Dear readers - instead of a cleaver lead in (complete with anecdote that neatly ties in to the rest of the story), today I'm going to just say it:
The Strike is over.
Yes, you read that correctly, the Strike is over. It ended without me realizing it was going to end, quietly and without much fanfare. The Strike ended because I was ready for it to end, and I realized I was ready while I was writing the last two blog posts. My last two posts were about the relationship (or break-up, rather) that led me to the Strike. As I was writing it, I had to pull up a lot of memories about Freddy. As I was digging up the past, I kept waiting for the dull thud of heartache. Nothing. I tried to cry. Nothing. I looked at our photos, listened to the sad songs that usually send me into a funk and re-read our old emails. Again, I felt nothing. It was then that I realized - I'm over Freddy.
The process of getting over Freddy was rough. Rather than jump from man to man in an effort to fill the void that was left in my heart, I let myself feel the emptiness and sadness, and it was horrible. At times, I felt so defeated. Other times, I was so angry with him. There were other times I was so sad and lonely that I didn't even have the energy to cry. There were times when I wasn't even thinking about him, I was just thinking that I may never find someone and that would send me into a whole new funk. All the while, I wasn't letting anyone get close to me - I went on two dates during the strike and avoided all physical contact, and while there have been times that I have wanted to rip the paint off the walls, it's been worth it. For the first time, I feel like I'm in control of my life and I know what I want from a partner, a relationship and myself. The clarity has been amazing.
That said, it's time to move on to the next chapter.
It's spring - a time of rebirth and renewal. The Strike began during autumn - a time when everyone and everything seems to go into hibernation. My heart followed suit and I placed it in a cave, built a wall around it and made sure no one would disturb it while it slept, but now it's time to re-awaken and I'm ready to open up. Much like the trees and flowers that are wreaking havoc on my allergies, I'm ready to bloom. My friend C. said she's going to hang a flashing sign around my neck that says OPEN FOR BUSINESS.
I feel like I have come full-circle. I didn't realize that blogs 23 and 24 would be about Freddy, and I didn't realize I would be writing about him at the six month mark. Nothing was planned, it just happened the way it was supposed to. This is the 25th blog and it's been six months since I've been on Strike. The fact that there is so much significance in the timing of these last few blogs tells me that I'm headed on the right path. I didn't go on Strike in order to go back to the same craziness that I've been writing about. The Strike helped me become a stronger person. At some point, C. told me that it wasn't a Strike - it's a way of life. The expectation of decency and respect are not unreasonable expectations to have, and they are non-negotiable. As I said many blogs ago, come correct or go home.
I expected the Strike would end when I met Mr. Right and we fell in love. He would court me and one night, while making me dinner, he would ask me to be his girlfriend, and I would accept and we would have a romantic evening with candles and music and wine. In my mind, that was how the Strike would end. Funny thing is that I figured it would end because of someone else - instead, it ends because I'm ready for it to end, and it doesn't matter that I'm alone. I am here, I have me and it's time to move on to the next phase - healthy dating. My good friend K. once said that the only way to be in a healthy relationship is to actually be in a relationship. She said I can do a lot of the work I need to do to be healthy on my own, but ultimately, the only way to learn how to be in a relationship is to be in one. In order to learn, I have to change my mindset. Saying I'm on Strike puts me in a space that lets me automatically push people away; being open allows me to move forward.
Just because the Strike is over doesn't mean that I'm ending the blog. If anything, this blog has played a big role in my growth as a person. There is something about writing and sharing that really holds up a mirror in front of ones life. I have you to thank for that, dear reader.
I'm sure many of you thought the announcement of the end of the Strike included some juicy details - sorry to disappoint you, but there are no juicy details to share.
Next time: In the words of Ronald Reagan...