This Time Between Relationships Is the Most Fertile Territory for Self Growth



I had heard the song before, but the words never resonated with me until I was curled up on my overstuffed chair sobbing into my shirt sleeves. The song is called “No Regrets” and captured exactly how I felt at that moment and many following:

“Love is not a test
I know we did our best…
I wish you every happiness
Darling no regrets.”

After three weeks in Oakland, with all of my furniture in its rightful spot and my clothes hung up, art on the walls and food in the pantry, my new apartment is beginning to feel like home. And with this comfort has come the welcomed urge to get out of the house and explore a little. When I was in my early 20s I used to go to music shows and dinner, the movies and lectures, by myself. And I really enjoyed it. I haven’t done that in a long time.

For some reason in my last relationship when events came up either I went with my ex or a friend or not at all. Going alone felt lonely. But recently I’ve found myself excited about this autonomy. It means something somehow. This beautiful reclaiming of my independence. So when I woke up to an announcement on NPR that Forest Sun, the same person who wrote No Regrets, was performing at a small venue in Berkeley on Saturday night, I knew I had to go.

And I went. No makeup, no dressy shoes, just me. The venue was tiny and the music was amazing. I didn’t shove my nose into the safety of my iPhone or feel any discomfort. Even during the intermission I just sat there. Absorbing it all. There was a lovely couple around my age who arrived with wine and looked very much in love. And the feeling that came over me was not bitterness or resentment, but delight. Seeing people in love is a beautiful thing and I’m excited for that again one day. But not now. For now, I’m enjoying this broadening comfort at being just me. Remembering what brings me joy and how to be happy on my own. Someone recently said of this period, this time between relationships, that it is the most fertile territory for self growth. I believe it.

The last month has been a whirlwind. A torrent of change. And with all of my fears and sadness and hope lashed to the bow, I decided to throw away the oars and just ride the current. And it has brought me here. To this new home and new job and new life. Four months after pushing off into the water, severing ties to the life that had held me for three years, I don’t regret any part of my breakup or decision to leave Sacramento. It has been so brutally hard. But also empowering and revitalizing and hopeful. And this weekend, as I sat there listening to Forest Sun sing about relationships and peace and new beginnings I radiated gratitude for what feels like the turning of a corner.

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