I fell out of love once. If you’ve ever fallen out of love, you know it has just as many stages as falling in love. The first time I fell out of love I didn’t recognize my downward spiral, but instead, thought the slide was something that happens when love hits a wall.
My first step was simple, I wasn’t feeling the situation any longer. Some people walk away at this stage, but I invested a lot in this love, a lot of time and energy, and I refused to believe that it was over simply because I wasn’t feeling it anymore. Instead of leaving, I suppressed the feeling by doing things I thought could save that love. If I dressed differently things would change, I told myself. Maybe if we did things we don’t usually do, I’d see this love in a whole new light and find it all over again. The love changed temporarily, but that initial feeling always lingered in the background, the things I did to make it feel better, only made it feel better for moments at a time, and I needed to do more and more to be able to endure this love.
These things weren’t so hard, or not as hard as what faking it was making me go through. Anyone would kill to have what I had-though no one really knew the truth about what I had. “How stupid is it of me to want to walk away when some people had nothing?” I said to myself. I listened to girlfriends and family go on about how lucky I was. This love wasn’t beating me down, this love wasn’t cursing me out, but I wasn’t in love anymore, this love had burned itself out.
I stuck with it, went on vacations, did things to distract myself from the slow decline, guilt-ed myself into staying, but every morning when I woke up and stepped out of bed, I felt the ache in my body, my mind and my heart. I knew I had to leave, I knew this wasn’t going to get better and prolonging it wasn’t going to make it go away. This was my process of falling out of love the first time and it took me some time to finally walk away, to say I’m worth more than this and even though that doesn’t make this particular situation bad, it just meant this wasn’t for me anymore. I realized that I’ve been falling out of love for the past two years, and the only reason I didn’t make the correlation sooner is because the love I’m no longer in love with is my job, my career, the thing that I’ve invested eight years of my being to.
I tried to fix how I felt, I tried to ignore how I felt, and when the decline began I told myself that simply getting a new gig would change my apathy, it would change that feeling of wanting to run away. However, a new gig never came, so the decline persisted. I beat myself up about the recession and how selfish it was of me to feel this way, but when I’m there I feel like a stranger among these personalities. I do it because I have bills, I do it because it’s what I know, I do it because I can, but I’m no longer doing it because I love or even like it, and that may not matter to you, it may even sound silly, but this isn’t some job that landed on me. This is eight years of hard work, of building a reputation for myself, making great friends, setting goals that I’ve accomplished and if I’ve truly fallen out of love again, I have to start all over again. If you’ve ever been in love and fallen out of love, you know that the hardest part is finding a new love all over again.