Strength Through Heartbreak

Love After Love

It’s been a few weeks. Maybe a month. My apologies – I’m terrible at keeping up!

However, there’s something that I’ve been dying to write about – because this is my space – my internet journal, if you will – and I need to write it down as an insurance policy, in case I ever forget.

Since my ex, I’d been anxiously pondering what love would feel like after the first one. After the first heartbreak. Would I remember what it felt like? Would it feel the same? Would I be scared?

Well, on our anniversary last month, The Drummer told me he loved me. It was something I wasn’t expecting, but I was ready for. Prior to our anniversary, people started asking me if I loved him. I told them I didn’t know – mostly because I didn’t want to say it out loud. I didn’t want to jinx it. My ex was the first and only person I ever said I love you to- I said it first – and dammit, I swore I’d never say it first again. For several months I’d been quietly looking at the Drummer while we’re laying in bed together and just thinking the words in my head.

I love you.

But I refused to say it out loud. I didn’t need to. I knew how I felt, and not saying it was okay. Because showing it matters more.

But low and behold, on our anniversary night when I was about to fall asleep, I asked him to give me a hug and kiss goodnight because he wasn’t tired yet.

He laid down and looked at me.

You know I love you, right?

What? Huh? Yeah, I know.

….Wait, did you say you loved me?

Yes!

I honestly thought I didn’t hear him right. I didn’t want to respond without being 100% sure I heard him right. Of course, I told him I loved him too. Because I do. Every bit of him. He’s been the kindest, sweetest man, and has treated me better in this little-over-a-year that anyone has treated me in my entire lifetime. We aren’t perfect – but we’re happy. And affectionate. Yet have the perfect amount of space between us to the point where we always miss each other. It’s absolutely lovely.

And in that moment – in that few seconds where our hearts were all laid on the table, or the bed if you want to be technical, I knew it was possible. Yes, Lara. You are able to love again. And it’s real – and true – and genuine. And because of that moment and this relationship I will always remember my capacity to love does not end with one person. To many, that may not be a big surprise but to me it means the world.

I am the proof, my friends. Feeling love after such a tremendous heartbreak is possible. And to answer some of my own questions, it feels the same and different all at the same time. The same because when I look at him I want to just melt with happiness, but different because it’s a more mature kind of love. It’s a more appreciative love. Because I know nothing in this life is every promised to us and we don’t know what tomorrow brings. I refuse to go to bed angry, or leave without telling him I love him, or even without thanking him for something simple like getting me a glass of water. It’s so important to do those little things because that’s what keeps love alive.

Love is a verb. It’s an action. And just because you feel it for someone doesn’t make it constant. You must work at it. Nurture it. Help it grow. And don’t ever stop. Whether you are 17 or 70, loving someone is still something you must do. Many people forget that and let it fall apart at the seams. If you try your hardest and it still falls apart, so be it. But if you let it, shame on you. Because love is one hell of a feeling. And I’ll never forget that again.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of my followers. If you don’t take anything from this post, at least take some love from it, because I have plenty to go around. From my heart to yours, Namaste.

It Happened.

On March 3, 2013 at approximately 7:30 P.M. my heart was held by a lovely man. About 30 minutes later, that same heart was dropped by said man and I knew my life would change forever.

It certainly did.

And oddly enough, I have never felt better.

That night, as soon as I mustered up the strength to stop crying for a moment, I deleted every social media outlet I had.

Twitter.

Instagram.

Facebook.

He would be shunned from my eyes, ears, and mind. For some, if not many, that’s how it has to be.

Go ahead. Tell me of one person who healed properly after a heartbreak by constantly looking at their ex’s pages and staying somewhat in their lives.

And I don’t mean those mutual break-ups we all know of where the two even become best friends.

I mean the break-ups where one person looked to the other as forever and the other reciprocated with “it’s over.”

That kind.

I may have taken it a bit too far, which I regret from time to time.

I completely eliminated any thought of him from my psyche. I ignored his friends, who had become somewhat mine by being with them for close to 4 years. I know now that if I ever saw them again, I would apologize unconditionally for such a dramatic exit. I just couldn’t bear to look at the people I once laughed with whilst holding his hand.

Though all of it was the right thing to do at that moment in time, today is about change & rebirth.

It was the right thing to do because it helped me move on. And that’s what I want to share with you.

I have officially moved on.

I told you guys about my minor breakdown last weekend with The Drummer. I released so much more than tears that night. I released my soul. That part of me that, since last March, spent months building brick walls and never stopping or breaking them for another. The Drummer had nothing to do with it. In fact, I think for a split second he was a bit freaked out by my drunken sad, yet happy face. I still don’t think he fully gets what happened, but that’s okay because he wasn’t supposed to be there for that.

