At 30, I’ve been through so many break ups. I’ve been the one who breaks up, the one who gets broken up with and all the shades of grey in between where relationships are gobbled up by the abyss. The interesting thing is, no matter what side of that painful, emotional line I’ve found myself on, one simple ritual has gotten me through the hard time, and over the hump. You know the hump, that day or week or moment when you let go of the hurt, even if only for a little while, but you just let. It. Go.
And that moment happens when I play a shit load of Shakira, really loud on my absurdly bass-y speakers, and pop a bottle of champagne. I dance in front of my full length mirror! I cry! Heart-wrenching, gut-originating sobs! I hover in front of my computer checking Twitter or talking to old friends on Google Talk and laugh my ass off. I take a bath and read magazines and books. I write blog posts. I write in my journal. (So analogue!) But I indulge, and I let. Go.
It’s so easy to over indulge in our own feelings, falling into a trap of thinking, rethinking and analyzing and overanalyzing the break up. I fall into that trap all the time. It’s my own personal hell, not being able to understand what he was thinking. So I think about it endlessly trying to make sense out of things. And worst of all, I sit around blaming myself and regretting even the tiniest of actions or conversations. “I should have” is suddenly the beginning of every sentence out of my mouth. All of this? Allllllll of this? It’s so wrong! It’s so bad for my psyche and my self-esteem.
My mom is a huge fan of creating boundaries around loss and grieving. Ideally she’d have me move on the next day and is famous for saying to me, “Don’t give me this crap about ‘taking time’ away from dating! If someone asks you out, you go! I don’t care if you think you’re ready or not!” But that’s not how losing love works, for me at least. So instead she tells me that I get a week to be sad and mopey and then it has to stop, because life has to move on. Somewhere in that week I hunker down for my Champagne & Shakira party and rock out. I positively rock out.
My favorite song to sing terribly to as I bop around my studio is Poem To A Horse. Keeping in mind, I own all of Shakira’s albums so there’s a lot of fodder here, but this is the best break up song. I mean with lyrics like this, it just cannot be beat:
If I say my heart is sore
Sounds like a cheap metaphor
So I won’t repeat it no more
I’d rather eat my soup with a fork
Or drive a cab in New York
Cuz to talk to you is harder work
So what’s the point of wasting all my words
If it’s just the same or even worse
Than reading poems to a horse
I bet you’ll find someone like you
Cuz there’s a foot for every shoe
I wish you luck but I’ve got other things to do
Shakira’s lover in the song is clearly a really self absorbed dude, but these lyrics hit home every time. I mean, I seriously wouldn’t you rather eat soup with a fork than talk to an ex sometimes?! Wouldn’t you?
I guess this is all to say, I try to take the suckage out of break ups and insert some boozey fun because on the long path to love, real love; ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love, break ups are inevitable. Or as I like to say, they’re all wrong until it’s right.
So what’s your break up ritual? Do you even have one? I’m all about the power of rituals and closure and all that jazz, so share!