Updated: Jun 2, 2020
No one likes saying goodbye, do they? Goes without saying that there are a few occasions when it is warmly welcomed. I'm pretty sure in the history of the human race, no one has ever cried at the end of a mind numbingly boring meeting, but generally speaking, it can be a pretty emotional affair. Take E.T for example. You can't tell me your bottom lip didn't start to wobble when you see our little wrinkly, big-eyed, naked friend saying goodbye to his pal, Elliott. That ranks just below Simba trying to wake his Dad up during the Lion King. I can feel the lump forming in my throat already.
I'm the type of person who doesn't particularly like goodbyes, especially when it comes to parting with my nearest and dearest. I'm not embarrassed to admit (potential lie, check with me tomorrow) that I had a little cry saying bye to my mum when I first moved to Manchester. It's hard going from living with your rents after uni to being independent once again. As for the tears, I think it was a combination of realising I was just about to start paying more than double the amount of money I currently pay every month in rent, that I would now have to think for myself when it came to planning meals for the week, and that I would no longer have my very own live in counsellor, nurse and teacher sleeping in the room next door. No matter what my reasons were, I was an emotional young lady.
There are some goodbyes, however, I do not regret. We've all been there. Hopefully, not more than once but, if you're like me, you might be a seasoned fareweller. On more than one occasion, I've found myself liking or even falling for someone who was either bad news or came with a bunch of issues I could not help them resolve. Trust me, I gave it a good go. Everyone thinks Jennifer Aniston has been unlucky in love? Pft, I could give that goddess a run for her money!
A few times now I have found that people I've been interested in have brought out traits in me that I cannot stand. They made me doubt my worth and question what was wrong with me; they made me anxious and paranoid; they made me completely re-evaluate who I am as a person. Now, whether they meant to make me feel like that or not is a completely separate debate, but regardless, their actions still had a damaging effect on my wellbeing. And if that wasn't bad enough, I found that all their actions did was fuel my need to be a better person, a need to be good enough. Now I realise that no matter what I did it wouldn't have ever been good enough, but it's really hard to see that when someone is telling you all the right things to get you to stick around.
No matter how many times I wanted to smash my phone, cry or scream into a pillow or stare endlessly at my phone praying for a reply, I still went back for more. WHY DO WE DO THIS TO OURSELVES? I know it's hard to see at the time, but I look back now and wish I'd stood up for myself more often or that I'd recognised my worth and refused to settle for nothing less a lot earlier. Easy to say I know. After all, they do say hindsight is a wonderful thing. Shame hindsight can't be arsed to get off it's fat arse and help you a little earlier though, hey?
It wasn't until one of my counselling sessions early last year that I realised just how destructive these types of relationships were and how detrimental they were to my wellbeing. By giving this kind of behaviour air time, I was not only endorsing their actions and confirming that it was okay to treat me however the hell they liked, but I was also telling myself that I needed someone else to tell me who the hell I am and who I should be. Know what I say to that now? Hell to the NO, that's what I say.
Sometimes, I think, you have to be cruel to be kind. With this in mind, I had a frank chat with myself. I forced myself to realise that no matter how much I liked them, they clearly weren't as into me as they claimed to be. After all, actions speak louder than words. For example, I tell myself every time I get a roaring hangover that I’m going to stop drinking so much when I go out out. But there I am, each time, ordering jäger bombs at 2am. Believe the actions more than the words, people!
Anyway, after having a blunt pep talk with myself, I decided it was time to firmly close the door on that chapter in my life. Painful stuff, but it had to be done. Sure, we all threaten to walk away at times in the hope they'll change. And sure, you're then drowning in 801 false promises. However, I found that every time, it always ended up going back to the way things had always been. I’m looking for Sex and the City vibes in my life, not Groundhog Day.
I did try the whole ‘let’s not talk but keep each other on social media so we can pretend we aren’t into the other person enough to remove them from social media’ thing, but, as most of us know or perhaps expect, it did me no good whatsoever. I just found myself checking their page more often than my own. I’d see they’d seen my snapchat or insta story and overanalyse why they looked at it and what they’d have thought. I wasn’t over them in the slightest. A clean cut was needed because I couldn’t resist the urge to check what they were doing. It was like self harm- I was going out of my way to hurt myself and expose myself to the things I knew would upset me. For me, the only good thing I could do for myself was to get pumped up to Beyoncé’s ‘sorry’ and cut them out completely. ‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is a popular phrase for a reason.
Don’t get me wrong, it's by no means easy cutting someone out of your life. After all, I'm not a tap and I can't just turn my feelings off on command. At one point, I really enjoyed their company. I saw the happy ending and I couldn't see the future turning out any other way. It's really hard to walk away from that and give up hope. You have to grieve a future you never had the chance to experience but imagined so vividly, and that’s bloody tough. It’s like when you watch La La Land and think you have the story sussed and then BAM, heartbreak.
However, as difficult a decision it was to make, now I have taken myself out of that hurtful equation, I can see that it was short term pain for long term gain. Plus, recognising my worth and settling for nothing less is doing me the WORLD of good when it comes to my confidence. I don’t want to be THAT braggy girl but I really do feel fabulous. I have proven to myself that I know my worth and I’m starting to appreciate myself far more than I ever have done before. How is that not a winning situation? That's nearly worthy of a #blessed post on insta, if I could bring myself to be that cringe.
Yes, I moped for a few days, a few weeks and, in some cases, even a few months, but I cannot stress enough how important it was for me to distance myself from people who did not appreciate me for who I am and what I was offering. I know 99% of the lyrics to songs that come on in the club. I’m a right catch based on that information alone, I feel.
As my mum has always told me, 'you should be with someone that adds to you, not someone who takes away.' Aren't mums so wise with their one liners?! Well done, mamma.
So, whilst I'm waiting for either a Harry Styles, Tom Hardy or Ryan Gosling doppelganger to stroll into my life, I'm going to keep on saying them goodbyes, as and when needed, until Mr Right is standing in front of me, preferably with a cute little cockapoo puppy in hand.