To the Younger Me

1

I really, really debated posting this, but something big compelled me to share: maybe someone, somewhere will read this and feel inspired or hopeful or gain some sort of new knowledge that helps then grow. Plus, I don’t think there is anything more admirable or genuine about someone saying exactly how they feel or what they mean when it comes to the real stuff, the important topics. So here we go.

When I was a little girl, I always pictured myself in high school having a boyfriend here or there, among many other goals/dreams/images. Every hello comes with a goodbye, though, and I imagined an older me moping around my house in grey sweatpants with my hair in a sloppy ponytail eating ice cream out of the carton crying to my mom after a breakup. This is just what I envisioned when I thought of a high school breakup. While this vision may seem irrelevant or accurate or inaccurate or whatever you may think, I bring it up because I’ve experienced something pretty far from this childhood truth I once believed.

There is absolutely nothing glamorous or fun about getting your heart broken. There’s just not. And honestly, there’s just not time for any of that. When am I just sitting around my house, moping around, crying, eating Ben & Jerry’s out of the carton, or all of the above at the same time? While my sarcastic self jokingly thought, “well, sometimes!!,” the answer is not often at all. High school is busy, and time doesn’t slow down just because your world seems to have been completely altered. That vision isn’t realistic, and it’s not how you get over the one person that you think could make it all better.

Instead, you get up and get to your responsibilities and are physically present wherever you need to be. But you feel a sense of emptiness unlike any other. You absentmindedly check your phone, waiting for their name to pop up, only to realize that that won’t happen; they won’t be talking to you today. Every song reminds you of them, but so does the silence. Something happens to you in your day that you want to tell them, and you start to call or text them about it, only to remember that it’s something you need to keep to yourself now; that line of communication has been closed. Everything is just… over. It’s done.

Regardless of the circumstance or what happened or whatever, it just kind of sucks. Actually, it doesn’t even “kind of” suck, it just straight up does. Someone you trusted is no longer there at the drop of a hat. “I still want to be friends!” “Let’s be friends!” “Can we please stay in touch?” All such good ideas with good intentions, but so so hard to execute. How do you transition? How do you switch your heart on and off?

How do you start a friendship with someone you loved so much, without loving them in the same way? How do you just jump into a friendship?——because being their friend is better than nothing, right? Having them in your life is better than not… right? This is where I don’t know. I have no clue how to make that transition. I don’t have the answers, and I guess this is where my childhood vision of heartbreak strays from the original vision. I thought I’d have it all figured out, and even more embarrassingly, I thought a pint of Ben & Jerry’s would fix it. Little did I know how boldly someone could change my heart. I guess this is where I am now and where I’ll be for many other future situations in my life——I won’t have everything figured out; I’ll be learning as I go. You can’t predict what will happen to you——even if you think you have a good handle on things——and you can’t fully prepare yourself for heartbreak.

I began this summer completely understanding that my days with this boy were limited, and I was okay with that. With college, twenty-two hours, and 1,472 miles stacked up against us, it just wasn’t going to work. “I’d rather have an amazing summer full of love and memories and face the heartbreak than have nothing at all,” I told myself on June 17th. Well, here I am on the other side, and I’ve got to say, it really does suck. But this is what I bargained for, and I’d rather feel this than nothing at all. I know I’ll look back and be so so glad that this happened to me. I know that I’m already thankful for the memories and moments I got to spend with him, and I know that I am lucky for stumbling across a love so strong it nearly knocked me off my feet. I wish I could tell my younger self that even though getting through a heartbreak isn’t as simple as sitting at home all day in a comfy pair of sweatpants, I’m miles ahead of where I thought I’d be. I know that everything will work out for the better; my life is just beginning to unfold. I’m exactly where I need to be right now, and that comforts me more than I can explain.

I really hope that whoever reads this learns something about themselves or about heartbreak or about absolutely anything else. I hope that this helps, and I hope that you know I sure as hell plan on eating Ben & Jerry’s from the carton the next time I have the opportunity; life is short, my friends, so why not.

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