As a precursor, I want to make it known that no, this isn’t exclusively a feminist topic. But it is one that’s been weighing heavily on my mind, and it is one that I’ve found common ground with between my experience and the feminist beliefs I hold so dear to my heart.
Look. Heartbreak sucks. It hurts. It’s painful and it’s weird and it makes you question a lot. But a huge component of heartbreak, a defining outcome that determines whether you let it defeat you and keep you in a state of hurting or if you’ll rise from the ashes like a phoenix, is resiliency. When life breaks you down, will you be resilient? Will you use the pain to create strength? Will you stand up, dust yourself off, and become better from it?
The person who broke my heart isn’t a bad person. He’s a really good person, actually. Which SUCKS. I kinda wanna hate him, but I can’t, because he doesn’t really deserve it. Things just didn’t work, and I respect and accept that. However, that doesn’t mean coming to grips with that didn’t hurt like. a. bitch. It still kind of does every now and then. But I’ve learned so much about myself and life in general from it.
Being with him was fun. We laughed a lot, ate a lot, wasted time, and just generally were together a lot. But a strong relationship that does not make. It takes emotional compatibility, and that just wasn’t something we had.
Breaking up hurt. It does for everyone. It took a lot out of me, and I’m still trying to reach a point of being completely comfortable again. But one thing that has helped me an unbelievable amount has been my friends.
It’s been a few weeks of late night crying. Deep talks. Hugs out of the blue because it was apparent that a hug was needed. Silent understanding. Going on Tinder (yikes). Typical post-breakup affirmations like “he totally doesn’t deserve you” and “you’re gonna find better.” Not believing the post-breakup affirmations. Being physically threatened when I don’t believe the post-breakup affirmations. (Thanks, Kayla.)
But it’s also been a few weeks of ice cream, laughing, laying around in each other’s company, having a really good time and making friends with people I really didn’t see myself being friends with before the breakup (like his ex before me, who is actually really cool and sweet). It’s been self-discovery and realizing things I couldn’t have realized if I were with him. It’s been surprisingly good, and despite the occasional wave of emotion, it’s been happy. A kind of happy I didn’t think would exist without him.
I’m a deeply emotional person. Ask any one of my friends, and they’ll confirm that. I have so much love in my heart to give, and I didn’t understand any other way to use it besides to give it away to a boy. But this has proven to me that giving that love away to a boy shouldn’t be my first priority, or even my second or third. I should be pouring this love into myself. My friends. My family. My life. Creating a stronger, better me with that love. And one day, maybe someone will come into my life and share it with me. But until then, I will grow into someone who is independent, strong, capable, and dauntless, someone that embodies the feminist belief. As feminist icon Maya Angelou said, “I can be changed by what happens to me, but I will not be reduced by it.” I will blossom into a human manifestation of empowerment. I will rise.