Friday, July 6

why we broke up

When I tell people that Niklaas and I broke up, immediately, the first question they ask is why? It's a question I've struggled to wrap my mind around and I still don't really how to answer. It's true, we are, and have been, broken up for quite some time now. I wasn't sure how to go about it or whether to even make a post about it because while honesty is something I vouch for on my blog, this is something that is still a pretty new, and deep, wound. There are quite a few close people in my life that I haven't even told yet because I just don't know how and even with the few people I have told, I have a hard time getting out my feelings in words that will make sense to them and to myself. Every thought in my head about it is such a jumbled mess. I go back and forth between emotions constantly. I'm happy, but I'm not happy about it. Sometimes, I don't really know why it happened and then I reread parts of my journal and "why" hits me so hard that I feel like the damage is irreparable. It's confusing, weird, strange, and hard to put into words. Two and a half years of knowing, talking, being with, and loving someone just doesn't go away in a couple months. It was only recently that I've been able to put my trains of thoughts into black and white concepts; enough, I hope, that I can attempt to explain it both to you and to myself.
hands I've never been the kind of person that would willingly make big sacrifices in my relationship for someone else and I probably won't be until I'm much older. I'm simply not ready to choose a person over experiences, internships, studying abroad, and all of the other opportunities in college that are important to "finding ourselves". And neither is Niklaas. We've always been the kind of couple that goes with the flow without ever choosing our relationship over ourselves as individuals. Much to our surprise, we figured out how to make it work as long as we did even while I left for college and spent a year apart promising that each of us always had an 'out' and it would be perfectly okay if we had to end it because it was too hard. And when it came to him choosing a college, we knew if he fell in love with a different school, "us" wouldn't even be a consideration; we wouldn't have stayed together to be apart if we had to go to different schools far away because just one year of it was emotionally draining enough. And then when he got to school, my school, and he needed his time to create a niche for himself in Missoula, we spent some time apart while still staying together. I thought it worked, I wanted it to work, and it breaks my heart the most that I let so many things slip so it wouldn't get to that point again. Truth be told: doing everything in your power to make someone else happy while sacrificing your own happiness isn't okay. I really, really thought if he was happy, I could be, too. It was immature of me, but I know better now. I wanted so badly for things to be fine that in my head that I forced myself to believe we'd gone back to normal. In a lot of ways, it seemed like we were. We did the same things, more things even, and as a whole, acted happier around each other. But when you're afraid to say the wrong thing, afraid to be too honest, afraid to tell them how you really feel, that's not normal. And that's the biggest wake-up call I've had to face yet.

That being said, I don't hate him and I can't ever do that. I might be mad, angry, frustrated, sad, and hurt, but I don't hate him. I'm not going to pine away for months nor am I going to be the girl that sends spiteful drunk texts a year later. We're on good terms and while that means we can talk and are talking, there's a lot to figure out in a break-up just as there is in a relationship. How often do we talk? Can we see each other? Do we make a point if we know we're going to be in the same place to stop each other to say hi and catch up? Do we stop talking all together? Nearly two months later, I don't have all the answers yet. Two and a half years of someone being in your life as a constant isn't something that's so easy to leave behind nor is it easy to go from one extreme of always talking to the other extreme of not talking. I don't really know what will happen for us later down the road, if he'll be ready to be the person I deserve or if I could trust him the way I did, but I'm taking it day by day. That's truly one of the more difficult parts about this; we might still have a future together but we also may not. I'm hanging out with new people, my sister constantly (the best part of this), my friends, and my family. I'm doing things for me. I talked about in my 'ramblings' post how I'd been thinking about what I wanted to do when I graduated and I think that all of this happening has surged a desire to figure myself out; what I want to do, where I want to do it, and how. It's a hard time, but it's also an exciting time to get to put myself 100% first and think about all of this. Am I happy with how things are? No. But I'm choosing to take it as the greatest opportunity I can to better myself and learn from it.

I think I'm surprised by how 'okay' I actually am and how in a lot of ways, things aren't much different in my normal life. I have those bad days but most of my days are too busy with things I'm occupying myself with because I haven't had the time in the past to do them. I'm actually enjoying the solitude and independence. One person will never define me and Niklaas has never defined me; my happiness does not depend on him nor does my well being. That's the best part; knowing I'm not a bitter train-wreck who will forever spite the boyfriend she had when she was 16. I know I'll be okay and that I'll continue to be okay no matter what happens later. What I've learned will help me in a relationship with him or with another person someday regardless. I've learned more about me, too. The thing I struggle the most with is wondering what was the point of it all- what was the point of spending two and a half years together working towards every step along the way and achieving so much together for it to just stop here? We ended up at the same college, completely by fate and chance, and in a lot of ways, everything seems set up for us to just work. Maybe this is a set back that will take several months or even longer to work out and maybe this is something we can't figure out together and can only do alone. That's the hard part, too. Sometimes, you have to grow alone, not with someone.