Days after my breakdown, I sort of missed my Instagram. No offense to twitters or facebookers, I still have no interest in being on there. But oh, how I missed taking pictures of my food! You know what they say – PICTURES OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN!

So, I broke down and made an Instagram.

I was looking for people to follow and used my “contacts” on my phone and guess who appeared?

The Ex.

So I clicked on his page. And looked through it.

AND FELT NOTHING.

Not a thing.

Not a tear, not a heart flutter. Nothing.

The only thing I felt was what I can only describe as an old love washed away type of feeling.

It was incredible. I still smirk when I think about it. I’m so freaking over it.

I never thought I’d get here. It makes me want to pour my heart out to all of you who have and are still suffering from the same type of heartbreak. There is hope. I promise you. Each and every one of you. When everyone you talk about your break up to record scratchingly tells you “time heals all wounds…you’ll get over it…you won’t be crying 5 years from now…”

They are totally right. Annoying. But right.

I’ve waited almost 14 months for this moment. Patiently, mind you. And though it hasn’t been easy, it really hasn’t been that difficult either. I took the end of my relationship as the beginning of the relationship with myself, as Eat Pray Love as that sounds – it’s true.

It’s about finding yourself. And changing. And learning to forgive.

Forgiveness.

I’ve never hated my ex on the outside. I’ve always said, I don’t hate him for not loving me anymore. Because I knew that was the right way to feel. But I never felt it on the inside – where my heart is.

Now I truly do. I do not hate my ex. In fact, I can honestly look at our relationship and smile. He isn’t this perfect being held high on my pedestal anymore. He is simply a man that I once loved. And he loved me too. It just didn’t last, nor was it meant to. And none of it was his fault.

His feelings changed. I’m positive that he loved me, and I’m positive that his want to be with me fizzled out. I can’t blame him for that. I used to always say to him when we fought, Don’t blame me for how I feel. You can’t tell me how to feel. And I will not tell him how to feel either. Just like his need for me fizzled out, mine did in time as well.

My story might not be the same as yours. You may have been abused. You may have had a really shitty relationship.

Or it was like mine. Perfect. Then poof. Gone.

If you feel any similiarity to me, please know that you will go on. You will be okay. But ONLY and ONLY IF you believe you will be okay. If you try. I’m not saying you have to feel okay or already be above it by now.

I’m saying you have to take the first steps. You have to walk the hard, uneven road to get to where you want to be.

Let go of the anger you feel towards your ex. Just let it go. Hell, even if it WAS a shitty relationship, you have to let it go. You may sit in it and feel it for a while, but eventually you have to stop. You can’t clean the dirt off yourself by continuing to sit in the mud pile. Nobody moved forward by staying still or walking backwards.

And nobody has it easy. If it was easy, it wasn’t love.

 

 

 Well, now
If little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you
Little by little
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For I shall already have forgotten you

If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life
And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots
Remember
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land.

-Pablo Neruda

 

 

 

I Can See Clearly Now

I got new glasses yesterday. I happen to be pretty much blind as a bat – near and far sighted in each eye, a different prescription for each. It’s insane that I’ve gone this long without specks. Got my reading ones last week and the all the time ones yesterday.

So I pick Taco up after work for our Wednesday workouts. I’m raving on and on about how I can’t stop looking at street signs and far away font because I can actually read the words.

“Oh my God, Taco. I can see so much better now, I—-aaaaaaaaand there’s [ex].”

Yup. Whilst raving about my new clear vision, I get a clear view of my ex driving by me.

It was weird.

I haven’t seen him since last May, when he almost ruined my birthday.

He showed up to the bar 10 minutes before closing.

Drunk.

And took me outside and called me pretty.

And then said how sad this was.

We stared at each other for the last 10 minutes. Hugged.

And then turned around and walked away in totally opposite directions.

I shit you not. That’s what happened.

Thanks bro. Happy Birthday to me.

Yesterday stung. Just a little. Just a tiny little pea pod of a little sting.

Not sure if that ever goes away.

It was just a reminder of what feeling something was like.

Every now and then I catch myself numb about love.

I like my boyfriend. Don’t get me wrong. He makes me smile. A lot.

And I am so happy with our little relationship.

But I still have this wall. This shield over me.

And it protects me so much that I know if anything were to happen to us, I would be bummed, but not broken.

I know I can only hold a wall up for so long.

And I don’t want it to fall on me.

I want it to be taken down gracefully.

But we’re not there yet. And that’s okay.

Yesterday stung for a second, but I laughed for 5 minutes after.

I think that’s a good ratio. Word. Up.

An Open Letter to Myself

I wasn’t going to post this one. Sort of for myself. But I thought, why would I make a post private when I never have before? Honesty is what I’m here for.

Dear Lara From One Year Minus Three Days Ago,

I know you can’t breathe right now, but you’re going to be okay.

Today was one of the toughest days of your life thus far. Top Ten for sure. You did what millions of other people do every hour of every day. You felt what it was like to love someone for a long time-not like mom and dad, mind you-and then have them not love you back anymore. Hurts, huh? Remember when all of your friends went through that and you’d just shrug it off like, “What’s their problem?” Well, in hindsight, I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy. But after all, hindsight is always 20/20.

I’m here to tell you there’s a silver lining in the not-so-distant future. I know you already have an inkling, but I want you to be certain, because it’s there and you’re going for it.

You spent 3 and a half years in a fantasy world. A great one, but an illusion nonetheless. Yes you loved him, Lara. You loved him with everything you had in your gigantic, warm heart. Come on. I mean, who pathetically cries tears of happiness after an orgasm? That’s love, girl. Probably a little weird too, but hey, you’ve always been a bit strange.

Where you went wrong was believing this would last forever. You always knew it wouldn’t, but love can make a person so fucking blind that their amazing gift of intuition can be hidden as if it never existed.

I’m sure he truly loved you too. You could see it in the way he would look at you-especially when you weren’t paying attention. Remember how your friends would joke about his gaze toward you? It was love. Just not unconditional. You can’t hate him for that. And like I said, you always knew that.

In the next year you’re going to go on QUITE a ride. The first few months will be an absolutely alcohol induced, fuzzy time in your life. But hey, it’s summer. You’re totally allowed to go all out.

Get drunk. Make out with tons of guys. Put that breakup CD on repeat and drive to fucking nowhere while you cry your eyes out. That’s fine. You have to cry. And TRUST ME. Girl, you are going to be crying a lot.

You’re already steady love for your friends is going to grow in tremendous proportions. Taco is going to stick to your side like glue. Him and K be there every weekend to dance the heartbreak off and to give that weirdo that you’re drunkenly talking to an evil eye that means “STAY THE HELL AWAY FROM HER.” Heath and Matt are going to take you under their wing and let you stay with them in PA whenever you need to. That will be a blast. Be careful with the assault rifles, though-“woman scorned” isn’t your strong suit. You’ll reconnect with old friends you haven’t spoken to in a while and even make some new ones. Isn’t that the best thing about break-ups? The free time keeps on rolling. Though, I must say, I’m proud of you for always making time for your friends even in a relationship because that is why they are so understanding and more than willing to help you through this tough time. Don’t ever change that aspect of your personality.

***

Dating

Psh. Darling, you are going to date until your eyes bleed from the heinous acts of men. You’ll be fooled a few times, but quickly remember that not all guys are like the one you were with for so long. You will realize that the men you meet at bars are jerks, the ones your friends set you up with are emotionally unstable, and so you will enter the perilous realm of online dating.

*ALERT!* ONE OF THE WORST DATES YOU’VE EVER BEEN ON WILL CONSIST OF A MAN’S TOOTH FALLING OUT. Just get drunk and be nice to him. He means well.

You’ll have an attempted theft on your underwear. Ugh. Sigh. Men.

You will date and date and date until you’ve given up on, not only men, but humankind altogether. But then, on your last attempt at online dating, you will strike gold.

I’m sure today you would never think you could ever date someone else, but you can. And you will.

He will be just as kind, if not kinder. He will be smart, funny, and driven. He will have life plans that don’t consist of playing in a mediocre band for peanuts the rest of his life. He’ll want to watch science shows with you and talk about religion and politics and all of the things that you never got to do with anyone else. He’ll wake up in the middle of the night just to kiss you. He’ll let you sleep on his chest when you don’t feel well and make you soup after all 1,000 of your stupid gum surgeries. And you won’t stop smiling throughout fall and winter. It’s still new, but he’s cool. I promise. You’d never date a shitty dude this long. Truuuuust.

Most importantly, you will get your life back. I’m not talkin’ the post-break-up life. I’m talking about the PRE RELATIONSHIP LIFE. The life before you fell into that illusionistic love. Not all love is an illusion, but from the moment you met your ex, you disappeared. And you will realize that throughout the course of the next year.

Real relationships do not form when two halves come together to make a whole. They consist of two individuals who want to remain individuals but be together simultaneously. They don’t complete each other, but compliment each other. And you certainly have become complete again since losing that half of yourself that you gave to someone else years ago. You’ll never do that again.

