Breakup

Today marks two years since I broke up with Dustin.

I did not remember the exact date, I just remember that it was the same night that my friend Betty and I went to a memorial service at City Hall. Thanks to Facebook Memories, I now know that 7/11 is, in fact, the exact date.

I feel sadness.

I am not sad because I wish we were still together. I’m thankful we are no longer together, and proud that I made that decision. I am much better off without him, without the games he played, without his negativity. I don’t miss him, I don’t love him anymore, I don’t care about him.

But I am sad.

Sad that someone I loved so immensely, someone I trusted, someone I thought valued me, could betray me and lie to me as he did. I never stopped caring for him, even after the breakup, when we remained friends. I still worried for him, I worried that I caused him pain. I still wanted to have a positive role in his life. I continued to tell him that I loved him, because I did and because I feared that he didn’t hear those words from anyone else.

I’m sad that he didn’t cherish that. I’m sad that he stopped caring for me. How could someone I gave so much to be so cold towards me? He was harsh. It stung, it was excruciating.

I should celebrate today, however. July 11th, 2016 marked the beginning of me moving on, even though it took a year and a half for me to really get the wheels turning. It took me seeing him for who he truly is. It took me toughening up and facing what I feared. It took reaching January 2018.

Here I am now.

Here I continue.

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Pay up.

I have been thinking, as I tend to do at the most inopportune times, I have been thinking about breakups. It seems as though when breakups happen, the primary focus is usually diverted to the dumpee. That person, the blindsided one, the heartbroken one, the one who is hurting. The articles written, the advice that is out for the taking, the demonstrations of sympathy – they are directed at that individual.

What about those who do the “dumping”? What an awful term, by the way. I don’t feel that I dumped him, like a load of waste just needing to be taken out. I mentioned before, I love the fella. I want to remain his friend. Maybe some people do get rid of trash when they break up, but that is not what is happening here, I assure you. Can we call this something else?

At any rate, I am the one who terminated the relationship. How about that as a title: The Terminator? I am the bad guy, right? The heartless one. The one who gave up. The one who will go about her life and simply move on. That’s not so, believe me. Although I know I did what is best, it sucks to know that I have hurt him. I carry a certain guilt with me regarding the whole situation. I have caused sorrow. Dammit. I also carry a degree of dread. I dread that eventually, we will not be friends. He will banish me from his life permanently, and then will certainly deserve to be called a dumpee.

Que vida esta.

I owe it to myself to be happy, though. I truly believe that. I am decent enough of a human being to deserve happiness, I think. More importantly, I hold this role of being what matters most to Arturo and Imelda. Did you know they are so selfless in their position as parents, that they put my happiness – and that of my brother – before their own? They are such wonderful people and they deserve to live happily, more so than I do. But, if their happiness depends on mine, then, fuck – I have no choice but to be happy. For them if anything else.

It’s as simple as that.

Be happy, Daisy. And do not feel guilty about it. It is owed.

Oh my gosh, my name is so pretty. Even when it is typed out. Daisy. Yet another thing to thank my Mom for! 

I will tell you what is making me happy at the moment. On Friday, I celebrated three whole years as a vegan. Woot woot. That is approximately 600 animal lives I have saved through my diet alone. I have also indirectly consumed about 657,000 less gallons of water than the average person on the average American diet (raising animals for food requires a ridiculous amount of water). I wish I could easily look up how many lives I have spared by not wearing leather nor wool, and also by not using products containing animal ingredients nor that have been tested on animals. It doesn’t matter. However great or small the numbers are, the lives are precious all the same.

Y’all. This feels so good. I love animals with all my heart, I am entirely devoted to them, and I refuse to take my love for them lightly. They are worth living this lifestyle that can be pretty darn inconvenient at times, not gonna lie. I also adore the planet that I live on, twisted as it may be at times, it is still a lovely place that deserves to be mended and preserved.

I should share that I have three friends who have themselves made positive changes recently. Kay has started to make a conscientious effort to eat as little meat as possible, Disa is mostly vegetarian now, and Lindsey has gone vegan. What?! The best part? All three credit me as being their inspiration! I am so proud!

Oh, but as much as food animals tug my heartstrings, I still have plenty of love and time for animals in the entertainment industry, and companion animals as well.

Earlier this month, I protested Ringling Brothers circus yet again, for the third straight year. It is absolutely necessary to educate the public about the abuse those animals must endure, and we have made gains for them in recent years (Ringling elephants and SeaWorld orcas: we did it!). The success we have obtained only motivates me to keep going. Although I am heckled, what I put up with cannot begin to compare to what animals everywhere undergo simply for being animals. How can I not do it?

Now that the circus has left town, I am hoping to become more involved with the Texas Humane Legislation Network. I reached out to them last week and in the application to join, they ask about previous volunteer experience. Mine is as follows, dating back to 2009*:

Looks good, right? I hope they have positions open and that I hear from them soon. I am ready for a new challenge! For the animals!

In closing, I have a recommendation for anyone going through a breakup: Regardless of which side of the breakup you find yourself on, do what makes you happy, do what makes you proud, do what fulfills you. The breakup will seem trivial in the scheme of everything you do with your time and your abilities. If you find yourself in a doomed relationship, let it go. Why give it the energy that you could instead be using towards your purpose in life? You could be changing the world, even if you do so indirectly. You being happy will benefit all, it will bring positivity. Fucking get to it already! The world needs you!

