In 2018 I experienced my first long-term relationship.
On New Year’s day of 2019, we broke up.
Talk about ringing in the new year, right? This was my first true experience learning that I could love someone, something I never knew I could feel. I learned about infatuation, obsession, love pains, growth, feelings, and control. I learned that my romantic love does not mean the other person loves back. So obviously, when we ended I made a DIY “Love for Dummies” course for myself and asked everyone: “What is the meaning of love to you?”
After the breakup, I whipped my hair back and forth and traveled from Syracuse to DC, Los Angeles, Utah, Colorado, San Francisco, and Miami. I’ve been flying, so travels without a car slowly emptied my bank account but filled my soul with my chaperone Lyft and Uber strangers and their accounts on love and life.
A handful of people initially responded with, “That’s a deep question.”
“I don’t know.”
“There is no real definition.”
And my favorite, “I can’t answer that in public.”
Why is it that love, something that we search for so badly, is something way too deep to handle and express completely?
I was confused by my love towards my ex. I was confused about why he didn’t believe in a head-over-heels love anymore. I didn’t understand how I could be so deeply invested, and in the blink of an eye (or plane ride), it could end. Asking what the meaning of love is to strangers and friends was my way of distracting myself from my pain. You know, that pain that makes you want to fly out and throw pebbles at your ex’s window, hoping he’ll prance like Prince Charming with a box of chocolates, saying, “Let’s do this again!” The pain where you eat a gallon of ice cream or fuck everyone you see to feel something again or poke fun at cats chasing dogs while sobbing on your Instagram story.
Does everyone have a little bit of heartbreak lingering inside of them?
Maybe that’s why people lose belief in love altogether.
I read articles saying that after a break up you mustn’t talk for 21 days and use that time to process and love yourself. Okay, easier said than done.
Fake it till you make it?
So I tell myself I am on my self-love journey. In the beginning, I cried silently every night while surfing on friends’ couches, trying to understand if the love I had for my ex was real. I kept going back and forth on how, if it was real, we would have stayed together. It has been a weird, melodramatic time where he consumes my mind during the night, while during the day I chant “FUCK IT.” What kept me grounded? I got up each morning, slurped up a cup of coffee, did some yoga and conquered my days after each bedtime waterslide.
I am dealing with it. Okay?
Something I struggled with in my relationship was leading my own life and loving myself. I was comfortable in what we had even though we did not share the same feelings for each other, but also trapped in my problems. I wanted to make an EP but didn’t. I wanted to write a screenplay. Didn’t do that either. I wanted to travel to Argentina. Again, zip. I leaned on him for positive thoughts and problem-solving.
A few weeks into being alone, I woke up with a notification from co-star, an incredible app about one’s astrological signs, saying “Don’t look at your phone first thing in the morning.” So I picked up the book Outrageous Openness (given to me by a dear friend, a 21st-century witch and killer entrepreneur, on trusting the Divine and one’s intuition), turned to a random page, and received a great chant for the year:
Let what wants to come, come. Let what wants to go, go.
If it is mine, it will stay. If not, whatever is better will replace it.
I asked the ex-man recently if we truly were done, to which he responded, “Sadly, I think so.” Okay Iara, he has gone. Life must continue.
It’s hard to believe that you can be your own cheerleader when you’re in the heat of heartbreak, but what I’ve learned on this journey is that all the friends and momentary connections with strangers, nature and myself are little pom pom’s cheering me on in my life. It’s a decision I have to choose every day.
Heartbreak is a crack opening the insides of each human. It surely has opened mine. In that crack, there is mucho light trying to get out and reach more things and people.
That’s why each of us is a flash of light, ready to capture new and old sprouting moments and memories.
I will always cherish the memories my ex and I had together. I am grateful now. This crack has given me time to understand my heart and what keeps it pumping through—finally outlining that screenplay, writing this post, learning how to make a beat on Garageband (not amazing but it’s a start), using a hair mask for my super dry hair and appreciating the process of healing my heart with self love.
Love is a decision. Choose it for yourself.
Thank u, ex. (obviously feeling like Ariana G.)
Here’s to looking at my life like I looked at him.