I can’t sleep. If you’ve read my blog in the last few years, you’ll know that insomnia and I are besties, except mostly we’re the kind of besties where we actually hate each other and wish we never had to see each other again.
In 6 hours, I’ll be boarding a flight home to Arkansas. This was not the original plan. If things had gone according to plan, in 18 hours I would have been boarding a flight with Slim, on our way to Toronto for Passover. Instead, in 18 hours I will have been single for one month, the longest month.
Lesson 1: Things do not always go according to plan.
I’ve been holding on for the last 4 weeks, doing my best to keep it together and keep moving forward. Now that I’m just a few hours away from being home, I feel like things are starting to slip a bit. My thoughts are starting to get away from me. And just between you and me? Right now, in this moment, huddled under a blanket in the dark of my bedroom? I’m really very sad.
See, when we booked the Passover trip, we had some trouble finalizing dates. I don’t get a ton of time off from work and we talked about me going for part of the trip and him going for longer and it was a whole big thing and turned into a headache and then I realized the thing that made me saddest about not going for the full visit was the time I’d miss with his family. I really enjoyed my first Passover and in the year that followed, I got to know his family even better and was very much looking forward to seeing everyone again, gathered in one place. And while I didn’t grow up celebrating the Passover holiday, it had quickly become something that was important to me too. And now I won’t be there.
Lesson 2: When a relationship ends, you don’t get to say goodbye to his family. And that sucks. A lot.
Slim and I had very different upbringings. The like, whoa kind of different. The Canadian guy and the southern gal. The Jewish boy and the lapsed Catholic-turned evangelical Christian-turned former Christian girl. His parents are still married and still very much in love. My parents divorced when I was a baby. His father likes him; my first father does not like me so much. He’s the baby of the family; in my family, we’ve all taken a turn being the adult. Still, despite our very different backgrounds, we both found something in each other’s family that we really liked.
I liked his family. I didn’t always feel like I fit in but I liked them. I liked hearing the stories his mom told, seeing the pictures of their family. I liked talking to his dad about Judaism, photography and television. I liked hanging out with his sister. His aunts and uncles and cousins were wonderful to me. I liked his family. And it’s hard for me to think about them gathering around the Seder table; it’s hard to think about not being there. Because I thought I would be. I thought I had a lot more Passovers to celebrate. I was just starting to learn; I was just ready to get good at it. I liked his family and I don’t get to say goodbye.
I’m glad I’m going home tomorrow. I’m tired of pushing myself to do, to be, to go. I’m tired of pushing myself to keep it together. I want to fall apart for a little while. I’m tired. I’m exhausted but I can’t sleep. This has been the longest month.
Lesson 3: I have zero control over the sadness. I can keep it at bay, I can avoid it for a little while, but it’s going to be there lurking, waiting for a weak moment to swoop in and watch me cry.
In 5 hours, I’ll be boarding a plane home. In 18 hours, Slim will be boarding a plane home. We will be traveling to two different places. He’ll spend the week with his family, keeping kosher. I’ll spend the week with my family, keeping my chin up. None of this was according to plan. So I’ll just stay awake for now, being sad. I’ve earned a moment or two of indulgent crying.
Lesson 4: For a little while, I’ll just be sad.