Finding my strength

Break-ups are one of the most painful things you’ll ever go through—especially if you’re the one being left. Two weeks ago, I was left behind by someone I loved truly and unconditionally. I would have done anything and everything to make it work, even if it meant compromise. I tend to be fiercely loyal in relationships, and if I want to be with someone, I’ll give up anything not to lose them. But in this instance, it still wasn’t enough.

Losing someone you love is a real test of your inner strength. The temptation is to be weak and let it get the best of you; to stay in bed all day, to become bitter, to beg them to take you back, to drink yourself into an oblivion. It takes a strong person to get out of bed, get dressed, go to work, get homework done, take care of themselves, and not seek revenge on or contact with the one who hurt them.

I had no choice but to be strong over the last two weeks. The night my ex broke up with me I was writing a paper for my group research project. I had two classmates counting on me to do my part, and I stayed up till 4:30 am getting it done, crying the whole time. The next morning I had to open the campus food pantry. I tried to get out of work, but no one could replace me. So I showed up, running on two hours of sleep, trying to keep myself composed, and helped people. One sweet student who came in and saw my eyes thought I was sick; he made some recommendations on how I could get better. I couldn’t help but cheer up from his kindness. Later, my boss graciously gave me the afternoon off, and when I returned to work that night there were cookies on my desk.

When I had woken up that morning, I felt as though my world had crumbled. What would I do in my free time? Who would I share meals and stories with? Who would I turn to if I needed to talk or if my car broke down? My world seemed so empty and lonely. But throughout the week, I saw my mom, my grandpa, lots of college students, my classmates, and professors. All of whom showed me nothing but kindness.

I lost not only a companion, but an entire community of people surrounding him. I spent so much time with them, I neglected my own friendships and stopped making new friends of my own. The loneliness is almost too much to bear, but I have to learn to make it on my own. I’m looking forward to new adventures in travelling, making new friends, and jumping back into the world of dating. My mom sent me this picture to remind me that around every river-bend, a new adventure awaits.

creek

In the meantime, if anyone reading this has advice for me, please comment below and/or leave me your email address. I’d love to have someone new to talk to!

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My break-up playlist

When you’ve just gotten your heart broken, listen to this (and stay away from those sappy love songs!):

  1. Before He Cheats, by Carrie Underwood
  2. Tornado, by Little Big Town
  3. You Lie, by The Band Perry
  4. A Little Bit Stronger, by Sarah Evans
  5. I Hope it Rains, by Jana Kramer
  6. Cheater, Cheater, by Joey and Rory
  7. Jar of Hearts, by Christina Perri
  8. I’m a Keeper, by The Band Perry
  9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, by Miranda Lambert
  10. Good Girl, by Carrie Underwood
  11. Undo It, by Carrie Underwood
  12. Done, by The Band Perry
  13. Trailer For Rent, by Pistol Annies
  14. Baggage Claim, by Miranda Lambert
  15. Redneck Crazy, by Tyler Farr

And last but not least, my personal favorite: Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert! Download, sing along, drink some wine, and go find someone who actually deserves you 🙂

5 easy steps to get over someone

  1. Cry. It’s your initial reaction, so just go with it. Why do we always try to suppress tears? Whether they’re tears of joy, tears from laughter, or tears of sadness, we always try to stop them from flowing. And what for, so we won’t smudge our mascara?! Never be ashamed to feel emotion. I believe that it’s much easier to wear your heart on your sleeve than bottle up your feelings–plus, others will admire your transparency.
  2. Run. Lace up those sneakers and run away from the pain. Run as far as you need to. When you can’t feel the pain anymore (or when the physical pain has taken precedence over the emotional), head home and proceed to step 3.
  3. Indulge in back-to-back romantic comedies while drowning your sorrows in ice cream. The wonderful–though perhaps unrealistic–relationships depicted in the movies will renew your sense of hope that true love exists. And that maybe someday, out of the blue, you’ll bump into someone on the street and your very own predictable, adorable romantic plot will unfold from there. In the meantime, at least you’ve got this pint of ice cream.
  4. Listen to music–but not love songs. From Survivor to I Will Survive, there are lots of songs out there that speak to the strong, independent woman. I personally enjoy Miranda Lambert’s album Crazy Ex Girlfriend. She’s sitting on her front porch with a shotgun and a cigarette. And to think, I thought I was crazy!
  5. Find a creative outlet. Writing, drawing, music, photography…so many possibilities. These provide distraction from a break-up (or a crush gone terribly wrong). But eventually they become more important than the thing they were distracting you from. You’ll find yourself caring less about that person, and more about your art. Prove to yourself that you can create something beautiful, and you’ll inspire others as well.