The Feeling of Freedom

Silhouetted woman with her arms outstretched against a sunset.
Photo by Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash

Growing up I never really had a strong male figure in my life. My dad passed away when I was 14, and never really had any male family members to really give me any sense to how men think or feel. I was surrounded by women. Not that that was ever a bad thing, I actually take pride in telling people that I come from a strong matriarch; being raised by my mother really made me understand that men aren’t really that “important.”

Cut to pre-pandemic, and I met one of – what I thought at the time – the best men I had ever met. We shared the same music taste, we were both politically on the same page, and he grew up around women. How perfect was that? A man who understood where I was coming from and respected women in ways that I had never seen.  We spent WEEKS at a time together. It was what most call “puppy love”: wooing over each other, sending good morning and good night texts, telling each other about our dreams with each other in them, yada yada yada. I was living in a ‘perfect’ world at the time because I thought that this first real relationship was going to be my only relationship.

A gif of a cartoonish puppy with hearts for eyes. Caption is "Puppy love"

Come July 2020, we had already hit a couple of rough patches, and then something I wasn’t prepared for: the Breakup™️. I was crushed. I had aches that I hadn’t felt in years. I fell into the biggest depression that I hadn’t felt in a long time. Why was this happening to me? Should I be so heartbroken when I’ve experienced actual death in my life? Am I overexaggerating? I was embarrassed when he didn’t show up to group outings, and friends asked where *he* was. I would lie and tell them that he was with his family or he just didn’t feel like coming out that night. Embarrassment. Over a guy. I didn’t tell anyone for months, I felt like a fraud for always combating against men and then ironically falling for a guy who had no serious intentions.

Yet time has led on, and I don’t miss him as much anymore. I figured this was just a learning curve, and I needed to get over it and find real sense in the world. I started focusing on me. I started thinking a little bit longer and harder on things that actually mattered to me: my degree, my activism, my family, my friends.

I think about him often, and we still send pictures (memes) to each other, though not as often. I even saw him at a hardcore show just a few weeks ago, and I didn’t even flinch.

It’s easier being alone when you’ve had experience, and I actually enjoy my own company now. I’ve become more confident, and am less scared/intimidated by the presence of men (I’m sorry to all the men reading this).  So go through that breakup, that loss of a job, that feeling of being alone. Understand that the feeling of freedom is so much more rewarding than torturing yourself being someone you know you don’t like.

Alexys Davis
Alexys Davis

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: