Heartbreak is Okay!

I don’t care who you are – everyone experiences some type of heartbreak from relationships in their lives.  If you haven’t, you probably will – and if you don’t – then you’re either REALLY lucky, in denial, have no feelings, asexual, or under the age of 16.

The first fact about heartbreak – is that it hurts. It sucks. It’s horrible. And no matter how experienced in love or in relationships you think you are, it will always incapacitate you emotionally (and a little physically) for a bit. But it needs to happen.  Why? Because a vital part of heartbreak is finding out what works or doesn’t work for you.  What to seek or not seek in the next partner, etc.

The second fact about heartbreak is that  you almost always feel like you overreacted at that place in time after some time and healing has passed.  When time has gone by, you’ll feel less and less affected by that heartbreak. If it wasn’t a mutual break-up, you might actually understand what they meant when they said it wouldn’t work out.

I want to rewind this tape (I know, no one knows what those are anymore) back to the time in my life when I had my first “heartbreak”.

It was my very first day of middle school (yes, middle school!) and I had been a ball of energy and nerves.  Middle school wasn’t familiar – it was filled with kids from other elementary schools that, short of the girls I grew up playing basketball with, I didn’t know.  After the first day was over, I walked out to the front of the school to look for my bus.  Masses of students crowded the sidewalks, looking for their own buses or just socializing with before it was time to hop in and go home.  There was a slight grade above the sidewalk that a friend and I decided to stand on while we waited for our bus that hadn’t arrived yet.  In the middle of scanning all the students below me, I spotted a familiar face. Christian (name changed) had been a childhood friend when he was on my soccer team for a few years, starting when we were just five.  We had gotten along, our parents had gotten along and yes, I had a crush on him back then.

Christian had been a little cutie when we were little kids, but when I saw him I thought he was even cuter.  I was too shy to go up and talk to him, so I spent the next couple of weeks trying to keep my eyes peeled for him at school.  I wanted another chance to run into him and possibly talk to him. One morning I saw him at his locker and saw my opportunity to do so.  Is that what I did though? No. I panicked.  Instead of walking up to him to say “hi”, I looked at his locker number and scurried away. With his locker number in my head (I still remember it, I’m weird like that), I decided I’d write a note to him. (Hey, we had never used lockers before, passing notes through them was exciting stuff!).

Keep in mind I was 12, and I certainly was no expert on how to act like a normal, sane, rational person so you’ll forgive 12-year-old B. for doing what I did next.

The next day at school I had my friend sit down with me at lunch so she could help me craft a note.  It went from saying “hi” and giving him my phone number to a love note faster than I could say “what?”.  My friend furiously wrote down everything she thought I needed to say.  Pretty soon, the note was from her.  “My friend really likes you…you should call her give her a chance”.  It was long, weird, and ridiculous but we wrote it.  And after lunch was over, I took one look over before sending her to go dispense it in his locker.

That same night I received a call at my house.  My mom came into my bedroom, holding the phone.  “Christian is on the phone.  Is that the same Christian you played soccer with??”.  I was completely and totally shocked.  After all the time spent on writing that note, I had no idea that he would actually do what was asked of him.  When I answered the phone, it wasn’t just Christian on the phone, but his twin brother and his brother’s best friend.  All three of them, asking me question after question – passing the phone around like a carousel.  There was something so exciting but embarrassing about it all.

Eventually I was asked if I wanted to “go out” with Christian.  I, of course, agreed – contingent on the fact my mom approved it.  Yes, I actually asked my mom permission to “go out” with Christian, and had to explain that “going out” didn’t actually mean really going anywhere – that it was her generation’s version of “going steady”.

Well getting mom’s approval may have been unnecessary because as it goes with relationships when you’re 12 – a week later it was over.  Instead of Christian himself calling me, his friend did.  I was in the middle of dinner when the phone rang.  The conversation went something like this:

Friend: Hey so Christian wanted to know if you could see other people.
Me:  I don’t care.
Friend: Okay cool.  Bye.

That was that.  Only a week and a short conversation from not-the-source-himself and it was over.  I was pretty devastated getting dumped out of my first “relationship”.  In fact, I couldn’t finish the BLT my dad made me for dinner and probably never ate another BLT 8 years after it happened. Yes..it took 8 years for me not to feel like I was going to vom from eating a BLT because of how sick I felt the first time.

