Monday, September 3, 2007

[The Slow Burn]

Otherwise known as: the breakup. Yes, it’s got me good. Heartbreak has me so good in fact, that my newly shown witty cynicism has deemed me worthy of writing for this blog. I’ve begun to consider this experience some dirty right of passage into the adult world, seeing as once it happened the stories of friend’s past and current encounters with love started swirling down around me. I’m sure you reading this, have your own, or too are experiencing a breakup. These stories combined with my personal experience have me in therapy every few weeks saying to therapist, married with child, “True love probably doesn’t even exist. Everyone just settles I think, because it’s a fairytale”. (Hopefully, she hasn’t settled or I’ve just opened a new can of therapy on her). Now, I know better than to believe these jaded things I say but it’s the surliness bleeding through for now. I’ve more or less simply left Jennifer in search of Angelina and my adopted Asian baby. (Steenkz insists I adopt an Asian baby). Granted, the person I’m leaving was no Aniston. Let’s not get that twisted.

So, what is my personal newbie experience, you may ask? My nine months of “I Love You’s” and future plans together boiled over when this person and I planned a seven-day vacation together that I fully prepared for. I’d been waiting on this time together for quite a while because this person’s mother has cancer and as difficult as it was, I was being supportive and patient. On the day of flight, said person informed me via a lengthy letter that they weren’t coming because they were a compulsive liar in disguise. The sickened good kind – so good, that most of the person I thought I loved and shared my every spare moment with, who told me they wanted an apartment with me, to buy a puppy for me, to have kids one day with me, did not exist except for the supposed fact “that they were in love me”. Okay, now you may return to this blog after you’ve grabbed yourself the nearest tub of ice cream.

There are many things I’ve discovered in order to help the healing process along. I will divide them into four categories. Quick Fixes. Wallowing. The Rebound. Rediscovering / Reinventing Thy Self.

1). Quick Fixes: These are the things you can do to receive some instant gratification. For me, it was instantaneously and verbally ripping them up one side and down the other, throwing away everything that reminded me of this person, then kindly shipping the rest of it to their front porch doused in my Chanel perfume (which they later told me permeated their house). Some people prefer fire. Just be smart about these things. No Lisa Lopez moments please.

I instantly called all of my closest friends, told them I needed them, sent them the letter that had me immersed in painful shock. On the day of, Crashlander called me and listened to me cry. He later showed up with a Chicago deep-dish pizza followed by a drive to Golden Gate Bridge where we sat on a yoga mat and made a pact to finish the entire pie over deep conversation. As much as I was hurting, I felt the comfort of his gestures seeping through. One of the valuable things I took from him on that day was “maybe now you can treat yourself to some of the things you wanted to do with/for that person”.

I had seven days reserved off from work for which I had to find a new purpose. I used them to drive to LA where my good friends live. I know that it helped me into a more speedy recovery to leave the apartment for a week of road trip and nurturing. My college friends took me to party in West Hollywood, cooked me dinner, took me out to dinner, to the movies, brought me alcohol and gave me lap dances. Steenkz took me out to lunch and her mother brought red velvet cupcakes. (Note: My heartbreak meal of choice was a cheeseburger, garlic fries, a glass of red wine, and a walk for gelato while listening to Steenkz plot how she’d like to repeatedly cut said person with envelopes). Her husky welcomed me with barking chatter and many kisses. I visited my old college campus and took a minute to let my progress sink in. When I returned, I did one of those things I had promised said person I would wait until we were together to do. I drove up to Twin Peaks and stood for a moment with a Jamba Juice coldbuster (I’d developed an unpleasant cold which further increased my grouchiness). I decided I wasn’t going to wait around on people anymore to make me happy or to enjoy life. All I had done was ‘wait’ on said ex-lover.

Friends, huskies, road trips, and comfort food are medicine. Use them. I’ve also been told a bucket of chicken and a bad haircut are key.

2). Wallowing: As I’ve been told, “It’s all about the wallowing”. It’s necessary to let ourselves sulk for a bit. I let myself get wasted on a school night and roll into work late on two hours of sleep looking like death warmed over. I purchased a ‘happy meal’ for lunch. I accepted the fact that my mental state had me putting tamales in silverware drawers (hopefully not sign of early Alzheimer). I quit going to the gym for a couple weeks. I ate what I wanted. I let myself emotionally detach as my surly demeanor grew. I listened to love songs. I listened to sad songs. I cried. I let people hold me and hug me. I let people listen. Sometimes, all at once. Heartbreak is a rollercoaster. Sometimes all you can do is ride it out.

3). The Rebound: I’m told it’s more of a law, really. There was a former crush of mine whom I’d stopped talking to nearly a year. In my lone state I decided to say hello – and what do you know? Said crush said they missed me and gave me their phone number. Now, I don’t quite condone hopping into bed with the next warm body you find. You may potentially do yourself more harm than good. But, the occasional yet forward flirtation and knowing the (doubtful) option to sleep together is there has helped curb waves of loneliness and boost both ego and confidence. That, and her musical taste far surpasses.

4). Rediscovering / Reinventing Thy Self: Now, it seems common that most of us young birds tend to make our romantic partner the center of our universe. This makes it very easy to lose ourselves, too caught up in our very own Sleepless and Seattle. But what do you do when Meg Ryan doesn’t show up at the Empire State Building? Left with yourself, you embark the journey to find and reinvent yourself. I’ve found that I like to do alignment exercises while reading on Buddhism. A simple thing to make me happy and indulge my writing interest is a vintage typewriter. So I visited a typewriter shop. I decided to meet up with a stranger for ice cream even though I’m prone to social anxiety. And? She turned out to be pretty cool, and invited me out again! I’ve always wanted to learn how to screen print, so I looked up screen-printing classes. I’ve wanted a dog since I was a young little edubbs, so I signed up to volunteer at the local SPCA. I made a pact with Steenkz to hit the gym (for her it’s ballet) at least 3X a week. In which case, you may start seeing blogs about having bags of frozen peas strapped to our ass. I’m passionate about my job as a designer. I made a goal to stay at work longer and improve my creativity. In fact, I made an entire list of goals – straightened my hair and danced in the bathroom mirror in a pair of aviators. Which nearly leaves me wanting to add a #5 to this list: the Dance Party. It’s liberating, try it. Steenkz highly recommends.

I went for a drive through the city last night at sunset and while climbing a hill with a cable car paralleling, I stared out across a view and the burn hit me through the music like a rushing wave - and I let it. I could feel in that moment, the bittersweet of ‘life happening to me’. The truth is, these are learning experiences full of things we should carry for our own growth and strengthening as people. No one wants to be the lonely cat lady, or fish lady, or slut lady for that matter. It feels good to let people in and to be loved. This love, pain, and healing has given me substance as a person. And until we find “the person”, it’s best we find ourselves and learn from the ones who aren’t because at that point it will ceaselessly become all about the “we”. I’m looking forward to that day, but I want to make sure when I arrive that I have the best to offer and enjoy myself in the meantime.

As for compulsive liars and those with a shallow moral compass, a girl at work has informed me that the specific status I’m going for has a 50% ratio of them. Not an optimistic equation and probably blog worthy in it’s own right. However, considering she beat Wyclef Jean in a push-up contest and I have friends who believe in slow paper cut torture, I would highly reconsider, because you may have that coming at your ass in the form of karma. And Karma, is in fact, a bitch.

1 Comments:

Blogger Tara said...

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September 4, 2007 at 10:01 AM  

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