It’s that time of year again where everyone is given a clean slate, to say goodbye to the previous year and hello to a new one. That time of year where everyone is filled with hopes, dreams and desires and the potential to make it all come true. However, the release process of letting go of the previous year isn’t always as easy as one might think. Which got me thinking…are we ever releasing the previous year to embrace the new one?
I had taken several weeks off from writing due to my last interaction with Mr. D., the holidays and the overall desire to release 2016 altogether. After visiting my family in Seattle and coming back to New York to celebrate New Year’s; it felt so good to be back in the city that I love. However, I was instantly greeted by my roommate’s news and he informed me that rent would be late, not to mention he was already two months behind on the utilities. It was news that I wasn’t prepared for nor was it news that I was financially capable of covering. My heart goes out to my roommate because his mom has cancer and he was visiting with her. I wasn’t sure how to handle the entire situation but it has put me in a huge financial crisis that I hope will get resolved sooner rather than later.
Toward the end of the holiday break, I decided that it might be time to dust off the dating apps and see what is out there. If I was going to move on from Mr. D. there was no time like the present, so I logged on and instantly found myself having communication with several people. On New Year’s Day, I agreed to meet one guy at this restaurant near my apartment called, Bar Bacon. A restaurant that serves only food and drinks that is bacon infused. It wasn’t exactly my kind of place but I agreed to go nonetheless. I arrived a few minutes late but I was surprised that my date actually looked better than his pictures. We sat at a table and he only ordered water and brussel sprouts and instantly went into detail on his life and how he’s at a certain point in his life where he doesn’t care about anything or anyone and would rather just be at home watching television. It wasn’t exactly how I wanted to be greeted on my first date in a rather long time but I was polite and listened as he went on about his life. I wasn’t exactly having a terrible time but I wasn’t smiling either and by the end of the evening, he suggested we go see a movie the next day. I accepted his offer thinking that maybe it was just “first date” jitters that had my date all over the place.
The next day, the weather in the city was a mix of snow and sleet but we still managed to meet on the corner of where I live and walk uptown to the movie theatre. I decided that since the previous night he had paid for our evening that I would pay for the movie tickets. It was crowded at the movie theatre and we had time to kill before the movie started and so we went to Starbucks for coffee. Over coffee, he decided to tell me that he is still technically “married”. There it was…the moment in the date where the other person decides to drop their baggage off on your door and you are left with deciding if you want to deal with it or not. That news came earlier than I expected but still I decided that I wasn’t in any position to judge without first hearing all the details. I listened as he went on to tell me that his husband lives in Atlanta and he resides here and that they are only staying married for the insurance. While it wasn’t necessarily a big issue as to why he was still married, I did decide that it wasn’t something that I wanted to deal with. I have just suffered through enough emotional drama with Mr. D. that I wasn’t ready to deal with another person’s just yet. So, we went to the movie, he tried to hold my hand but I acted like I had to itch my nose. After the movie, he walked me to my corner, we hugged goodbye and I never heard from him again. So far, we weren’t exactly off to a great start in the dating department or the roommate department for 2017.
It was time for me to deal with my work situation now and last Tuesday was my first day back in the office after being gone for over a week. It was also time for me to deal with Mr. D. as it was his last week in the office and I already knew that his last day would be the next day. I just wasn’t sure to what extent he would be exiting. Would the agency have a party for his departure? How would I react to his leaving and would he even say anything to me? We hadn’t spoken any words or had any form of communication since the next day after the wedding fiasco over two weeks ago, where I told him that we were over once and for all. Everyone involved in my life and this saga said that he’d be back but I was and still very angry with him that I no longer want any part of this man in my life. On top of my odd first date, the roommate situation, I found out that my job was having major changes and it was affecting everyone involved, it was as if I was still living in 2016.
I woke up on Wednesday morning feeling a sense of uneasiness. That uneasiness came from me not knowing how I was going to react to Mr. D. leaving once and for all. As soon as I walked into the office that morning, there was a breakfast gathering in Mr. D.’s honor. I didn’t attend even though I was invited and just told a coworker that I had too much work to do to be able to attend. Throughout the entire day, Mr. D. came by my desk several times, just looking at me and not saying a word. It was his last go-around by my desk that he asked a work related question to me and normally I would answer; instead I put my headphones on and looked at my computer screen acting as if I didn’t hear him. He walked away like a lost puppy dog but I didn’t care. I know why he would think that I would break down and given in because I have done that in the past but there was no way that I was going to do that this time. I was releasing him from my life and while I was heartbroken on the inside; I displayed an emotion of anger and disgust. It was getting toward the end of the work day and Mr. D. was still running around the office and knowing him so well; I knew that he was going to swing by my desk again to see if I was there. So, I snuck out of the office early without anyone noticing and left without saying goodbye to Mr. D.
