How I’m handling things.

I feel like I’m changing the way that I handle breakups. Everyone tells me so many different things to do, and none of it seems to fit with what my heart/gut is saying. Go on Tinder. Don’t close yourself off from new lovers. Be angry at him. He’s the problem. The flip side is: Don’t blame yourself. You did nothing wrong. You’re an amazing woman (well, thank you!). You can find anybody.

I appreciate what everyone has to say, but I’m finding a balance in this. I’m not blaming myself. I’m not blaming him. He has his side. I have my side. Rather than being angry (and believe me, I am most definitely still hurting), I’m looking at how I handle myself. How I treat others. I’m looking at my patterns and recognizing where I’m toxic. I’m not blaming myself. I feel like blaming myself falls into the denial/desperation phase of grief where you are trying to reconcile the heartache by creating scenarios of how is could play out to your benefit.

At the end of the day, I just want my ex to be happy. I want him to thrive in his field of work. I want him to grow and explore all of the possibilities of what it means to be an artist in this industry. He is unique, caring, and talented. From the bottom of my heart, I genuinely want to see this man go places and to see him thrive.

And at the end of the day, I want the exact same things for me.

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One thing led to another…

I don’t know what to write today. I’m in the mood to write something and at the same time, nothing is really coming to mind. I’m just going to write about work and see where that takes me!

I’m back at the university and so far it’s been good. I’ve been working for this program since the Fall of 2015. Interestingly enough, it was because of a setback that I was able to land this cool job. I had auditioned for a play at my college and I wasn’t cast. At that time in my life, I was still early enough in my acting career that it felt like a huge deal. To not get cast wrecked me. However, the stage manager called and offered me the position of assistant stage manager. I told her I would think about it and then I accepted the job the next day. I felt that it would be better to be a part of the play than to not be in it at all. I was sad for the first few rehearsals and then I made the choice to just throw myself into my work. It paid off.

Had I not accepted the position of assistant stage manager, the stage manager wouldn’t have offered me the job at the university. Had I not been so crushed about not getting the part, I wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard to get cast in the play the next semester. And then the next play. And the next play. And so on. Had I not been in this program, I wouldn’t have been motivated to move back home and start my life over again last January (a running theme in my twenties, I always seem to restart every 3-4 years).

Tomorrow, I’m starting the assistant director and stage management position for a play in the city. It’s amazing to think that two women who gave me my biggest opportunities are people that I’m still working with. My stage manager is now my boss at the university and the professor who cast me in my first play is now my mentor and director for the show I’m working on.

So, I know that even though I felt like my life fell apart last month, I recognize that this feeling is only temporary. If I just keep working at it, someday I won’t even realize that I’ve moved forward.

Happy New Year

Hello! I hope everyone had a lovely New Year’s celebration. I wound up going to a friend’s party in which I knew two people. She was busy being a host, so I sat and spent most of the night with my other friend. He and I talked about old relationship woes, interesting stories, and how our 2018 went. It was low-key, a few tears were shed, but it wound up being a nice night.

There’s a lot of pressure on January 1st for it to be the benchmark of how the rest of the year will go. My mind keeps telling me to get up, make plans, go out, just do something! But, my heart is telling me to slow down. Reflect. Read. Write. As much as I want to start the New Year active and rushing forward, I recognize that I do need to settle in – at least for today.

Tomorrow, I go back to work and we are starting our winter project. I work at a University that hosts 20 students for a month long intensive course. I make sure that their schedules are in order and that they have everything they need to thrive in the program. This will be my fourth year with the winter program. Although I’m excited, I have a bittersweet feeling about this project. Tomorrow marks one year in which my entire life changed.

In short, once the program was over, I started dating my ex. And goodness me, what a whirlwind that was. Genuinely, 2018 has taught me how much can change in a year. I may have only dated him for less than a year, but I can tell you that in that time, it was one of the best years of my life. Which is why when we broke up, it absolutely crushed me. I didn’t know how we could go from having this amazing, exciting, loving relationship, to not speaking.

