BY Claudia Lee

The old saying goes, “Time heals all wounds.” Tissues regenerate cut skin, anger from a best friend’s betrayal fades, and a broken heart somehow always finds the courage to try again. So what exactly does this say about time? Why is time the only fixer?

As people, we distinguish things between comfortable or uncomfortable. We’re comfortable when our skin is unscathed, when we’re able to confide in our friends because they’ve never broken our trust, when the person we’ve fallen in love with is constantly in our lives and giving as much love back as we are. All these things are routine. When these routines are disrupted, we are no longer in our comfort zone. Everything we’ve ever known and sought comfort in becomes an illusion.

We create our world. We hold expectations for people, we decide who to trust and who not to trust, we choose who we believe is worthy of our love. When what we originally thought was the right pick turns out to be nothing close to right at all, we are devastated.

When he first leaves you you’ll feel like a black satin curtain has enveloped your world. You won’t be able to go about your days because the sun isn’t visible to guide you. It will feel as if you’ve heard every single goodbye said, muttered, screamed, cried, in the universe all at once. This is your response to being uncomfortable.

He was once an asset in your life and now he is no longer part of it. You were certain of him as you were certain that the sky would turn blue and the sun would rise after a cold winter night. He was a part of you. You can still see his silhouette in your apartment. With him you couldn’t have been more certain. Couldn’t have been more comfortable.

When he left you started a new routine without him. Not because you wanted to, but because you had no choice. You go on through the first weeks—the worst weeks—and then suddenly it gets easier. It gets easier because you’ve adapted to your life without him. There was a time before him, and now this is the time after him. Comfort to you then was in his arms. Comfort to you now is sleeping alone in the middle of your bed.

It is said that it takes approximately 10,000 hours to master a new skill, but being on your own isn’t a new skill at all. It’s a skill you’ve exercised before loving someone — a skill that won’t take nearly as long to master because of muscle memory. So when they pick up their belongings to go, just know you’ll remember in time how it felt to hold yourself.

Image: Annie Spratt

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