Many, many years ago, I spent New Year’s morning walking through Hoboken with my boyfriend. We’d decided that morning (or maybe the night before) that we needed to break up. We’d been together for several years – longer than I’d been with anyone at that point in my life – but the writing was on the wall and we both knew it.
I think I was 29.
It was snowing that morning, which made our walk all the more wistful. Because we really liked each other, and we loved walking through Hoboken together, and also because Hoboken is especially beautiful during an early winter snow. It made the whole sad thing all the more sad.
Somewhere along our walk (I remember it being around 14th Street), one of us had an uncharacteristic moment of profound maturity and suggested something that, even as I write it, seems so outlandish I can’t believe the other even entertained it. One of us suggested we go see a therapist to break up. Because we were both in our twenties and each of us understood that we had gotten to “that place” we all get to in a relationship where we start doing our stupid, self-destructive things and that it would just be a matter of time before this union crashed and burned as had the others that came before it.
If we saw a therapist together and hashed it all out, we thought maybe we could do it differently with the next person. Maybe we could walk away from each other feeling not like victims, but empowered to stop playing out our same silly games in every subsequent love affair we had for the rest of our lives.
The logic was: If we broke up mindfully, we could perhaps each go off and find happiness in the world.
Therapy took a good, long time – much longer than the two or three sessions either of us had envisioned. After we were done, we bought a house together. And then we went on a 10-day trip to Hawaii, a trip that, after we got married, we referred to as our honeymoon, even though it took place before we had exchanged vows.
I just received this message today from an old friend: “On this first day of 2012 let go of the past. Don't waste a good minute worrying about a bad one. Know that everything is perfect exactly as it is. Trust that there is a reason, even when you can't see it.”
I don’t really believe in New Year’s Resolutions, but I’m making an exception this year and resolving to try and remind myself of my friend’s wise words every single day. And maybe to also try and eat more kale.
Happy New Year!! Thanks so much for spending time here with me.