This is the post I’ve been avoiding writing. This is the one I’ve been agonizing over for weeks. The one that brings me to tears every time I sit down to write it. The one I’ve been fearful of writing and, mostly, of posting. This is The Big One.
It didn’t happen suddenly. There was no anger and no major blow-ups. No betrayal or hurt. No accusations or yelling. It was a rational decision made by two adults who love each other and want what’s best moving forward.
And it sucks.
He’s been my best friend for a long time. He’s my rock and my safe place. When we first started dating, I was freshly in recovery from my eating disorder, had just moved back to the South after a grueling stint in Chicago, and had absolutely no idea what direction I was headed next. He grounded and supported me as I entered graduate school and went through yoga teacher training. He introduced me to martial arts and showed me that my body could be strong. He taught me how to laugh again and re-connected me to my love of nature. He told me I was beautiful every single day until I believed it, and then kept telling me because he believed it so much. He helped me grow, heal, and come back to life. And he tells me I did the same for him.
Seven years later, we still love each other, but in a different way. We’ve loved each other through so much growth that we’re very different people now than we were back then. We’ve helped each other grow into the people we’re meant to be… and now it’s time for us to go off and be those people. We’re letting each other go with love and each other’s sincerest blessings.
I’m crying a lot. Big, hot tears that well up in the car and in public restrooms when I’m not expecting them at all. It’s a hard thing to talk about when people ask me, and even harder to initiate conversations about. I get caught off guard by how sad it is. Some days all I want to do is curl up in bed and cry.
Thank God for my yoga practice. As my whole world comes unhinged, my mat has once again become the ground beneath my feet. I come to my mat now to remind myself that everything is okay. My practice at once familiar and exhilarating as I remember the strength my body holds. The strength I feel in my arm balances and Fists of Fire lunges reminds me that I can get through anything. I can hold and support myself.
And sometimes I come to my mat for release. I feel a lump in my throat or an aching in my chest, and I know there’s something there that needs to be moved out. So I move through a few salutations and wait for the tears to come. And when they do, I crumple into Child’s Pose and let them flow. I do my best crying ujayi and whisper to myself, “This too shall pass, this too shall pass…”
It’s times like this when we’re called to truly walk the yogic walk. I have to self-nourish and self-nurture, just like I tell my yoga students to do. I have to show up honestly and allow authentic expression to happen, no matter what it looks like. And I have to trust. Trust myself, trust the Universe, and trust the process. I have to stop and breathe. And breathe. And breathe.
I honestly don’t know what’s on the other side of all this, just like I never know what’s on the other side of the next pose. As I move into my thirties as a single woman and face the daunting task of solo home-ownership, I could fall flat on my face. And I have to be okay with that. If I do, I’ll pick myself up and try again, just like I do in my practice. Or maybe I’ll stop and rest and re-group until I’m ready to try something different.
And I’ll pause for a moment to offer gratitude. In this hardest of transitions, I’m so grateful for all those who support me, for those who call and text, for those who hold me in lingering hugs when they see me and say, “I’ve been thinking about you.” I’m grateful for my family who send Facebook messages reminding me I always have a place to stay. And for my brother who texts me jokes to cheer me up and let me know he’s thinking of me. And for my Dad, who emails to tell me he’s always there for me, no matter what.
And for you (you know who you are), I am so, so thankful. Thank you for everything you’ve ever done. I love you, and I always will. Namaste.