My ex and I have been friends for two and a half years. We were really close and once we started dating, it made so much sense. Now, I’m coping with the fact that we are not talking. I know we are working on (another) project together starting in a few days… but after that? I’m trying to get my heart in line with the idea of not working with him and not seeing him after February. It hurts. It genuinely hurts, but I don’t want to expect the best and be crushed all over again.

It’s been three and a half weeks. We are in a new year. I’m nervous about this coming year and yet, I’m looking forward to it. Considering how much my life changed in 2018, I’m curious to see what 2019 will be like. Here’s to finding out!

Small down swing

As I was emailing some co-workers, I went to attach a file with their tasks for next week. What popped up instead was another file I had saved that was a schedule for a project my ex and I were working on. I slipped into a little bit of sadness. Then, I decided to open up this blog and write about it.

When we break up, we see our ex everywhere in everything at anytime. Naturally, we want to take this as a sign not to give up, maybe they want us back. Maybe I can text them to tell them that I saw this thing and it reminded me of them! Then another wave of sadness hits. We’re not together. We’re not going to be together. They’re gone.

I have seen reminders of my ex everyday. Whether it’s seeing or hearing his name. Our favorite music plays on the radio. Trailers for movies we talked about seeing together. On Christmas, my brother was watching a movie that we saw on our first date. I could list all of the things I’ve seen that has made me think about him but I won’t. Why? If I don’t acknowledge it, then it’ll go away. Follow me on this. Anytime I see something about him, my impulse it to text him or to text our mutual best friend. Now, imagine being that friend. Getting 3-5 texts a day from your friend who recently just got broken up with. You’ll talk about it first. Then you’ll kind of feel bad. Then you might not reply.

Here’s what I do instead. I recognize it. I recognize that this thing reminds me of my ex. I allow myself to smile about a memory attached to it, or I allow myself to be upset because it was a dream that never came to fruition. I acknowledge it to myself. Now, believe me. I joke that I’m either really quiet, or you can’t get me to stop talking. I want to bring it up every time I see something about him. I want to talk about it so bad! However, I just can’t because I’ll get stuck and then everything I see will turn into a sign. The only time I talk about it is when I’m with someone else. The other day, I was at a bookstore with our mutual best friend. I was doing well until he picked up a book for a game that we all talked about playing… and I started to cry.

I think it’s healthy to talk about it. I think it’s more than okay to pick up your phone and to call a friend when you need to discuss your anger, sadness, anything associated with the breakup. It needs to get out of your system one way or another. However, if the reminder pops up and it’s not intrusive then I say just appreciate it for what it was. Or get upset because there is a bad memory attached to it. Allow yourself to feel it. But don’t bring attention to it. Your brain will start feeding you more “signs” of your ex and you’ll loop around and around.

Now, I know it’s easier said than done. This goes for “reminders” not “triggers.” Triggers are completely different. I might go into that in another blog since I do have some triggers from different exes. Fortunately with this ex, his are only subtle reminders that punch me in the gut and tell me that he’s no longer my boyfriend.

Three weeks after a breakup

Hello! Here I am, checking in at three weeks. I have been feeling every range of emotion that is to be expected. Today is an upswing and I’m just allowing myself to feel it. I know that this is temporary. I’m likely to cry myself to sleep again. But for the time being, I’m doing better than usual.

Normally after a breakup, I throw myself into a project or I start working out or I try my best to stay distracted. Although I do encourage this for the most part, for some reason, this breakup is telling me to slow down. I need to assess everything and feel everything. I’m going to tell you – I hate it. It’s beyond uncomfortable. It hurts because your body and mind naturally want to find comfort and a way to cope with this. However, I need to face the truth and the truth genuinely breaks my heart again every single morning. I’m not saying I haven’t felt heartache and all that comes with a breakup before… but I never really processed it the way I should have.

