A wild sense of being an adult and having total independence. Ben moved his things out of the house on Saturday. I helped him pack. I then cleaned the house, put fresh covers on the couches, bought plants for the balcony, re-arranged my clothes in the closet, threw away the half-eaten boxes of Ben-cereal, and lit a candle. It’s strange being in ‘our’ apartment and thinking of it as ‘mine’. But that’s what it is now, and this feeling is both terrifying and liberating. Looking around, thinking, ‘hey, I’m a single chick who lives by myself in Amsterdam,’ is a very powerful thought.
A deep sense of confusion. Everything is in turmoil that the moment. It’s like the future has been thrown up into the air, and all of the pieces are slowly floating down. Some have hit the ground, and some are still floating, up into the clouds with no destination in mind. I don’t know where I will be in one month. Or one year. I so badly want a family and kids someday, but I could now be on a totally different path. I could find the love of my life next week. Or I could swear off love for the next 10 years. I have NO idea what the future holds in terms of location, lifestyle, romance. And I keep forgetting that this is the case. I have a strong sense of security, but then I remember that it’s now a mirage, and the only sure thing is myself. Last week I had someone to make decisions with, build dreams, and name hypothetical children. My dreams are now all mine again, which is a hard concept to grasp.
Sadness. Now that I’m over the big shock, I’m slowly realizing the small things that will change. Ben’s parents are no longer my second parents. Scotland is no longer my second home. I do not have a crazy bikram partner who will sweat it out with me five times a week. Who will make me tea in bed on Sunday mornings and spam my Spotify inbox? Who will I cook for? Shop for? Annoyingly sing for? I have a monumental amount of love to give, and I don’t want it to go to waste. I am scared to walk around the park by myself at night, to travel on weekend trips alone. I don’t feel lonely, but I feel sad for the love I have to give. And the happy routine that is no longer in place.
Strange satisfaction. It’s funny, with Ben ripped out from under my feet, you’d think I would fall down. But I didn’t. Because I have my job, awesome colleagues, passions, friends, family, dreams, financial independence, knowledge of myself, my camera, this blog, the kitchen, small pleasures, and the world. Alone, I thought I would be incomplete, and totally hopeless. But I know who I am now, more than ever. I am a strong woman who loves life, who can think positive even in the darkest of times. I thought I would fall apart without Ben, but I’m still standing. And that is shocking and incredibly satisfying.
Facing my deepest darkest fear. I can’t believe I am going to say this here on the blog, but my biggest fear is dying alone. I could see my entire life with Ben. I wanted to have his children, raise a family with him, build a home with him, retire with him, grow old with him, and god damit, die next to him like in the Notebook. Or at least be buried next to him for eternity. Death scares the shit out of me. But if I can do it someday with someone I love more than anything else in the entire world, then I think it might not be that bad. And even if heaven isn’t real, even if I am just a pile of sad lonely bones, at least they can lay next to the love of my life. I find that thought incredibly comforting. Love is the person you choose to be with, in this world, in life, and in death. Love makes life worth living, and death just another thing we all do together.
Hope. My Gramma taught me to add ‘or something better’ to the end of my prayers. Because we always get what we need, and in the end sometimes we don’t even know what this is. I want Ben back, and I want us to be happier than ever. Or I want an even greater love that I didn’t even realize existed. I want amazing travel opportunities, career moves, family, endless love, or something better. I have a massive amount of hope that this will happen. And I will do whatever I humanly can to turn my hope into a reality.
Nostalgia. Did I ever tell you about the second time I tried to kiss Ben? I was drunk, we were upstairs at a house party, and I cornered him alone in the hallway. I asked him to kiss me, and he replied ‘no’. I asked him why, and he said ‘because you’re girlfriend material’, and literally darted away from me. It’s funny how sad times have the power to remind us of happy, forgotten things. I’ll never understand memory, or how my brain works. Why do certain thoughts of people or places, meals or seasons, pop into our heads, completely uninspired?
Anyways, I’m so sleepy and I have to go to bed. I’m in London for a shoot. Normal Ali would be getting up at 7am to roam the city and take photos. But broken heart Ali can’t sleep at night, and feels heavy and sick in the morning. I’m going to try and make this my last sad post. It feels good to get this stuff off my chest, but I think it’s time to pretend to be normal again.