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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Wednesday Guest Post "A Break in Heartbreak" by Gare Billings

Gare Billings

My name is Gare Billings. I’m from a small town in upstate NY. I write, sing, work and play. I just turned 25 in May and it was my defining year; the one in which I decided to pursue my own happiness. I decided so because of this blog. Rose Sanderson inspired me to do a lot and she is one of my best memories from the 10 months I spent in Boston, trying to find myself. When she approached me to be a guest blogger, I initially was hesitant because she set the bar high. I was nervous about what to write and she told me, “Write whatever you want, Gare!” I’d love to include more in my bio, but hopefully with time everyone can get to know me through my writing. So here’s to my then, my now and my future. I’ll share it with whoever reads. Cheers!

A Break in Heartbreak...

Three months. Nineteen months. To most people, this may feel like less than a minute or more like a century. To me, these were two defining times in my life that brought me closer to finding, losing and destroying myself.
Growing up, I was inquisitive and smart. I was mature and I understood…. I listened. I knew the big and the small. I understood that it wasn't Santa eating the cookies I laid out on Christmas Eve (that happened to be my father’s
favorite). I understood that in life, people fell in and out of love and physically, emotionally and mentally you lost people along the way. Your best friend at seven could be your worst enemy at eight.
I’d always been hopeful.
Thankful for the good and trying to fix the bad. Thankful that I could run and play and grow up as fortunate as I was. Trying to fix the bad in the depression I dealt with in high school, the eating disorder I wouldn't admit to until years later, but the hardest was my heart. My first relationship was a plane nose-diving. I fell for a friend, someone who listened and cared. High school ended and by the middle of my freshman year of college I was engaged. Seven months later, the engagement was over, the champagne was gone and I dealt pretty well with saying goodbye to the love that I don’t know to this day if it was real or not. 

To spare the gruesome details, I dated after that. Some light and some dark relationships. Four years later at 22, I was done. Love wasn't good to me. I’m far from perfect, and realized my mistakes. I searched for love. I hunted and climbed mountains to find it. At 22, I stopped looking. I focused on myself and my relationships with my family and my friends.
Heartbreak is one of those things that everyone has dealt with in one way or another. You've either needed a shoulder to cry on when you thought the world was ending, or you've been the shoulder that saved the world in your grieving loved ones eyes.
So here I was, at 22 not even thinking of love and relationships. I was working, gearing up for the Christmas holiday in the retail world and excited for the New Year. I was content until my world turned upside down and spun me a web I am still fighting to get out of. A mutual friend wanted to “set me up”. Fine. I’ll do it. I had no expectations for once and expected it to be a big flop. Well my friend gave this…guy my number. He text me that night and we went back and forth for four hours of great conversation. We met up two days later. Three days after that, I was staying with his family and admitting to him that I don‘t usually fall this quickly but I had. He agreed, he had too.
From that point on, I found the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We mutually declared falling for each other pretty hard. Like, hammer on the nail hard. Three months. Some of the best things in life can start so fast and come to a screeching halt before you’re prepared for it. Maybe things moved too fast, maybe he got cold feet. Maybe he panicked. Maybe is a lot of things. Maybe is bullshit. I won’t torture myself over that. I enjoyed that three months and found an amazing person that I wanted to keep in my life. There’s no keeping someone who doesn't want to stay.

Nineteen months. That’s where I am at. After the breakup, I rebound emotionally quite quickly. He didn't deceive me, purposely hurt me or break my heart. It was a  “bad timing, bad place” situation. My heart was broken over letting go of what I didn't want to. Love. I say I rebound quickly because I didn't cry. I moved. I didn't run, I moved. I needed a change and I looked for it, so I moved to Boston. I started a new life and still memories haunted me. Slowly and lightly at first, like that time of the year when we met only a year before. Hearing his name mentioned by others.
But now, time keeps going on and the more it does, the more I realize I just pushed things aside.
The progress…or lack of in nineteen months is frightening. I realized I wasn't over what I thought I had accomplished at all. I've heard from him a few times. That’s when it hurts, that’s when it pushes me to question what I've ran from mentally. The feeling I’d felt was best described in a YouTube video of Adele describing one of her songs. She bluntly said she imagined this man she loved and let go twenty years into the future. “I have this thought of me finding him and seeing him with this wife and kids and white picket fence and I’m still kind of on my own.” I heard that, it made my heart drop from my chest to my toes. That’s how I felt. Not arrogant in the sense that I know he’ll come back. Just hopeful, in a sense that if he comes back, he comes back and if he doesn't then I’ll just float around on my own.

He was the first person I dated that I didn't conform to. I didn't change my personality around and try to be the person he was searching for. I just was 100% myself and maybe that was at my own fault.
I've described how I felt to my best friend over a long heart-to-heart recently and in my head, it sounded fair. I am fine being alone if I can’t have what I want. I don’t cry every day over him. I don’t have any ill feelings for him. I miss him.
Simple as that. “It’s not fair to you though…”, my best friend whispered to me. “You need to get over it at your own pace. Not that your feelings don’t make sense, they are normal. I've been there too. But, you be alone until you need to and then you go from there.” She was so right (she always is). So today I may have my head held high. Maybe tomorrow, I hear a song that makes me think of a time during those three months and it makes the butterflies in my stomach scatter. I go from here. I take it day by day. I may be hurt now but I might not be in a week. A month. Another year. I may never stop. I know one thing, and always will; I am lucky to have had someone come into my life that I could miss this much. So I may get the blues, I may be sad. I’ll take it one day at a time like my wise, cherished and best friend told me to do and go from there. I’ll take a break from heartbreak and visit what I’ve neglected from time to time. Me.

“You can’t stop what’s done to you, you can only survive it.”
 - Georgia Rule (2007)

Picture courtesy of Sleeping With Savannah
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