The Thing About Heartbreak

5 Feb

The thing about heartbreak is that sometimes, before it happens, we build it up to be something that it isn’t. We imagine it being painful and beautiful and raw. We imagine they will break our heart, and we’ll feel the way that Billy Joel does when he sings “And So It Goes”. We imagine shedding a single tear, as we kiss them one last time and say goodbye forever. The moment rips our hearts from our chests, but also culminates in the most beautiful art in our universe. Gentle tears flow down our cheeks as soft notes on a piano, and we wonder into a world of beauty and loss. We shed our naive skins, and slowly we become wiser, calmer, until finally we are overcome with peace.

Only… in practice heartbreak isn’t quite like that. We sob in their cars, rubbing our wet snot into dirty sweatshirts. We feel more like Linkin Park than Mozart, and find ourselves wishing we could rip off the headphones. It’s sad- and not just heart-wrenching, it’s pathetic. Here we are weeks later, writing them letters in the hope that it might ease this confusion, but knowing that if they write back you will back at square one. We call their number hoping they will answer, and they hang up when they do. What the hell are we doing?

You wish that you could smile softly when you heard their name; slightly sad, but glad that you had shared love with them. But when their name comes up in conversation, you desperately feel the need to tell everyone, everyone, about every single stupid, selfish thing they did. “It wasn’t me”, you hear yourself say out loud. You wish their friends would stop talking to them, and tell them that they suck. You still care about them, so you don’t really want that, only… you do.

We’re doing heartbreak totally wrong. But that’s okay, I guess. It’s not a competition. One day we’ll make it though this messy, dark forest of whiny emo music and birds that sometimes chirp sadly, but also sometimes take a shit directly on your head. Sometimes it isn’t beautiful and painful. Sometimes it’s just stupid and painful. Sometimes love ends, and it doesn’t wind up making you wiser and calmer and generally better all-around. Sometimes it just makes you angry and hurt, and you deal with all that stuff until eventually you just kind of forget or move one. You know what? Maybe that’s okay. Maybe it was worth it.

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