Starting Over

starting-over-sophie-f-butcher

What a difference a month makes.

As I sit writing this, a month ago to the day I was spending my last night in a house in Manchester with my boyfriend of almost 5 years. The man who, up until only a couple of weeks prior, I’d thought was the love of my life.

And maybe he was. Or at least, a love of my life. Because we were in love, once. But unfortunately, as does happen, we fell out of it, and became more like best friends than romantic partners.

And it was all very sad, and daunting, the thought of starting over. But we pushed through and we were brave, and we refused to settle for what would have been a life full of fun and laughter, but that would have never been quite right for either of us.

We faced the truth, and we called it. Outside on our brand new decking, looking out at a Salford sunset, holding back tears, we called it.

It’s something I never thought I’d do. Obviously, we don’t start or stay in a relationship thinking it’s going to end, but I never thought that I would have enough confidence to believe ‘I’d be okay without this’.

The weeks between us officially breaking up and me moving out were the hardest. I think it’s because I was still in it, surrounded by stuff we’d bought together and memories we’d made. Great memories. Cuddling the cat we’d adopted together, washing his socks, sharing a bed.

I was still submerged in the life I was choosing to leave behind, and it was so, so sad.

Packing, crying, nostalgia, more packing, more crying. We booked a van and set a date and off I went. I waved goodbye to our new lamps and our comfy sofa and my favourite bedding and headed back up north.

It hasn’t been all bad. It’s been a sad end to a very happy time, one I’ll look back on with such gratitude, but it’s also the start of what I hope is an exciting new chapter.

I’ve lost a partner, but got a promotion.

I’m alone now, but somehow less lonely.

I’ve less intimacy, but more independence.

I put the defibrillators on my life and shocked it into something else entirely.

I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty scary.

There’s some great, great things behind me, but, hopefully – the best is still yet to come.

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