Unnecessary? Yes. Overdramatic? Yes.  Melodramatic? Absolutely.  Do I think it was silly now? Abso-freakin-lutely.  Did I think it was silly a year after it happened? Yes. But at the time, I didn’t think so.  At the time, I had been dealing with being dumped for the very first time and it felt horrible not only for my heart but for my ego!

I will be real and say the the older you get, the harder it gets.  In fact, just a year after that I went through my second heartbreak that seemed exponentially worse.   It won’t be easier – and if you’re like me, you’ll always have one stupid song that defines the breakup and you’ll feel a little sick.  But no matter if it’s not being able to finish your dinner, going on a kickboxing spree, or crying so much your eyes are swollen/crusted shut the next morning (I know, eww) you’ll find your way to cope and bottom line:  you’ll get over it. And you’ll get over it because there’s something better waiting for you. Promise.

As for Christian – he came back into my life a few years later (coincidentally I was just talking about him in my Tunesday post), but that story is for a different day.  I will leave you with my awesomely awkward and embarrassing “break-up” song from my first “break-up”.  Ennnnnjoy!

xoxo,

B.

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6 thoughts on “Heartbreak is Okay!

  1. Awww…I really liked this one! I think that as we get older, we’re able to look back and analyze what we were doing at a particular time because we now have the experience to add our wisdom to it. That and the fact that hindsight is 20 20 and you’ll always be able to know what your mistakes are after you make ’em. That isn’t wisdom so much as just having a really good memory. I think heartbreak gets worse as we get older because we start applying our grown up reasoning to it. We understand WHY things didn’t work out, and when we don’t understand, we either rationalize, find, or create reasons. We also connect to our emotions more.

    Hell, when we’re 12 or 13, we’re so naiive that we’ll run head first into the wall of what we perceive as “love” that we’ll just end up either plowing through the pain, or get knocked back dizzy. You’ll still come out of the experience pretty quickly though. Either way, I think most of us would prefer the 12 / 13 year old pain, but still be able to apply our grown up logic to it. Ain’t gonna happen, but I think that’s what a lot of us wish for.

    • I think pain at 12/13 is a lot different for a female than it is a male though. My first “heartbreak” didn’t do too much damage but I will never forget how I felt when I got my second heartbreak a year later. I can still remember the gut wrenching feeling of feeling like my “first love” had completely physically torn out my heart. I have never experienced anything like it since and I can’t even fully explain it but I bet you that a half of it was heartbreak and the other half was insanely, out-of-control teenage girl hormones. I would not prefer the pain I felt at 13 ever again!

      Granted, there have been times since that have been pretty up there, and they’re still fresh. What I wish I still had was the fearlessness of entering relationships like I did back then and even through high school and some of college. There’s something so mood-dampening about making sure things are right and being cautious. I wish I could go back to being a teenager and fly through things by the seat of my pants, still!

      • I want to argue against the female vs. male experience, but a) I’m pretty atypical as it comes to these things and b) I think I see what you mean. As boys, we basically have one major job in the relationship and that’s to initiate. Once that’s done, the hardest part of our job is really over. I think on the boy side, it really depends on how long we were preparing beforehand to ask. When I was 12, I thought about it for 5 minutes before calling a girl to go to the movies. When I was 17, it was more like 5 days.

        Part of it, like you said is that as we get older, our past experiences pile up and we become more tentative to throw caution to the wind. Especially when that wind might turn gusty and blow it right back into our own face. Caution isn’t easy to get rid of from your 20’s on up. Hell, I was an overthinker to begin with, and rejection just made me do it all the more.

        I think the turning point for me was when I caught myself drawing a diagram of possible outcomes to a date, and realized how ridiculous it had gotten. I wish I could say it was wisdom…but chances are it was probably whiskey.

      • I guess my point was that typically girls go through puberty earlier, so our hormones and emotions go a hell of a lot more insane, earlier. But I know that guys are not exempt. The diagram though — that’s something else. 🙂

  2. Pingback: All About B.: Wanna Fight? | This One B.

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