I will never forget the first time someone broke up with me. I was a freshman in high school and he did it right before I had to go onstage to perform for a packed audience of prospective students. I was playing Flounder in The Little Mermaid at the time (probably one of my most endearing roles to date, just saying). The costume was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever worn onstage- think blue unitard, a ridiculous amount of face paint and a fish suit made from felt. My job was to run around smiling throughout the entire number and acting like all that was under the sea was completely fascinating. Well. This is a lot easier said than done when you’ve just had your heart broken. But somehow, I did it. There were tears running down my face the entire time but I fooled an entire room and I figured something out that day. Boys will break your heart.
I like to think I’ve come a long way since that day. Over and over again boys have come along and shattered my hopes/dreams. The stories that I have accumulated over the years are truly comical. Comical in a tragic way but amusing nonetheless. I’ve been dumped via text messages, emails, face to face conversations, pretty much any and every form of communication that existed at the time. The greatest common factor between them all is that they always suck. The degree of suckage varies but it’s ever present.
And I started to realize, no matter how bad you break, you have to turn it around. You have to win. Because as we’ve all learned from Game of Thrones, you win or you die. I don’t see death as a practical option ergo the only alternative is to fucking win.
How do you win?
I never thought I’d be saying this but I think we can take a page out of Khloe Kardashian’s book from the chapter titled “The Revenge Body”. From personal experience, I have never been more motivated to get in the best shape of my life than after someone broke up with me. It was a healthy way to work out the negative energy and as vain as it is, when I look good I feel good. That being said, don’t be stupid. Don’t starve yourself. Food can be nutritious and delicious, which is more than you can say about any man at this point.
Whenever I was having moments of weakness or started to feel sorry for myself, I turn to the old theory of schadenfreude. There is always someone out there who has it worse than me. Thankfully, none of my breakups have involved children or apartments. I haven’t been legally bound to someone or spent a quarter of my life creating memories that are shot to hell. And if that isn’t making me feel better, I find comfort in knowing that someone out there is looking at me thinking, “Wow, I’m so glad that’s not me. That really sucks.” Schadenfreude is a beautiful, double-edged sword. If someone else can find pleasure in my pain then I feel like I’m fulfilling some civic duty. At least my heartache is making the world a better place.
Remember all that time you put into this piece of shit person that broke you? Well, now you have every excuse to be completely selfish and pour all of your energy into becoming a new and improved version of you; a you that is totally fabulous on your own. And the more fabulous you get, the more you win. Make a power walking playlist to listen to every time you’re in danger of bumping into He Who Is Not Worth Naming. I’ve shared mine for inspiration.
1. “Mr. Know It All” – Kelly Clarkson
2. “Irreplaceable” – Beyonce
3. “Miss Movin’ On” – Fifth Harmony
4. “FU” – Miley Cyrus
5. “So What” – P!NK
6. “Best Thing I Never Had” – Beyonce
7. “Back to Black” – Amy Winehouse
8. “What Goes Around” – Justing Timberlake
9. “Somebody That I Used To Know” – Gotye
10. “Want U Back” – Cher Lloyd
11. “Roar” – Katy Perry
12. “Dancing On My Own” – Robyn
13. “Ring The Alarm” – Beyonce
14. “Tonight I’m Getting Over You” – Carly Rae Jepsen
15. “Crazy Beautiful Life” – Ke$ha
Surround yourself with mantras. As I’ve mentioned previously, I discovered some of my favorite quotations, idioms, phrases after I got dumped. Again, I will share a few for inspiration.
And perhaps most importantly, take it one day at a time. Let yourself feel what you need to. I’m still trying to figure that part out. Lean on your friends, throw yourself into work, go dancing, start a blog, whatever you need to do. And one day, you’ll wake up and you won’t be broken anymore. You’ll be whole again. When that day comes, you will know you’ve won.