The Debrief: 29, Single and Surrounded by Love

“Without regard for a broken heart, it’s another year…”
—“Arch Drive Goodbye” by Eve6

I’m turning 29 on June 26. Buzzfeed says that 28 is the best year of your 20s. Astrologists say that 28 is the beginning of the Saturn return, where everything turns upside down and inside out but through it all you become more in touch with yourself than ever before. Personally, that resonates. I’ve just been through the kind of breakup that ripped my life apart at the seams and shattered my heart at its core. This fall, Phylisa wrote about surviving a breakup in the arms of her community. I have actually been struggling with feeling connected to my community, or communities, in Boston, but I know the presence and persistence of individual friends has gotten me through. So, to those specific people—and I hope you know which one of these is for you—thank you.

Thank you for trusting my instincts with such rigor that I began to trust them myself.

Thank you for staying on the phone with me for hours validating my strength when I felt I had none.

Thank you for walking with me, and walking fast, and letting me rant.

Thank you for using a queer feminist analysis to frame and reframe our conversations about our own lives.

Thank you for going to the beach with me.

Thank you for coming over to bless Hanukkah candles, helping to bring light into the darkness.

Thank you for bringing me several containers packed with home-cooked food, because you knew it was the last week of my semester.

Thank you for inviting me to drive to the office holiday party with you when I was without a date and without a car and in need of moral support.

Thank you for getting me to watch all the Beyoncé videos on her new visual album.

Thank you for checking and double checking that I had a safe place to go when the New Year’s party ended.

Thank you for realizing that my terror-induced fever was not contagious and coming over with Gatorade and ginger ale.

Thank you for understanding when I cancelled our plans because I just couldn’t…or at least for telling me that you understood.

Thank you for spending the afternoon in the coffee shop down the street, taking a chance that maybe I could get myself out of my apartment to come say hi.

Thank you for coming over even while complaining about how far away you think I live.

Thank you for bringing over fresh vegetables and preparing a meal with me.

Thank you for letting me keep the leftovers.

Thank you for continuing to tell me about what was happening in your life, and for not comparing it to mine.

Thank you for inviting me to Shabbat dinners even though I never reciprocate the invitation because I never host any.

Thank you for bringing a full day of Shabbat to my apartment.

Thank you for being open to new friendships.

Thank you for offering to come over and watch movies, to talk or not talk, and for giving me space when all I wanted was to be alone.

Thank you for worrying about me.

Thank you for saying that you weren’t worried about me.

Thank you for urging me to talk more and to tell more people how I was doing.

Thank you for inviting me out even though I said no last time. Thank you for inviting me out even though I said no the two times before that. Thank you for inviting me out even though I said no the three times before that.

Thank you for saying you missed me when it was too hard for me to show up.

Thank you for welcoming me and dancing with me when I finally did show up.

Thank you for asking me to text you when I got home.

Thank you for texting and texting and texting to ask how I was doing.

Thank you for calling and calling and calling just to say hi.

Thank you for helping me to install the air conditioner. Oh wait, I haven’t asked anyone for that yet….

To paraphrase the Shehecheyanu: Thank you for supporting me, sustaining me, and enabling me to reach this day. (And let me know if you get any particular pleasure out of installing A/C window units.)

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