how to be kind

The problem with writing about someone you once loved—about someone you simultaneously wish never to be moved by again and to love forever (because you want to honor the part of yourself that used to love him and to remember the thing that fluttered and pounded between you)—the problem with this is that if you really want to be honest, you have to dive back in to that love.

About a month ago I submitted my final grades and set out to write every day—and that’s when I stumbled into this problem. I was trying to write about our best day: zipping around an Aegean island with the man I once loved. “Man, it must suck to be everybody else,” he said as we took the switchbacks up the hill toward our tiny studio. We agreed that we even felt sorry for the people we were before we arrived, with their busy lives that didn’t include riding a scooter past limestone cliffs in the long after-dinner light of late June.

More than once that week I woke up in a sweat, dreaming about house parties where, apparently, invitations were sent to anyone who’d ever broken my heart (and, oddly, one ex-boyfriend’s father…). Writing about the man you once loved means living with this man again. And living with the version of yourself who loved him, someone you know intimately, but might be better off forgetting for a while. It is a profoundly uncomfortable place to be. And I wasn’t sure how to manage it. Continue reading

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