasn't jealous though. I didn't envy Replacement because she got what I thought I wanted. The feelings I had were more like relief and embarrassment than jealousy. I was relieved that I got out of the relationship before I married the guy and I ended up having to get divorced rather than just having to change my Facebook status. I was also embarrassed that I gave someone five years of my life, that I sacrificed so much for this person and that this new girl had him down on one knee after only a couple of months.
You can't think like that though. If I did, I'd still be in my pajamas shoving spoonfuls of mint chocolate chip ice cream drizzled with cheap Merlot in my face every night. Instead, I'm incredibly aware of what I want in life (a dude with a couple tattoos, good taste in music and a creative job...also a farm of Bernese Mountain Dogs), I'm working hard to get to where I want to be career-wise, and I'm enjoying my life. I feel a little lost sometimes, but mostly I feel free. Which is a damn good feeling that I didn't know I was missing before.
Of course, I am a little jealous of Ex and Replacement. Not of their relationship, her engagement ring or their love. I'm jealous of the tiny porcupine-gerbil thing they call their fur baby.
They have a hedgehog and even I have to admit it's really fucking cute.