Lena writes with sad reflection about the actual moment of the breakup, giving an insight we rarely get from those we know, much less celebrities.
“We sat in our shared kitchen of nearly four years and quietly faced each other, acknowledging what nobody wanted to say. That obsessive connection had turned to blind devotion, and the blinders were coming off to reveal that we had evolved separately (the least shocking reason of all and perhaps the most common). That anger wasn’t sexy or sustainable. That our hearts were still broken from trying so hard to fix it but no longer uncertain about whether or not we could. The finality nearly killed me, and I remember muttering, ‘But what if we still went on dates?’ He laughed sadly. ‘Whatever you want.’
But we knew there would be no dates, only the kind of loving but overly careful check-ins that define a separation after longtime togetherness, after hundreds upon hundreds of nights curled against each other in bed, after thousands of takeout boxes and millions of text messages and then the side-by-side texting, too, on the couch, under the dim blue light of the TV.”
She then moves on to talking about her history with being alone:
“I used to love solitude. I considered it luxurious, a state in which fantasy and reality mixed and my world took on the mystical potency of a solstice gathering of nude witches…”
But getting used to sleeping next to her first real boyfriend in college changed all that:
“…having had a taste of domesticity, I was almost chemically changed, rewired. The independence I had so prized was replaced with a mourning that could be sated only by consistent male company, even if (as it would happen later on with other boys) that company was rude in bars, talked loudly through art-house movies, and made sure to point out my less than ideal breast-to-butt ratio.”
Strange how that works, how we can get so used to something new that we become terrified of the next new thing we’ll get used to.
“Even if some people like to be alone, nobody likes to be lonely. It’s been the subject of more art than can be consumed in a lifetime, the human aversion to loneliness and also the way we attune ourselves to it, become entrenched in a routine that isolates us. Too much has been said about the way technology allows us to experience the illusion of connection and retreat further into hermetic patterns, but it bears repeating that texts, emails, Facebook pokes, and Twitter faves do not a social life make. People are, it would seem, lonelier than ever and also less used to being alone.”
She goes on to talk about the first hours, first days, first months she spent alone, trying to get used to it. She talks moving out of her parents’ home and into a temporary apartment.
And she talks about the sadness that comes with moving on:
“Friends called and I started to feel like I could pick up without worrying about the hitch in my chest the moment they asked, ‘How are you feeling about it all?’ I had some answers now that they might actually buy, that sounded healthy and self-assured and like the woman of extreme independence I wanted to become again. ‘I’m good, just chugging along.’ But if I were being honest I’d answer them by saying that my heart could still ache for one home as I returned to myself in another.”
The essay is a must-read for fans of Dunham but a good one for anyone. You can find the whole thing HERE.
[Image via Adriana M. Barraza/WENN.]