As finals have come to an end for us SCAD students, and everyone flocks home to be with their family, I have found myself staying put in the city of Savannah for a couple of extra days, and re-connecting with some old friends.
Friendships in college are funny. One semester, you have a bunch of go-to friends, people who share your schedule and classes, but then the next, you don’t hear from them for weeks, even months.
I’ve found in the days re-connecting with people that used to be more present in my life that have lost touch, that no matter how much time goes by, no matter how many differences we have, I always seem to have an apparent connection with them, with any college girl, really.
That connection is heartbreak. I know that sounds morbid, and you probably want to close this page and read a more cheery post, but stay with me.
Every girl I have met, every person I get to know enough for them to open up, always has a story of heartbreak. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, those broken, hard, emotional times in our life, shape who we become. No matter it comes up so often, it holds a significant place in a person’s life.
We all have cried over someone who once was a part of our lives, someone we used to talk to everyday, someone we used to see often, someone who made our skies blue, but eventually was the reason for a storm.
Through accounts I’ve been told, and personal experiences, I’ve noticed the process of having, grieving, and moving on from a broken heart comes in phases.
At first, you ride on a cloud of “I did the right thing” or “this is what’s best”, not really allowing yourself to let the reality of what is actually happening set in. You haven’t fully come to terms with reality.
But then it sets in. They are really gone. Out of your life. No longer can you call them whenever you want, no longer are they your go-to person to talk about your day with, or vent about problems to. They aren’t there anymore. They aren’t that person. But why? Why after so long of them being there and being that person, have they abandon that role? So you cry a little (or a lot) over the lost past and the harsh reality. You try to get them out of your head, but your brain does a funny thing in which you can only remember the good times you had with them, making you miss them even more. Then you doubt your decision. “I just want to talk to him,” you say to your friend as you lay on the couch eating junk food and watching chick flicks. But you can’t. And you know that. And that kills you. So you wonder what he is doing, who he is with, if he is thinking about you. And the fact that you know none of these answers drives you crazy.
Then you get angry. Why would they let this happen? Why has it come to this? How can someone who once made me so happy, make me feel this awful? Why didn’t they fight for me? Why didn’t they love me the way I deserve to be loved, or treat me the way I deserve to be treated? They are the worst, and I hate them. Your friends ask you how you are doing, and you tell them, amazing, I don’t need that person bringing me down anyway. I’m way better off without him. You go through these days with “Look What You Made Me Do” by Taylor Swift playing in the background, feeling angsty as hell. Whatever. I’m over it.
But then, in the still of the night, as the darkness cradles you in your bed sheets, the memory of what used to be, like a cruel joke, suffocates your mind, and the hard exterior falls, and the feeling of brokenness sets back in. And you can’t understand why a single person can have so much power over you. Even months after it ended, they still have a hold on your heart. They still have the ability to pop into your mind at any time, causing a broken-hearted sob fest.
I know a few gals who are in these beginning stages. Post break-up. Only a couple weeks have past. I’m sure many more than the few that I know have either gone through this, are going through this, or still ache for someone of the past.
Let me try to encourage you with the next steps that maybe you can’t see right now, or you can’t feel coming.
One day, after time has moved at a painfully slow past, you will wake up, and get through your morning without thinking about them. You will continue to live your life. You will continue to pursue whatever career you want to pursue. You will continue to surround yourself with people who truly love you and bring out the best in you. You will experience real joy and life.
Time will move on, and your broken heart will mend itself. Not over night, not over a couple weeks, but in the perfect amount of time for you. Life may seem like it’s at a stand-still once heartbreak hits, but let me assure you, it is not. Yes, it feels like it, and yes, it sucks, but life keeps moving. And babe, so should you.
I’ve found in those times of weakness and heart-ache and uncertainty, it is the perfect place to also find your strength. Find who you are. You might have lost her throughout the years, but search for her. Find your passion, your drive. Find what brings you joy, and fearlessly pursue that. Yes, you got hurt, you’re bruised and broken and feel as if you cannot go on. But let me tell you, you can. You’re stronger than you think, believe me.
Don’t let these times of pain make you question your strength or worth, let it highlight them.
And one day, in the midst of living your life, you will notice the growth you have gone through, and how far you have come. Little by little, you let the memory of them go, you take the power of your mind and emotions back, and you’ve moved on. And that is a bitter-sweet moment; but mostly sweet.
I know from experience, and from talking to many twenty-something girls who can relate a little too much to these words, that heartbreak can feel like the end of the world when it first happens. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to grieve. Some girls I know don’t allow themselves to feel these things. They want to push those emotions down, they don’t want to deal with the negative feelings. They want to be strong.
Dealing with a heartbreak, letting yourself feel those emotions, does not make you weak. It makes you human. And I believe females are strong as hell, no matter how many tears shed.
So deal with your heartbreak however you need to. But just remember, one day you will find your strength and worth and happiness again. You will find yourself, and that will be much sweeter than whoever broke that beautiful heart of yours.