On Breakups

I’m just going to say it, breakups rule.

I know what you’re thinking. Okay, I don’t really know what you’re thinking – but if you’re anything like me, you might have clicked on this to shamelessly skim for dirty details about yours-truly’s not-so-private-but-somehow-private breakups. Fights, insults, nasty texts I kept to myself – you might not wanna admit it, but I know you know you kinda-sorta-maybe wanna hear it all.

I hate to drag on disappointment, so I’m going to rip the bandaid off right now, this post isn’t for that.

I’m not going to air any laundry, but I do promise I’ll be honest. I want to talk about breakups, overall, because I want to talk about life and love and healing; and breakups are, for most of us, the first time we appreciate how things as routinely simple as breathing can suddenly become difficult. I figured I’d talk about them, for the sake of Asthma, at least.

Some of the most intense pain I’ve ever felt was caused by breakups. I remember watching “the Notebook” during a sleepover, shedding many tears over the ending – but not because of the relationship part. I was crying about the Alzheimers part, as my Nana had just been recently diagnosed. Of course the rest of the 2 hours weren’t bland by any means, but I didn’t have the wind knocked out of me when Allie went off to school leaving Noah behind, didn’t cringe internally when Allie became engaged to whoever James Marsden was supposed to play, my stomach didn’t sink when I realized Noah’s letters were lost in the mail for years –  I didn’t really get it.

Sorry, by the way, if you haven’t seen “The Notebook” and still wanted the plot to be a surprise.

No, it wasn’t until I went through my very own breakup that I understood how heavy and confusing it feels to grieve a living person; how tiring it is to go through your memories with fine tooth comb looking for motive of a crime destined to become a cold case file, how empty words become when you hear them over and over again and how powerful they are when they stop coming overall.

“But Catherine, I thought you said ‘breakups rule’?”

I did, and I meant it. I do still mean it. That did happen, and no, I didn’t like it then. But I’m older now, my heart has been broken and bruised and healed just enough times for me to understand that in fact, breakups kind of rule.

I should note now that I can’t stand society’s romanticism of pain. Purposeful and overlong psychological pain is not beautiful, it is painful. I feel like the entire “breakup” mantra online is very,

“Romeo and Juliet were meant to be or at least thats the gist I’ve gotten from Sparknotes so I must suffer and cry and wail until somebody realizes they did me wrong and then I forgive them” and like, we all just breeze over the whole THEY BOTH DIE IN THE END AND NOTHING IS LITERALLY SOLVED part.

*note, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however you clicked on this, so I’m just simply assuming you’re asking for mine*

I don’t in any way want to diminish the pain of breakups. They’re painful, they’re scary and lonely and cold and sometimes they make you feel like you brought a knife to a gun fight- they can stink, just as they can rule.

And no, I don’t mean that they rule because you get rid of crappy people – thinking people are crappy is a crappy way to think, and truthfully, doesn’t help anyone. I mean that breakups rule because they teach you how un-crappy you are.

Following still? This is the good part.

Breakups can sometimes make you so frail that you need to learn how to walk again. This, we have established. Arguably, I’ve never felt younger or smaller than when my heart was broken in any way. However, learning to walk kind of rocks. Have you ever seen a toddler who’s just learned to walk? Take a second and “Google” it, you deserve the smiles. I’ll wait.

Welcome back. Rebuilding yourself can be scary, but it is always rewarding. Better yet, after a little practice, you realize that “rebuilding” is more like “realizing” , because you’ve been you this entire time, you know? Seriously, with all this “be your best self” material in the world, I think people forget a lot that every version of you is just that, a version of you.

Breakups have allowed me to empathize more with others, to appreciate time on my own, to question myself, hug myself – without my heart breaking, I wouldn’t have been able to meet the strongest versions of myself.

There’s a phrase I’ve heard about not trusting a skinny chef. I’m not married, nor am I engaged, or in a relationship. If this makes you stop reading, don’t worry, I understand.

If you’re still here, thank you. See, if there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years, it’s that ‘winning’ breakups has nothing to do with another person at all. Not hating a person, finding a new person, or erasing a person.

People have this wonderful power to make you feel like you’re flying, make you feel like you’re invincible, untouchable, amazing. The sunshine can make your whole being feel just alive but damn, the setting of it all can rattle you.

Just like the sun rises again the very minute you become okay with night, you will feel warm again. There will be no grand applause, no climactic turn of events, no being pulling the light just because you asked nicely. You will wakeup, and you will realize that all this time you were waiting to meet you.

I don’t know about you, but I think that kind of rules.

 

Yours,

Catherine

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