There you have it. Never fear, Lara, dear! You’re going to be more than alright. You’re going to be better than you ever have. Because you will find what you loved most in this world-yourself.

So get ready to cry. And laugh. And scream. And every other emotion that exists in this dimension. Because you are going to experience it all. But in a year from now, you are going to be one happy lady, and because of nobody but yourself.

Keep your head up kid,

You.

P.S. You’re totally going to be named Employee of the Month tomorrow morning. I know, I know. When you walk in crying your eyes out and dead from not sleeping, and your co-workers come out and yell SURPRISE! Don’t worry. They’ll understand. HAHA!

Don’t stop, no, I’ll never give up
And I’ll never look back, just hold your head up
And if it gets rough, it’s time to get rough

What Thoughts May Come

It’s been twelve days since I’ve blogged. It feels like 6 months. I creep on here every day or so, read your posts, and sign off to re-enter this massively busy world I live in. I suppose the slow movement of time is working in my favor, since I’ve been finding time to move so fast now-a-days. Thanks, Universe.

How’s it going?

Life is pretty alright. I’ve been really working out hard and keeping up with my shit at work. Go me. Exactly what this blog-cation was for.

Things with me and The Drummer are going great, though I tend to live more inside my head as of late.

Relationships, for the most part, are fun. That’s why I love them so much. One guy that knocks your socks off in and out of the bedroom and can make you smile effortlessly. Smarts. Wits. My idea of perfection.

But now, I’ve been seeing him since the beginning of November and things are just as amazing as ever, it’s just I’ve caught a case of the Feelings and I don’t know what to do with it.

I don’t catch feelings so often.

Actually, pretty much close to never. .000001%

And when I do, I screech to a halt. At a standstill. Speechless.

What the ever loving fuck are feelings? And why do they make my stomach feel so queasy?

I remember when I caught the feelings-flu with my ex. The first time I looked at him and thought, Shit. He’s an alright guy. A keeper.

It was a hell of a lot easier to accept since my heart had never really been broken before. I never knew pain like that.

I accepted feelings with open arms because I didn’t know what it felt like to eventually embrace nothingness.

And now that I know-Now that the left ventricular of my heart carries a hidden scar and possibly a slight bruise, I’m back at that standstill. But this time, I’m still frozen and a little hesitant to move. And visibility is zero at this traffic stop, so I can’t see tell if it’s safe to go. I suppose I’ll just have to proceed with caution.

What’s love got to do with it?

Yeah, relax guys. I’m not in love or anything. Love after three months of dating is an illusion-no offense to all you quick-to-fall folks. I just don’t believe in it. Talk to me in ten years and then I’ll tip my metaphorical hat to you. I’m not saying it couldn’t happen to someone. I’m just saying it’s one of those needle in a haystack things.

I don’t know if I even remember what love feels like. I’ve only ever felt it for one person and when that didn’t work, I took those emotions and threw them so damned far (or possibly shoved them deep down) that I am numb to the present thought. That’s alright though. I know I’ll know if I ever feel it again someday. I’m not fishing for it anyways.

I think I just needed to get all that out. Is it normal to be nervous about having feelings for someone? What the hell are you supposed to do?

The only thing I know how to do is continue along the road to myself. To keep doing all of the amazing things I’ve been doing. My workouts. My meditation. Cooking. Etc. Etc. I’ve been a busy lady.

And as for my relationship, I just need to take each day as it comes. I’m very happy, regardless of my overly dramatic inner dialogue. Because the answers to all of my questions need to come from within myself-not my relationship.

Plus, my break-up-anniversary is coming up this weekend. I think that’s where all of the emotional mumbo jumbo is coming from. Definitely not a usual celebratory day, but quite frankly, it’s the day that marks the beginning of my close knit relationship with me myself and I. Because no matter what happens in this life-people may come and people may go-but the only reflection in the mirror is my own. And that’s my priority.

Farewell 2013, You Bipolar Thing, You

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGTvl7IlfkE

December 2012:

Taco (Yes, that’s my best friend’s nickname): I have a feeling 2013 is going to be big, Lara. HUGE even. It’s going to make or break us.

That was my best friend’s premonition of 2013. He was right on his own behalf, but he had no idea how right he was going to be about my upcoming year.

The first minute of the New Year was spent kissing my then boyfriend while Bad Rabbits played live to the rest of the crowd.

He had been feeling really off (probably because subconsciously he was preparing to dump me) and so to make him smile, I surprised him with New Years Eve Bad Rabbits concert tickets that I brought him and his very best friends to.

In that very moment at midnight, I was so happy. I would be moving in with him that coming fall and we would live happily ever after.

 

If you’ve been following at all, you know that’s just not how it went for me.

Although March was filled with many tears, sleepless nights, alcoholic tendencies, and eating every single fattening food you could imagine, it stopped there. I allowed myself 1 month of depression. Just one month to halt all the things I loved to do: Cooking, reading, working out, drawing, etc. And then I promised myself that I’d get back to my old self, and I wouldn’t dwell on such a common issue in every person’s life.

The end of the month was closely approaching and I still couldn’t stop crying. I hid it from my family because I know they were sick of seeing me that way. But they were still my family. They knew behind those dry eyes, I carried sadness and grief.

I remember coming home from work one day and my dad was the first to greet me as I walked through the door.

Hey Lara. How was your day?

Coldly. Fine. I have to go feed the cat.

I went into the kitchen and grabbed the cat food. I made my way down to our basement and at the bottom of the stairs I fell to my knees, cupped my face in my hands and began sobbing. It was such a random cry. Even I wasn’t expecting it.

After about a minute, I felt someone’s presence in front of me. It was my dad. He knelt down in front of me and just looked at me with pain in his eyes.

Lara, you need to stop. It’s been almost a month. I can see it in your eyes. You’re not fooling anyone-I see the look on your face day in and day out. You can’t move on if you’re still lingering. Life doesn’t make the moves for you. You have to.

I don’t remember what I said after that since nothing I said that entire month made sense.

But on that day

In that basement

With my dad knelt down in front of me

I finally began moving on.

I stopped eating like a filthy animal and got back on track. I started working out again (even though I loathed every minute of it for a few weeks). I began cooking again. Seeing my friends. Just getting back into the groove of things.

I honestly became better than I was before.

It’s easy to lose yourself when you’re in a relationship. Every decision you make revolves around the other person. You’re no longer doing things for yourself.

I got consumed in that. My love for another took over everything I wanted to do and instead of making my own decisions, I based every next move on whatever one he made first.

I realized how unhealthy that was. I started to do things I would have never done.

The most meaningful hobby I took up was art. I took a class in college and loved it so I continued a little bit after graduation. I stopped for a while, but got the urge again, so one day I ordered a bunch of art supplies on Amazon.

They were delivered the evening after my break-up.

Along with The Road Less Traveled. So eerie. I think I subconsciously knew I would need those items in the not so distant future.

In the summer, I enrolled in school. I hadn’t been in school for 3 years. That was HUGE.

I spent every moment of the summer doing something-whether it was going to the beach, dancing, some sort of event. I had the time of my life.

I even started dating again. And we ALL know my adventures with that!

And here I am.

2 more weeks left of the year.

I’m glad to say goodbye to 2013, but not because I think it was a shitty year. It was actually quite the opposite.

I’ve grown exponentially this past year.

I’m not as scared to try new things or to put myself out there.

My friendships are stronger.

I’m closer with my family.

And most importantly, I’m closer with myself. I have never been so happy being who I am in my entire existence. And I know that no matter what happens in life, I will ALWAYS have myself and that’s enough for a lifetime.

Lastly, I’m happy with my new relationship (Yeap. We’re official, now).

I have NO idea what the future holds for me and The Drummer. He makes me happy. And I like him. A lot. It sort of scares me sometimes, but for the most part it just makes me smile. I don’t take us too seriously right now because we’re just having so much fun and that’s how I want it to stay. But no matter what happens, at least I know that I’m able to have feelings for someone else again. And I’ll be able to do that after him, and whoever comes after him, and beyond (if it makes it that far).

***

I know Firework is one of those songs that got abused on the radio, but it holds so much meaning to me so that’s the song I’m going to end of this year with. The first time my ex and I broke up (which was WAY worse than this time because I was younger), I was driving to school one day and I was crying. I’d never heard this song and it came on the radio. To this day, whenever I hear it I get goose bumps.

Here’s to 2014. To new beginnings. To happiness.

To each and every one of you who has had to overcome a hurdle you were not prepared to jump over. It’s time to start fresh.

I know Taco said 2013 was going to be big, but I honestly have a HUGE feeling like 2014 is going to kick some serious ass. We’ll just have to wait and see.

And if you’re tired of them breaking you into two

When you feel like you’re out there on your own
Know there is someone watching over you
When out at sea feels nothing like a home
Oh sailor we will blow the wind like

And if you’re tired of them
Telling you what to do
I hope you know that you can sail right on
I hope you know you’ve got the ocean blue