My closest confidante at college, my rock and regular advice-giver friend Natalie, inspired me to post something a little more personal on this blog (which I have been neglecting terribly).
Writing has always been my favourite outlet but I've never dared to publish what I've written. I didn't want to show my vulnerable side or any sign of weakness, and blog posts are far more intimate than just a couple of emotional tweets now and then. I hope to post more regularly about the goings-on in my life, but also stuff that's on my mind that requires a little more than 140 characters... I don't know if anyone will read this stuff but it helps me somehow, to put it out here on the interwebs.
I recently went through a really horrible break-up, the likes of which I have never experienced before. I won't go into too much detail, except to say I learnt some lessons about myself and relationships, which I will hopefully carry with me throughout my life. There were good times (some amazing ones actually) but ultimately we were not following the same path and had completely different dreams, goals and ambitions - as clichéd as that sounds.
The one regret I do have is airing my relationship on social media. I knew in my gut it was a bad idea in the beginning, because what if it bit me in the bum later on? Turns out it did and it has been incredibly hard to try to get better when there are reminders everywhere. But when you're head over heels in love with someone, you don't care. You want to show that person off. You want absolutely everyone to see how happy you are, the places you go, the people you see. And I think that's normal. It's just that when things don't end up as planned, it gets awkward. Because you've built up this "couple persona" - I don't know how else to word it.
I've seen it happen to other people and everyone just gets so involved in it. It's like entertainment for the rest of us. Maybe not for everyone. I know there are those who couldn't give a rat's ass, but I've felt like I've "known" these couples. You get to see all the parts of their lives, including the bad parts when they don't hold back on the nasty subtweeting.
It's so hard to accept that the person you imagined a life with is just not there anymore. You still expect that "good night" text and that message asking if you got home safely. The routine that you developed with that person is gone, and it takes some time to readjust to your new (single) life.
Sometimes I feel like I'll never feel whole again, like there's a part of me that really is missing. I see couples in the street holding hands, doing their thing, and I suddenly envy them. Then I give myself a pep talk and realise that I'd never really be content if I depended on another person for my happiness. I want to take this time to live my life the way I want to, and to just enjoy being on my own, doing my own thing. It sounds petty, but it's the truth.
I've been trying to constantly busy myself with things I enjoy, like my hobbies; reading and drawing, going out with friends, watching movies, etc. It may seem obvious but I know that when I'm feeling low I just want to hang out in my bed and sleep the day away. And that's the worst thing to do. Yeah, you've got to mourn and grieve in the beginning but that is one road you don't want to venture down for too long. Having these healthy distractions has really helped me to get out of my mind, which can be a very morbid place if I let it be.
One of the things that has been helping me get through this, are the personal stories that my friends and acquaintances have shared with me, about their own experiences and previous relationships. When you're all emo and fall into a dark pit of guilt and self-pity, you feel like you're the only one in the whole entire world going through this particular "trauma". It just takes chatting to a friend to put it all into perspective for you. You learn that it will get better. And during this time, I don't know what I would've done had it not been for the support of my family and friends.
Also, I know some people are completely averse to inspirational quotes and that sort of stuff (my pet peeve are Tumblr posts, you know the ones with rain drops on windows and some "artistic" quoted font) but to be perfectly honest, some of the stuff I've seen other people post has really helped me. I'm an optimistic person after all.
Every day is different. Some days I wake up all sprightly like it's going to be "civvies day" at school, and some days I dread the day like I have a looming Maths test and my insides feel all loose and gross. I just know I've just got to push through.
To quote one of the greatest songwriters of our age, Bob Dylan:
"The only thing I knew how to do
Was to keep on keeping on like a bird that flew
Tangled up in blue."