You know that feeling of contentment after a long, hard day when you fall into bed freshly bathed and knowing that you have nothing to do but rest for the next eight hours? That’s what it feels like when you finally realise you’re going to be okay on your own.
I’ve experienced these feelings before during relationships and it was wonderful, but nothing compares to when you feel this way alone – why? Because this time I know that my happiness doesn’t rely on anyone else but me.
The first week or so of our separation was obviously the hardest. His departure came out of nowhere – one second I was in a relationship and the next, I was “separated”. I spent this time waiting and hoping that he’d return. I was expecting him to come home so we could forget about it all but he never showed.
In the second week, I started to get a little more comfortable. I stopped apologising to Bella for what was happening and I stopped tearing up when I would think about what I was being put through. I decided that I should use the time apart wisely – I still couldn’t fathom the idea that this separation might end up permanent – instead I used the time catching up on my TV shows so that when he did come home, I wouldn’t fall further behind. I enjoyed this freedom but I still spent my time with one eye watching the TV and the other watching the front door. I was waiting for it to burst open and him ready to embrace me but it didn’t happen.
From about the third week, the weight on my shoulders started to lift and I could see the real perks of being alone. It started off simple – I wouldn’t be hungry for dinner so I didn’t have to cook, clean and eat. There would be nothing on TV, so I didn’t have to watch anything if I didn’t want to. I could listen to my music all night and just relax (something that has now become a big part of my routine). I started to flirt and let myself enjoy the attention.
But it wasn’t until about the eighth week of being apart that I really started to find my sparkle again. It was as though I had suddenly found the girl I had forgotten about. I had started to feel secure enough being on my own that I started to sleep naked again, I turned my laptop off at night – I had grown accustomed to the background noise because he used to watch it in bed. My phone moved back onto its charger downstairs because I stopped listening out for his call to say he was coming home. I started to sleep in the centre of the bed because the space is all yours to take.
Finally, you start to plan your life again but this time it’s out of excitement. You’re not thinking of plan A (getting back together) and plan B (staying ‘separated’). You start to dream big knowing that you can make whatever you want happen on your own. Then, as your going about your business, it hits you – that feeling of contentment and complete bliss – it’s similar to that feeling you get when you’re falling into bed after a long day except you’re not in bed, you’re nowhere near your bed, it’s the middle of the day and you’re just…happy. You smile to yourself and you realise that you feel this way because of you and you alone.