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!