Sunday, 24 January 2016

A case as to why crippling heartbreak in your mid 20s is arguably the most character building thing that can happen to you

Sidenote: there will be absolutely no trash talkin' about the person who inflicted said heartbreak. He is perfectly nice and we still get on and really, you are always well within your rights to want to be with someone and then not want to be with them at a later date. So no passive aggression from me!

I wasn't at all expecting my heartbreak. It came very much out of the blue. One day I was sharing every single aspect of my every day with him and the next he was no longer in my life. I'm yet to work out if this was a blessing or a nightmare. Do you really want a warning?
First warning: 'You're getting on my nerves now.'
Second warning: 'I won't tell you again.'
Last chance: 'This is your last chance...'
All out of luck: 'Naughty step for you.'
Probably not.
Although you also don't want to be having to ask, 'are we breaking up or are we just talking about breaking up?' because it's such a shock. These things kinda need to be spelt out clearly.

So that happened and I had to get on with being alive and going to a job I hated every day. I didn't go to the job I hated for the first few days, actually, and when I eventually did, I mostly just stared into space and went to the kitchen every ten minutes to do a bit of breathing and crying. Luckily, within about ten days I heard back from a job I really did want and was able to put every single ounce of concentration and energy into getting and keeping that. Another sidenote: it really is ungodly to expect people to go to work after a breakup. Once there, all I did was send about three emails, bring general office morale down and spend 50% of my day chatting to Karen in HR over camomiles.

My friends were out of control good to me. Obviously. They never (outwardly) lost their patience when they were receiving copious amounts of daily texts and weepy phone calls ranging from the simple, 'I don't think he means it' to 'our toothbrushes are... sob... sniffle... nose blow... still touching in the holder.'
They gritted their teeth and said soothing, 'I know, babe, I know's when I rang them hysterically after the first post breakup shower to say, 'in the time it's taken for my hair to get dirty he doesn't want to be with me anymore.'

People going through a break up are needy as fuck. They really are.

'Babe, what are you doing?' I'd say, trying to remember that in friendships you have to show an interest in the other person too.
'Oh not much. Just watching Masterchef.'
'Me and ____ used to watch Masterchef,' I'd say, tears catching in my throat.

I drank a lot of wine. A lot. Let's say about one less bottle per day per days it took me to stop crying at anyone holding hands in the street.
I also ate a lot of pies. I don't usually eat pies, but I guess I needed the starch to fix some interior issues or whatever.
I rewatched Sex and the City all the way through from start to finish, gazing at Sarah Jessica Parker's evolving variations of curly blonde hair and ghetto fab gold chains with fascination. It made me feel so much better that I had ten years head start on Carrie and co. We were going through the same things but I was young as fuck and they were starting to push it, really.
I'm completely in bits, but at least I'm not 36 and still going to da club (Samantha, I'm looking at you.)

My girl group's chief event organiser moved to the other side of the world so I've taken it upon myself to fill her little hiking boots. I've suggested about 500 trips and we're yet to find any dates when we're all free, but that's very much besides the point. So far we've talked about weekends in London, Manchester, Nuneaton (!) and a pretend hen do in an undisclosed beach resort. I'm still holding out for us to all go visit said chief organiser on the opposite side of the world together, but I'll get back to planning that once we successfully manage a simple night out. Start small and all that.

You have to fill your weekends somehow when you lose your main partner in crime. I mostly solved this by spending a lot of money. My mother actively encouraged this.
'What are you doing, sweetie?'
Sheepishly: 'Just in Zara. Again.'
'Good girl! You deserve it!'
I'm not sure why I deserved it (just for coping?) but I was more than happy to agree with her.
End result: I've never had so many nice clothes. That's not character building as such, but it's a pleasing side effect nonetheless.

Another plus: I give a lot less shits about a lot more things. At the start, if anything ever went wrong, I would often think, 'well ____ left me so what does it even matter?' But in time it's matured into a more healthy, 'I got through that, I can get through this!'
Admittedly, this does relate to the stupidest of shit such as forgetting my lunch at home or being overcharged at Sainsbury's, but it's good to have perspective.

This also, unfortunately, translates into acute cynicism. Whereas before I'd see couples in love and my heart would beat a little faster on their behalf, now I think, 'N'aw, you're so happy now. Just wait til you get dumped.'
I do not envy anyone in love, because they still have all the worst to come. I've come out the other side already (kind of). Ceebs doing it all again.
And don't even dream of saying anything annoying to me like, 'you have to take the risk.' No I don't. Although, I do think that now I've got this massive heartbreak out the way, the others can't possibly feel as bad. So there's that.
I am wildly inspired to write. I feel as though all the best writers have been irreparably heartbroken at some point. There are no good books that do not have some sort of angst seeping out of every other page. As the author, you have to have felt that angst, otherwise you will never be convincing. I am a lovelorn misunderstood heroine! I am Miss Havisham! I am Cathy! I am Bridget Jones!

Happy people are not fun. Well they can be. But they don't make as many funny jokes. In hindsight I was sickening. Nobody but you wants to talk about how happy and in love you are. But bring up how much you want to throw yourself from a great height and watch how people flock to join the conversation. Within reason, of course. By the third time you try to recite the last conversation you ever had with your significant other word for word people lose their patience, but if you judge it carefully you can totally turn it into a little skit. Twenty seconds after ____ left, I came out with some hilarious gallows humour, which I will not repeat here, to my housemate and we both cackled for a good minute and a half. I then promptly burst into tears, but I'd still made my little joke! And that's the main thing.

I want to do everything. All the things. I'm not, of course. I'm far too busy watching loads of tv, but I want to. And that's more or less the same thing. Maybe I'll move abroad again. Maybe I'll finally get my novel published. Maybe I'll get round to visiting my little pal H.W. in Vietnam. Maybe I'll stay out later than 11pm mid-week like I'm in uni again! Maybe I'll grow my fringe out (did that one.)

I'm doing weird shit that I didn't think I missed. I take myself for coffee, I sleep diagonally across the bed, I send stupid texts to stupid people.

This isn't a blog post to say, 'look at me, I'm doing so well! I am an Independent Woman Part II! I am a modern day hero!' It's just a few little thoughts that were swimming around in my head, and that my diary could no longer contain.

When you start thinking you're okay, you're generally about ten more temper tantrums from being okay. And then when you really do start feeling better you realise how un-okay you were feeling before.

And if you get dumped out of the blue, you can look at this glowing example of how mostly-okay-still-sometimes-weepy-for-no-real-reason you can be too if you just thug it out and dive headfirst into a bucket of white wine and a series you haven't watched since you were 15. 

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