Tag Archives: Break Ups

The Haunting

So, subletting in the city has been great so far. I’ve been incredibly lucky with my roommates and the rooms I’ve found. However, I’m already starting to feel like I want a place of my own-somewhere I don’t have to move out of in a month. So, when a friend of mine offered to look with me, I immediately and enthusiastically said yes.

Which leads me to a few nights ago. My friend (let’s call her CW), had found a really cheap apt on Craig’s List that she was looking at that night. I decided to come along. It would probably be nothing, but worth taking a chance, right?

She told me where to meet her, and I blanched. It was the same block my ex lived on. After a few deep breaths, I thought, you know what? Oh well. I’m fine. And he sleeps all day anyway. This is fine. When I got to the meeting place, CW said the only six words that could possibly make this any more uncomfortable: “Guess what building we’re going to?” That’s right. We would be looking at apartments not only on the same block as my ex, but in the same building. Fantastic.

I hesitantly climbed the all-too familiar stairs, half-hoping the apartment would be awful with no windows, closets, or plumbing. And then, I stepped into a beautiful hallway. Which led to four pretty, spacious rooms. That all had decent-sized closets. And windows. I walked through the rather large living room, looking for the “but” factor, and being shocked when I couldn’t locate it. CW and I looked through every room, our eyes growing wider with each step. The apartment was incredible. Perfect size, way underpriced, willing to let us move in later than they were originally asking…I was sold.

…and then I remembered. Right. Him. I joked with CW for a few minutes about the uncomfortableness of the whole situation, and then decided that the apartment was too perfect not to at least talk to him about it. So I called him, knowing full well that this whole thing was a bad idea, but praying that he would  laugh and say, “K, you’re being silly. This is not a big deal at all. I mean, we’ll hardly see each other. And I have enough positive feelings about you left that I will be happy to say hello. And if I see you with another guy, I’ll say a little cheer for you in my head and maybe even give him a high-five. And don’t worry about seeing me with another girl because I’ve miraculously decided to never date again. Ever.” Or “K, this is fine. We’ll never see each other- I’ll dig a hole through my wall, and enter and exit my apartment that way. ” Or maybe even, “Actually, it’s funny you bring that up. I’m moving in a month.”

That, as you might have guessed, is not at all what happened.

Highlights from the conversation:

-Yeah, I don’t like it.

-It would really blur the lines.

-[insert awkward joke about bumping into future love interests here.]

-I’m sure you could find another apartment.

-…but it’s your decision.

Thank you, sir, for saying all of the things I was hoping you would negate for me. In the end, though, I’m glad that I talked to him about it. It pulled me back to reality. Because living in the same building as your ex would be awful. Even if the apartment is perfect. It would be like the relationship was haunting you. Every time you walked into the building. And I’m not in the market for that sort of living arrangement.

Any opinions? What would you have done?

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Dear [insert name here],

I have a folder on my computer named “Letters.” It’s been on my desktop for about three months now. It’s become this strange sort of diary that I’ve ending up writing in whenever I became overwhelmed by what I call “the big split.”   You see, I have found that whenever I have something to say to someone that I’m not quite ready to/cannot/will not say to them, I write them a letter. It gets it out of my head, moves it onto somewhere I can just leave it for a while. (I highly suggest this, especially if you’re an over-thinker like I am. Many a 4 am letter has been written, believe you me.) Anyway, there’s been a lot of times in this split where I’ve wanted to call my ex, but due to a combination of intelligence, friends, and an all-women’s college background, I resisted. (Thank you, feminist professors.) Instead, I wrote him letters. And now, well… now I think it’s time to let them go.

Yes, we’ve all been there. That strange moment where you realize that the person who once took up a ton of space in your world was A) far from perfect and B), more importantly, is no longer worth the time or amount of space he’s been occupying. And, quite honestly, it’s about time I got there.

Something clicked for me tonight.

I was hanging out at my sister and brother-in-law’s apartment, just watching a movie and drinking some wine. It’s no secret that I’ve had my reservations about the two of them since they announced their engagement. They’re too young, they bicker, they got engaged so quickly, etc, etc. But watching them tonight, I felt how invested they were in each other, how accepting, how entirely present they were. It was like an electric shock.

I drove home and pulled up the letters file, looked at the discoveries, admissions, laments, and just plain bullshit that I had written in the past few months. I looked at the amount of time I had spent trying to sort through the confusing mess that was the past three years of my life, and I finally exhaled. Three years of holding my breath.

So, I guess this sort of counts as my last letter.

I’ll end it with this:

Thank you. Be well.

K.

Frodo and the Oven

Every time I’m in a bookstore, I always try to find a minute to peruse the self-help selection, specifically for the titles. Rows and rows of clever little quips about how to not “sweat the small stuff,” promising a more happy, healthy lifestyle, one that is devoid of stress and anger. What a happy little bubble of hope.

