I had been so fixated on getting a new phone for the past few months that it was starting to feel less about the phone and more about just scratching the itch when it didn’t start out like that at all.
The build-up took so long that when I finally got it, it was slightly underwhelming.
While I was excited about the new phone for all the generic and shallow reasons – the excitement that comes with getting a fancy, flashy new thing – it was also because it would (somewhat) completely scrub off the ‘me’ from the last 6 years I’ve had it, and him from my physical belongings.
When we broke up, I wondered how long it would take before I removed all traces of him from my life and its idiosyncrasies. I guessed about 2 years. A little over a year later, I feel like I haven’t removed much.
To be fair though, removing traces of someone from every surface and object they’ve ever touched when you’ve been with them for almost 7 years is hard. Sometimes I think I’ve deleted everything about us from my phone, but if I scroll back far enough, there are still hints of him there. There is a photo of us that I overlooked, photos of me with my friends where I know he’s somewhere in the background, or beside me, or the one taking the photo. His fingerprint is still registered on my phone, my emergency contact is still him. All of these (and the others I have yet to see) make my phone feel like someone else’s – like the phone is stuck in a time where it’s his girlfriend’s, not mine.
While I am under no illusions of love or getting back together or anything like that, it’s hard to feel free or like I’ve genuinely moved on when almost everything I own reminds me of him. So, a new phone, a minor win. Maybe even an insignificant one. But it’s still a step closer to being my own person again, a step further from feeling like time is frozen on my side of the world. On to the next one.