Our time is short. Do not let it go to waste. Do not spend it in unhappiness.

I bet you deserve better. I bet you owe it. Pay up.

*I remain active only in the last three, but all these organizations merit support. Please check them out!

 

Timing. Changes.

Holy crap.

I may have actually done it. I may have succeeded. I may get precisely what I wanted.

Earlier this year, in the spring, I mentioned wanting to leave the Oncology department that I am currently a member of in order to work in Internal Medicine/Cardiology. That hope has remained present and as luck would have it, last month, I was given the opportunity to work with CardioDoc once more. Wait, no. The opportunity was not simply given to me. I went after it, talked to the right people, was scheduled as I wanted, did get to spend the week in Cardiology, …

… and I crushed it. Even though we were double-booked one day. Even though there were too many doctors working and not enough exam rooms, procedure spaces, nor technical help available. Even though this is not the field I am familiar with nor trained in.

Crushed it.

CardioDoc praised me in the presence of Bossman (the hospital manager) at the end of our week working together and I took it upon myself to tell them both that I would love to work Cardiology permanently.

Let’s make it happen.

Those were CardioDoc’s words to Bossman. I may have pumped my fist afterwards. I am doing so now.

Fast-forward an entire month and Bossman finally told me yesterday that he is thinking about moving me out of Oncology so that I can work in Cardiology for good. Oh, do not tease me so! Please, please make it happen! He said that he needs to speak to the doctors first to make sure they are all on board and agree with this decision. Dude, you already know that CardioDoc agrees, he said it himself. Come on, now.

Ugh. I am trying not to do any preemptive celebrating because this is not set in stone. Also, even if Bossman truly has every intention of making this move, who knows how soon it will take place. There are so many changes happening for our hospital presently – new doctors have started, schedule changes have been made, new software will be installed, construction on a different floor – that Bossman has his plate quite full. My move is not a priority, understandably so. Thankfully, somewhere along the line, I picked patience up as one of my virtues. I will be needing it like none other!

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It feels as though life is entering a transitional phase. The timing seems appropriate, though, given that I have started a new year. I admit, having my birthday come up when it did was something that I initially lamented as I noticed its approach. Now, in retrospect, it was fitting and ideal.

It just felt a bit improper to be in a celebratory mood given that I had just put an end to my relationship. Would he wish me a happy birthday? I did not expect him to feast with me. Would he get me something? It would be the first time in six years for him not to do these things. How awkward. Could I celebrate without him? I was not so sure that I wanted to. What would I be doing for my birthday? I am not the type to plan something for myself. That is just weird.

Welp, Hoolie ended up planning a small gathering just a few nights before my actual birthday. It was lovely, it was joyful, it was needed. She invited friends that we share, friends that she has introduced to me, friends that we have made together, and, of course, the friend who introduced us to one another, Che. We had drinks, shared stories, laughed, danced, played Giant Jenga, played skeeball, and I even got to open several gifts. Just lovely!

We were out all night, but before the the party was over, we took a group photo and in looking at it, I realized that those beautiful people had not known me for very long at all. The longest relationship I have with any of them is with Che, whom I met in late 2014 when I interviewed for my current job. That’s it. Less than two years! Yet, there they all were, on a Thursday night, celebrating, showering me with presents, enjoying life with me. I felt so darn special. I also can’t help but feel proud that even at my age – I turned 32! – I am still creating and cementing new friendships and relationships.

Aaahh, it’s such sweet success.

The following night, my beautiful friend Slow J took me out for a one-on-one dinner date. I can tell that girl anything and everything, no judgement passed, no disapproval, just unwavering support and well wishes. I was able to divulge the details of my breakup to her; she already knew of my relationship’s recent woes, naturally, since she is one of my dearest friends. She is excited about my newfound “freedom”, she told me that she predicts that marvelous things will happen to me, and she assured me that I will undoubtedly work wonders with my time. She is such a sweetheart. I love her. It was nice to spend that time with her.

My birthday finally arrived a couple days later.

The fella did end up wishing me a happy birthday. He even gave me a card and a gift. Believe me when I say that he is truly a great human being. Would you be shocked if the person you just broke up with did these things for you? I was not. That is who he is.  I wish I did not have to end it. I wish it could have worked out. Such a bummer.

This is part of the undergoing transition, from being someone’s significant other to being single. From being in a partnership to being out on my own. Me: single. For the first time in nearly seven years. It’s almost surreal. Scary, even?

Again, the timing of my birthday ended up being perfect. I received so many loving messages – from friends, my parents, my cousins, aunts, uncles, former coworkers, current coworkers, former classmates, online friends, district Democrat friends, activism buddies, former clients. People thanking me for being Daisy, expressing gratitude for having met me, praising me for what I do with my life, conveying admiration for me. Geeze. Way to boost a girl’s spirit when personal matters are getting a tad bit tricky! To top it all off, I had a family birthday lunch gathering at my Grandma’s house complete with a little vegan cake, singing, and birthday candles. Damn.

I am so loved. And I know it. I treasure every single bit of love that is bestowed upon me. I have to. It’s invaluable!

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It is difficult to say what the coming weeks and months have in store for me. My gut is telling me that there will be an interesting mix of positive and negative. It is also telling me that it will not be more than I can handle and that I will remain happy through it all. I tell myself that timing is everything. Che tells me that the only constant in life is change.

Maybe we are all correct?

There is only one way to find out…