I disappeared for a few months and I am so sorry for that.
I would be lying if I said I just got too busy and couldn’t keep up, but there is always time for writing. I just couldn’t write.
Georgia was amazing. Every single day was an adventure, and when I got up in the sky for the first time, I was completely taken aback by how beautiful the world actually is.
We were much closer, him and me. We were inseparable. We slept wrapped in each others arms each night. I was hearing him say “I love you” more, and I believed him. We talked about how cool it would be to get married at the Georgia Aquarium. We talked about how hard the next few months were going to be as we transitioned into graduation and life post-grad. But, he said he wanted me, that he wanted us.
After we landed back in Boston on that cold March Friday, there was an immovable shift between us that showed up the second we waited for the bus to take us back to New Hampshire.
The following weeks he became more distant. He stopped messaging me as much, stopped answering my calls, spent whole days with other people while I waited patiently at his house, and he barely noticed when we were in the same room together.
We fought and took a week off.
When we ended up in each others arms again, we held each other so tight not saying a single word. When we did talk, he said he wanted to be in a relationship, that he did love me, and that he was sorry.
But two weeks later, he pulled up in my driveway and said the words that have been repeating in my head for almost two months now, “I don’t think we should be in a relationship anymore.”
I watched him drive away, tears rolling down is pale face and I collapsed. I fell on the pavement unable to move my legs and I screamed.
The next day was my first award ceremony of the graduation season, the Create Your Own Story Award, awarded by the university. I was being recognized for my motivation and strength, but I didn’t want to be there because I was not feeling strong.
In fact, I almost didn’t go. My best friend, Cecilia Martins (also a recipient of the Create Your Own Story Award) picked me up from my advisers office where I was hiding behind closed doors. She told me that I was strong, that this, this sadness, was only temporary. She said that this award was forever, that I would regret it years later if I didn’t go. And she was right, as she always is, so I went. Cecilia helped me with my hair and makeup and we took on the award ceremony together.
But again, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t incredibly difficult sitting next to his name tag.
For three weeks following the breakup, I was followed around by cameras and the coolest team, Michelle Morrissey, the coordinator of UNH Alumni Donor Relations, the planner and my number one fan, and Scott Ripley, the amazing video photographer.
During the most raw days of my life, I was documented speaking of my strength and career at UNH. I felt like I didn’t deserve it though, that I was weak and not good enough.
I cried every single day, even cried between filming takes while I stared at multiple cameras, lights and wires, and people looking at me and listening to my story. But on the inside I was so empty and broken and thinking over and over in my head that I wasn’t good enough for him, or for anything happening to me. Why me? I asked myself over and over.
Just before the breakup, I was approached by one of my favorite writing professors, Jaed Coffin. My fall senior semester, I took Intermediate Nonfiction Writing with him, and in that class I wrote a piece titled, “Truth Is,” which is the title of a poem I wrote back in seventh grade and intertwined in my piece. Our assignment was to write about our truth and how it defines us. I wrote about my childhood. Jaed nominated me to represent the English Department in the UNH Undergraduate Research Conference at the Naked Arts: Arts Exposed performance. A week after the breakup I stood in front a room of people as I shared a story, again, about strength. I was forced to tap into the self I truly was rather than the one I was feeling. Speaking about strength and representing strength was killing me.
As the weeks went by, I lived my life day to day busying myself with work and play.
Nights are sometimes still hard, but in the beginning they were unmanageable. For weeks my friends Hannah Drake and Julie Riley ( co-founders of Hannah and Julie, a blog you should be reading), had been asking me to hangout with them. I always cancelled, not just on them, but everyone because I always gave what little free time I had to him, even when I would just sit around, twiddling my thumbs waiting for him to call me back.
So I finally took them up on their offer and it was the best thing I could have done. I crashed on their couch for a whole month. And now, in just two weeks, we will be taking on Dover together along with D1, kick-ass UNH volleyball player, Abby Brinkman, in our own apartment.
Hannah and Julie, along with my filming team, and faculty kept me going and distracted in the best way possible. Because of them, I followed up on an interest with Keene State College and my journal, Scriptor. Over the next academic year I will be working with the new editorial team of Scriptor at UNH and Keene State to build a platform that’s universal to both schools in order to expand Scriptor to all University Systems of New Hampshire. This is the first time that a UNH student-run journal will be working intercollegiate.
Despite the amazing things that were happening to me, I still had trouble sleeping, barely ate and at least once a week sent him a desperate message begging him to talk to me and that I was sorry. But I had nothing to be sorry for. I gave him my whole self, I dropped everything when he wanted me or needed something. I drove hours everyday to see him. For the most part, he gave me nothing in return. I made excuses for him. Excuses after excuses.
I think the day it really hit me that what I really needed was to love myself and pause for a minute and recognize how far I had come was at graduation.
While setting up for the first combined event of the UNH student-run journals, I got a phone call from Michelle Morrissey, who I had been working with on the short documentary. She asked me if it would be okay if President Mark Huddleston spoke about me in his commencement speech.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Me, out of all 2,700 undergraduates, our university president wanted to talk about me.
The day of graduation, I was instructed to sit in the front row of my respective school. I wasn’t really sure what was going to happen. I thought that I would stand up and wave. I thought he would just mention my name. But no, it was far more than that.
Before the ceremonies began, a camera man found me and asked if I was Samantha Granville. He shook my hand and said he would be back. When President Huddleston took his place at the podium, the cameraman took his place in front of me and President Huddleston asked me to stand up and remain standing. As he spoke, I cried.
I realized in that moment that this is what I wanted to remember. I have worked incredibly hard for everything that I have accomplished between working multiple jobs, singing for UNH games, volunteering, teaching, founding my journal and defeating the odds. I did all that, not him. He does not define me.
I do not deserve to treat myself as poorly as I have been. I haven’t been eating and I have been barely sleeping. For a while I cried every day, then it was every other, now it’s maybe once a week. Currently I am on a whole week without crying over him. But now it’s more about the transition, not missing him. I realize now all the things I looked over and made excuses for.
You may be thinking, why are you sharing this in such detail? A lot of you that will read this have met him and or are friends with him. Just to be clear, I do not hate him. I don’t think that he’s a bad person. He’s an incredible person. He’s talented and smart and driven. I don’t hate him. I’m angry and hurt, but far from hating him.
I am sharing this story because you have or will go through a breakup and loss. You are strong and amazing, don’t beat yourself up or hold back. Surround yourself with loving people and opportunity. Fill your time and the holes with positive energy, whether that’s work or friends or play, for me it was all three. You will have bad days. I know I have many bad days ahead of me, but it’s been almost two months and the pain is not as striking. Over time, it will become less and less of a nag, less of a numbness.
I don’t think of him as much. When I do think of him, I smile and think about the good memories. I used to think that he was the one, but there has always been a part of me that I think knew it wasn’t meant to be, he was just good for that time in my life.
I know what I want. I want to get married. I want to have kids and a farm house in the middle of nowhere. I want someone to hold my hand in public. I want someone to want to take pictures with me, and do corny couple things with me. He wasn’t like that, he made it clear he never wanted that settled family life, but I made excuses and held onto the rare moments when he did say he wanted those things with me. But we both knew we wanted different things.
You will meet new people, great people, lots of people (in fact I have a date next week with a great guy). Explore them and explore your life and don’t shy away from making decisions for you and only you.
Time heals all wounds. Take advantage of that time to make you happy. I am doing everything I can to make that happen for me. You can do it too. I promise.