A few people asked me if that was really how I wanted to end things with Mr. D. and my point for leaving without a proper goodbye. That maybe I would be wishing him well in Boston but he simply doesn’t deserve any kind of kindness. The fact that you could do the things that he has done to me over the past two and a half years and expect me to let everything go and be supportive is something that I simply can’t and won’t do. I gave him everything that I had; including my heart and what I got back was someone that is still confused, lost and disrespectful to me. It took me longer than anticipated to get to this emotional and mental state but it felt good to finally be able to release him. He will be back; he always will but how I handle his return is up to me. Time will tell but now that we have actual distance between us; I feel like I am ready to move on.
The next couple of days at the office were strange because I was so used to him being in the office even when weren’t speaking to each other. I walked around our office as if nothing had happened and a few coworkers came up to me and asked how I was doing but I acted like I had no idea what they were talking about. Even some friends of mine asked me how I was holding up, I told them I was doing ok or that I was happy given the circumstances but when I was home, I was crying. It was hard to hold in the tears or emotions while working but as long as no one knew what I was going through than I was fine with dealing with the letting go process all on my own.
By the time last Friday rolled around, I was ready to go home and hide under the covers. I was also in the scariest financial position I had been a part of in a very long time. With me having to cover rent and utilizes for my roommate till he figures things out (which he promised would be at the end of this week), work being very disorganized and the end of Mr. D.; I wasn’t in any position to be around friends. On my walk home from the office that evening, I thought of how I should spend what little money I had left to my name. I took my ten dollars and walked into my local bar, Rise, for a glass of wine.
The place was somewhat crowded and I was standing with my glass of wine waiting for a seat to become available. I was ignoring everyone around me, I didn’t want to be talked to but just to sit, breathe and have my glass of wine that tasted better than I ever could remember. Finally, a seat was becoming available and as I was making my way to the seat, someone else was trying to steal it from me. Next thing I knew, some guy was telling the other patron that the seat was already taken by me. This stranger pulled the chair out for me and I sat down. I turned around and thanked him for helping me grab the only seat in the bar and he nodded and said it wasn’t a problem. I turned around and faced the bar while this stranger was behind me.
I felt a tap on my shoulder a minute later and it was the stranger that got me my seat. He said, “Please don’t think of this as a pick-up line but do you come here often?” I began laughing and said he needed to ask a different question if he was going to try and start up a conversation with me. He said that it was actually his first time in the bar and was asking because judging how the bartenders were attentive toward me that he assumed that I was a regular. It was there that I noticed that this stranger was kind of cute and thus began a conversation that lasted for a few hours. Given my lack of money and me sipping on my wine slowly to make it last longer, I discovered that this stranger was paying attention only to me and not paying attention to other guys that were surrounding us. I can tell that this stranger was also tipsy but offered to buy me a few more glasses of wine. I didn’t eat that much earlier in the day so the wine was hitting me fast but I didn’t care; I was having fun.
Four glasses of wine later, I was feeling good and he was feeling even better than I was. It was only 9:30 in the evening but we agreed to end the evening because he had to get up early the next morning for work. I asked him what subway train he needed to take home and it was near my apartment; so I offered to walk him to the subway station. In front of the subway station, he leaned in and kissed me and before I knew it; I was making out with this stranger in the middle of Columbus Circle. He even picked me up and swung me around and I was smiling the entire time. He asked for my number and said he would message me when he got home.
To my surprise, this stranger did message me when he got home and said that his sweater smelled like my fragrance and that he found that to be hot. It was a pleasant surprise to the end of a rather shitty week. As of today, we have our first official date tomorrow and I’m actually looking forward to it.
As we start this new week, I’m finally starting to have those feelings that most feel at the beginning of a new year. Filled with hope, passion and desire and as Meryl Streep said last night so eloquently at the Golden Globes, “Take your broken heart and turn it into art.”
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