I’m not knocking self-help books. I think they’re great. I’ve just learned, over my many years on this earth (hah), that a stress-free life is as elusive as a laser pointer light is to a cat. Chase it for as long as you want, you’re never gonna catch it. So, while I’ve certainly tried my fair share of deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, and happiness journals, I have found two things that work exceptionally well when life becomes an overwhelming, suffocating mess: watching epic movies and baking cupcakes.

This is where I found myself yesterday. After the past week of job hunting, last minute wedding details for my sister’s upcoming nuptials (still haven’t written that maid of honor speech. Two weeks. No worries.), re-acclimating to home, and talking to my ex for the first time since the break up ( maybe more on that at a later date), I fell back on that tried and true ritual.

Let me explain. First, why epic movies? And what exactly do I mean when I say “epic movies?” I’m talking specifically about any movie where the protagonist is dealing with larger than life situations- superhero movies tend to work really well. As do fantasy adventure films. This time, it was Lord of the Rings. For some reason, watching Frodo Baggins deal with the fact that he has to find a way to destroy the ring of power, all while fighting off pretty much every other creature in Middle Earth AND his own desire for the ring makes my little issues seem entirely manageable. Pleasant, even.

As for baking cupcakes, I discovered this trick senior year of high school. I remember specifically the day it clicked for me. I was waiting for my honors trigonometry study group to come over, and decided to pass the time by making snacks for what promised to be a thoroughly miserable evening. I had never made a cake from scratch before, so I thought, “Why not?” It was not the best thing I’ve ever tasted, but it lit a fire. After that, I turned to baking whenever everything else seemed like too much to handle. Something about following the instructions, deviating a little when inspiration kicks in, and having something perfectly delicious and sinful come out of it all is incredibly appealing. Especially with cupcakes, where you get 12 chances to make them look amazing (I love decorating. That whole saying about eating with your eyes before you eat with your mouth? Totally true). Yesterday, it was homemade chocolate cupcakes with mint marshmallow frosting.

These were so good! Maybe I’m eating one as I write this…

After all was said and done, the combination did the trick. I felt perfectly at peace with the universe, ready to deal with everything it put in my path, AND I got to eat these incredibly tasty cupcakes while finishing the movie. Self-help books ain’t got nothin’ on that.

The Big Split

We’ve all been there. The months after a break up. That period of time where you are apparently marked with a sign that clearly states: RUN! I am undate-able and not over my ex! If you follow the preferred mathematical reasoning on how to get over a break-up, it’ll take roughly 6 months to be fully ready to hit the town again, heels on and lips glossed. In other words, you’ll be in a state of deep mourning for 6 months, at which time you will wake up and be utterly fine. Perfect. Good as new.

Weeeell…I doubt that.  And so, in the midst of my own journey through the unpleasant land of break-ups, I thought I would propose a different calendar of events for the newly single, but always fabulous. Here is what I deem as the various stages of getting over someone:

Stage 1: “This isn’t as bad as I thought it would be” This is that period of time directly after you two part ways in which you think, “Hey. I’m still standing. And I don’t miss him. Not really.” Awesome. You decide you can do just about anything. You’re young. You’re free. You’re more attractive than you ever were before.

Stage 2: “That was not true at all.” You’re also wrong. You will, in fact, have to cry. A lot. For several days. Kleenex will put you on their Christmas Card list.

Stage 3: “I am so motivated.” This is different for everyone, but the most common scenarios seem to be:

-Go to the gym every day and work out to angry music.

-Cut/dye hair.

-Try to get promoted at work.

-Take on a new hobby. Like puzzles. Or motocross.

-Get a pet.

-Learn to cook.

-Learn to use a fire extinguisher. Subsequently stop cooking.

Stage 4: “I need a punching bag. And a scotch.” This is the point where any thoughts of getting back together go straight out the proverbial window. Because you’re pissed. And self-righteous. And a little insane. (tip-breathing helps. so does meditating. you will probably not be able to do either.) You will most likely listen to a song like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHp2KgyQUFk&ob=av2e

or this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxUATkpMQ8A&ob=av2e

On repeat.

Stage 5: “Dry spells are why people stay in unhappy relationships.” Clearly this list does not apply to those who like rebounds. So, if you belong in that category, this is probably not true for you. For everyone else- face it. You will probably not be getting any anytime soon. Accept this. Take up knitting. Daydream. Watch “The Tudors.”

Stage 6: “Who is THAT?” Finally. And, yes, he’s single.

Moral of the story? Break ups suck. You know what doesn’t suck? Watching all three extended-edition Lord of the Rings movies and eating as much ice cream as you want to. Just a thought.