In the mornings, I avoided the thought, when I woke on the warm side of a bed and later, as the dog scratched at the door. Breakfast, he begged. God damn – take a breath Juno, we moaned back, our faces pressed into pillows.
The familiarity of our life – I wanted to preserve. To keep our brewed coffee and the smell of bacon wafting from the kitchen. I wanted the comfort of our moth-filled pantry, and the coat draped over the staircase.
But, at night, the thought consumed me.
How could I do this? I asked myself. How can I be this cruel?
Mostly, how did we get here?
We’d only just gotten engaged. Hadn’t I stayed because I knew this was inevitable?
How could I be so careless to proceed so deep into a partnership, only to leave as it budded?
We’d moved into our house a year ago, together. Sweaty and bickering over decorative pillows.
Hadn’t I loved it? Hadn’t I chosen this?
So why was I staring out the kitchen window at night, scrubbing dishes, forgetting to soap the sponge.
Why did I land in JFK airport, at 6pm, and take a deep breath – free.
Why was my ring left near the sink when I walked out for the day.
Didn’t I love this person, when he stood over the stove, and I watched quietly from the door.
Didn’t I call him, in every inordinary day that I had a passing idea for the future?
I had actively participated in every choice that created this life – so why did I feel like now I had no choices left.
Hadn’t I said that I’d face my issues around money? Hadn’t we united when my parents screamed ‘no’?
Why, when we talked about weddings, my legs up on the dash of a car, did I brush it over for the podcast episode?
Why, at night, did I search images of vans and write endlessly about everything other than love in my relationship. Why did I leave the Instagram wedding dress collaborations unanswered?
I never wanted to get this far, I said. I don’t know how we did.
You chose it, he looks at me. You chose all of this – now you made it a mess.
I realized one afternoon, I only liked what we did – and not who we were, together.
I felt it, as he stood over the seeds and sprinkled them into the dirt.
“I don’t want to still be here when they sprout.”
I recognized that at some point, in some month, during some day, and in one hour,
That I was staying for the things we did in life –
And not for the way I felt.
I don’t want to be married,
And for that, my beautiful fiancé,
My God —
I will always be sorry.
This is so powerful, and in the same breath so heartbreaking. I can’t imagine the courage that it took to come to come to this realization and be so honest with yourself and your partner. Lindsay Hall, you are an inspiration to not live life in fear but on the daily chose courage even when it is hard. You will be in my thoughts.
Lindsey, isn’t it funny how honesty is both messy and beautiful at the same time? Isn’t that how human life has always been, is today, and always will be?? I’m amazed by your courage, yet not at all surprised. Just look at all that you’ve learned from your past battles and how deeply they’ve impacted you… so much so that you now see mistakes at the beginning – or perhaps as you’re about to make them. That’s trusting yourself, that’s refusing to lose control again. Messy hurts but it is so incredibly beautiful. It’s beautiful to allow yourself to be brave and that’s just what you’ve done. Hearts will heal, I promise you that.
And for this realisation you will forgive yourself and he will forgive you. It’s only right when its right and you will know. I promise. It’s the one you can see forever with, the one you can’t imagine life without. Don’t settle because that is the cruel part. You are being brave and strong, not cruel xxxx
It’s better to realize these things early enough to do something about it. What you want is important. As far as we know for sure, we’ve only got one life to live each, and contrary to what many people have taught (to women especially) there’s nothing noble in unnecessarily sacrificing your happiness.