A Better Outcome

Elizabeth Hyman 

Staff Writer 

So the single life…that’s something.

Before I begin, I’m sure you’re wondering…WAIT, I thought she was engaged? Or dating? Or something like that?? I was, I was, and I was. Now I’m not, and it was probably the best thing that has happened to me in a very long time.

To get through a classic break up, I find that you can keep a diary to keep your head above water. On the first morning after, I was a wreck. A WRECK! I emailed all my professors, telling them my heart was broken, came downstairs in my parent’s house, watched a mouse “book it” past my feet, and then made tea and cried. Not exactly a beautiful morning.

What could I have done? 365 days of my life and some change just went down the toilet, or so I thought. I don’t want to get into the finer details of what caused the breakup and who said what, if you’d really like to know we can get coffee sometime when the world isn’t watching, but until then, I’ll just tell you what it is today, and it is LOVELY. She’s still my best friend, that’s the first thing. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome. Dynamics have changed, of course, but we vowed to still be in each other’s lives as long as the other person wants us there, which we do. 

Knowing she and I were squared away, I had to get down to the REAL brass tacks, regarding solely me, myself, and I. Where do I go from here? What does ELIZABETH do? What’s my next move? How do I put one foot in front of the other tomorrow? I started with the diary, as I said earlier. Wrote letters that didn’t need delivering, I wrote words I didn’t think I’d write, sometimes unable to see my computer screen through tears, but over the course of the twelve days or so that I used that diary, slowly but surely, I saw progress.

“Woah, I didn’t cry yesterday. I did this today all by myself and had a good time doing it! Wait…do I actually LIKE alone time?” All of these things I heard myself say.

Then, I moved to the creative side of me, which really is the only side of me, but it’s broken up into quadrants: poetry, singing, dancing, and eating. I wrote poems every day, I sang Patti Smith, I danced around the house with no bra, I ate what I craved (mostly sandwiches, chocolate, canned ravioli, and the occasional Chardonnay) but mostly, I was WRITING. I still am! About all of it…about myself, about her (on occasion), about others, and some pretty damn good pieces came out of that. Most artists (and yes, I’m calling myself an artist now, we’re at THAT stage of the breakup) have to suffer to make great things, so I think I’m doing a hell of a job, whether this sucks or not. Whether it was for this newspaper, or my Ecology notebook, or Instagram, or just my Google docs, I realized that I will always be writing, and I’ll always be a poet no matter what dream falls through. Poet first, then a human. Words are my bread and butter—they’re little orgasmic phrases that sound like magic and despair, and you piece them together like a puzzle, and there you have it. They form engagements AND break-ups. So I answered my own question about what to do next, I guess.

I write. Till I can’t anymore. Till my heart can’t take it.

 I also allow myself to enjoy being single. What a gift that is, huh? Things I had to compromise on, I don’t have to now, not with the same purpose, anyway. I can compromise still, but I have less of a stake now: I’m not the partner, I’m the best friend, the roommate, the other, separate, unit.

I can also wear my engagement ring on my middle finger…not in a malicious, middle-fingerey, way. I’m not angry a bit…just as a sign, like “Hey! I remember you, how could I forget you??” And yes, that DOES make me sad, how could it not? I’m idling in neutral right now, something I’ve never done before, and there are going to be big feelings.

I welcome all that sadness, because it makes me such a strong poet, and my character is “ever-stronger”, too. I can go on dates, and I can put the stress of always being a “team” down, for now…or maybe for always, I don’t know, but I choose to be EXCEPTIONALLY grateful for the time we were together, rather than the future where we may not have each other.

First though, as I said, she is my best friend. I am a poet, and she is my best friend, and we are going to get through this together, while also doing it solo, and of course, I couldn’t ask for a better outcome.


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