i am sitting here, watching a bunch of papers burn.

it is not as cathartic as i was hoping. the fire didn't grow large and the papers didn't burst into flames and disintegrate quickly. it is now smoldering, slowly turning the pages with words into darkened remnants of themselves. but it is taking too long and i can still make out some of the words and i don't want to anymore. 

you see the papers have words of love. these papers have promises of a lifetime together. these papers use to sit on my dresser, a daily reminder of the love i had and cherished.

today that love left.

i wasn't surprised that that love left today. i was blindsided three weeks ago when i got the first inkling, but today i wasn't. it has been a long, downright unfair three weeks, but i knew they'd be over today and so when i came home and 40min later that love left...i was not surprised.

the papers got to smokey so i had to cover them with water. also not as cathartic as i hoped.

i've been here before. in this very apartment. just over two years ago. i've been here, staring at a man's stuff that has yet to be removed. i know there are steps ahead. awkward dances while things are packed up and moved and then taken out. i know there will be the moment it is just me again here. me and the dog and our stuff. i know this will feel good and heartbreaking at the same time.

this time i don't know if i'll keep the couch or if he'll take it. who paid for it after all? maybe him? or maybe he bought the rug? i know the trunk and the tv will go, as will the record player and the sonos. at least two of the bookcases are his...but right now i am here staring at it all. feeling like everything has changed and yet the only sign here is that his suitcase is gone.

here are some things i've learned: don't buy a boyfriend tickets to hamilton. they will leave you before you get to go. also don't renew your lease for two years...you will be stuck in an apartment you probably wouldn't leave anyway, but now are committed to for two more years. also, if it feels like your boyfriend wants to break up with you and you have a trip planned to his hometown, maybe don't go. you'll spend the whole time feeling like it is a weird goodbye that no one else is in on. also, very often, you might be the one who has to start the breakup conversation. it will feel like you are breaking up with yourself. this might make it hurt more in the short term, but at least you know now. at least you can restart now.

i want to burn the memories away but i can't, can i? 

the ends of relationships always reveal what someone actually thought about you. i have a new list of things to worry about. i have once again learned that sharing something vulnerable and scary can lead to someone leaving. i once again have learned i feel like a burden to someone in some ways. i look forward to internalizing all of this and having my therapist try to talk it out of me. of course it reveals disappointing things about your now ex too. things i'm glad to know now, but wish i didn't.

i hate how we get here and how something once so beautiful ends cold and painful. 

at least he walked the dog. and took down the tree. and vacuumed all the pine needles off the floor. before i got home. before we'd officially say, it's over.

i can still smell the smoke and can feel it in my eyes and i don't want his words in my eyes.

i'll be 32 in forty-nine days. this feels significant, but probably isn't. i didn't think i'd be where i am, but i also feel okay about being here. i've done so much crying the last three weeks that i haven't really cried tonight. i'm sure it will come. i know myself well enough to know it will happen. but i also feel okay. i feel the most grounded i've felt in three weeks. maybe that is because tonight i worked with six women in a class all about being a badass. i don't feel like a badass, but i left there tonight with my breath and mind clear and grounded. i came home open and vulnerable, but also with a great sense of self, with a little fire in my belly about who i am and who i want to be and what i want. 

that's a fire that is still burning. and i hope she keeps burning these next few days and weeks when things get harder and it hits me that love left...i hope she keeps burning as i move in the world and try to find someone who will love and not leave. i hope she keeps burning as i do all the writing i have to do. i hope she keeps burning and burning and burning and burning...