My thought of it is this: He was my first real love, so I have to give this process all the care and attention that I did to the relationship. Now, I’ve had love before. I’ve genuinely loved and cared for previous partners and shared deep connections with them. However, this recent ex shifted my thoughts and understanding of what love is and could be.

I’m taking the time to understand his side (to the best of my knowledge, I don’t know all of his side) and to take responsibility for my part of the relationship. People have told me not to blame myself, or to beat myself up, or that it’s his fault. Although I agree to some extent, I have to do this because going forward, I need to recognize where I can be toxic. What my shortcomings are… are they innate or can they evolve into something healthier? This is less of, “what did I do wrong” and more of, “what can I do better?” Nothing about our relationship can change. It’s in the past and I can’t fix what’s already been done. I’m at peace with that. However, I do have to own where I was wrong at some points and recognize if I ever slip into that pattern again.

I have to work with my ex in the future, so I decided to text him earlier this week and asked if we could discuss how we are going to approach this project. He gave me a short answer. No. We can’t talk. We are professionals and we will act as such. So, I got my answer there. As much as that conversation would have helped me establish some boundaries, it would have made him uncomfortable. I respected his answer and didn’t reply.

My advice to anyone a few weeks into a breakup: Don’t call. Don’t text. Mute or block their posts on social media. I know it’s tempting to message them or to try to stay on their mind, but it does the opposite. They pull away even more. If you’re in my position and still care about them, just don’t talk to them. Don’t look at their profiles to see what they’re up to or how they’re doing. There’s a reason they broke up with you, and as hard as it is, leave it at that. Believe me, aside from how cold he was during our breakup, my ex is a very kind and loving man. Of course I want to reach out to him but I just know that it won’t do any good. I miss him all the time. I know I have to cry it out until there’s nothing left to cry about and then I won’t cry anymore.

Newly single

It’s been two and a half weeks since my ex broke up with me. I’m still hurt about it. I’m going to remain hurt about it – I know that. I’ve been going through all of the stages of grief and I feel like I’m going crazy. I’ve reached out to friends, family. As much love and support they have been giving me, it’s still been hard.

I decided to start a blog for various reasons:

  • One, as much as I know that I have the love and support of my friends and family… no one wants to hear about how their friend got their heart shattered two weeks before Christmas. I’ve been going back and forth between not being able to talk and not being able to stop talking (more on that later). I’ve been able to have a few one-on-one conversations with friends but I’m to the point that it’s not helping either one of us. They can only say, “you need to move on” as many times before they start to feel bad.
  • Two, I’m a writer. I love to write and get my thoughts out. Reading horoscopes (haha) and watching movies led me to this. I usually make decisions based on threes. If I have a good idea, I usually allow myself three “signs” before I decide that I should go through with it. I had a mentor once explain that if you meditate or focus on something strong enough, life eventually brings you to that path because you’ve hard-wired your brain to look for it. So, my 2019 horoscope said that my sign should start a blog. I didn’t think anything of it. Then, I watched a few movies that just so happen to have women go through some sort of heartbreak and they started blogging. So here I am. 20 minutes after movie number 3… I’m writing a blog.
  • And reason number three. I miss him. After reading some self-help blogs of how to get over a breakup, I’ve realized that there is a large community of people out there experiencing exactly what I’m going through at various stages. I thought maybe my stories could help someone. I’m at the “I miss him” stage.

The most difficult part is knowing that we both are working on a project for two months starting in January. Why not quit the project? Well, just because he broke my heart does not mean I should give up on my dreams. I’ll write more in depth about this in future blogs, but in short, we finished college together back in June. He got cast in this play sometime in May (production had to be put on hold due to funding). The director is my mentor and I’m going to be assistant directing under her guidance.

Fair warning: I tend to write the way I think, so I apologize ahead of time if my style seems choppy in some areas, or runs on in others. I’m kind of too emotionally drained to give a damn at the moment.