It's corny, but I firmly believe everything happens for a reason, for better or worse. I'm excited to see what's next; what happens for us individually or together will be for the best. I know that and I adore that. I'm not bitter nor am I resentful, if anything, I can only say I am frustrated. But I see the beauty in being able to be completely honest and open right now; I can say everything I need to say without worrying about the repercussions. And I can see the beauty in starting new hobbies, developing new passions, and spending every second of my time with my friends and sister. And I can see the beauty in only making myself happy right now and not thinking of someone else. That, in the end, makes this all better.


kylee said...

favorite line? i'm happy, but i'm not happy about it. the main reason this needed to happen in your life? so you could find happiness within yourself. not that you didn't have it already, but now you know you do. now you know how to make choices and sacrifices for yourself, not someone else. this time apart is meant for you, not for the relationship that may be. this post is full of so much bravery, far more than mine was. mine was facts, this is feelings. this is sharing everything within your heart. this is something to be proud of.

Shauna said...

Thank you so much for being so honest! I have ALWAYS loved your blog and your honesty. I just wanted to say thank you and I'm so proud of you and also that I look up to you in so many ways! Thank you.

Jasmine said...

You finally wrote the post, and as I expected, it was amazing to read! I've said this time and time again, but I'm so proud of you and how far you've come! I remember the very first email you wrote to me about this--you were so confused about what you wanted, but I'm so glad to see that you're more sure than ever about what you want...for YOURSELF. I love you so much Maggie! You are amazing<3

Anonymous said...

A regular Jackie O! You are so poised and classy and well-spoken.

Poppy Smith said...

This rang so close to home it actually hurt to read. I broke up with my boyfriend of two years, two months ago. I thought we were set for life then I found out he had cheated on me and that is something I would never have been able to see past.
I still don't understand why he did it and I don't think I ever will but I'm trying so hard not to dwell on it, it's hard not to be bitter but he never defined me and his actions are a reflection of him, not me.
Now it's time for us to rise out of the ashes of those broken relationships and make something incredible of ourselves. Everything happens for a reason and I truly believe that ensuring you know the person that you are is key.
Like you I'm revelling in pending tim with my sister and my friends, the only way from here is up,

Jen said...

You're so incredibly brave to have written this all out and sometimes letting it all out there can be one of the best feelings in the world. I know whenever things like this happen to me, I never share it with my readers. I always leave it for them to figure out why my photographer magically switched or disappeared (blogger problems). I never had the courage to be vulnerable. But you do. I love your honesty because it's something that all of us can relate to.

Sometimes two people just need some time to grow separately. Figure out how to find themselves before they can share that with someone else. I know you're strong and that you'll come out of this more beautiful than ever. Your happiness only depends on you - which is pretty fortunate considering you're a pretty awesome person. ;)

Nicole Testa said...

I'm so happy you wrote this, and that I got to read it. You know I went through the same weird process of writing about my breakup on my blog, and it's a tough thing to gauge, but I'm happy you wrote this. You are such an amazing, strong lady. Seriously. I wish I had the strength that you're showing in your breakup. Zak and I were together for four years, and even though I was the one who broke up with him, I still felt horrible and weak and broken, because I did let him define me. You're right, that you have to live for yourself, and it is amazing that you were able to keep that spirit and stay true to yourself, and recognize when your relationship wasn't allowing you to do this. So, in summation, I love you, I'm so proud of you, and if you ever ever need anything I'm here for you <3

Natalie said...

Even though you obviously could have chosen not to share such a personal part of your life with the blog world, I'm so glad that you did. Not only so that other people going through break ups could read it and relate to your beautiful words, but also just to let it out in the open and get it off of your chest. I have never been in a romantic relationship so I can't imagine what it's like to end one, but I look up to how you're handling this so much. I like to think that every relationship you have, be it with a friend or romantic or otherwise, even if it doesn't last forever, had a hand in impacting your life and letting you learn about yourself. Hopefully that sentence made some sense. Anyway, you are wonderful, and I wish you all of the happiness in the world. :)

Jennifer said...

I'm glad you've decided to share this with your readers - it's such a personal and heartbreaking thing to go to but I have always admired the honesty of your blog. You seem to me like a strong and wonderful person and you're handling this extremely well - and you did it for yourself, which is so important.

Sending some hugs your way.

Bethany Kellen of bunnypicnic said...

brave girl.

i kind of suspected it when i saw him being spoken about less. and always know you can come to me! i mean, i went to you! and I GET AND UNDERSTAND ALL THESE FEELINGS.

Caitlin said...

I seriously went through the exact same thing with my boyfriend of 3 years.. I can totally relate and this post really spoke to me! Well written. Happiness should definitely not depend on someone else. And that really is the scariest part about it.. Not knowing what can happen in the future! But sometimes you have to grow alone not with someone. Loved that!


Ebony said...

I love you Mags. *hugs*
I have no words but I am here for you. Even though I might not seem to be. I really want to skype one day. Soon.

Lemme know if that's possible xx