When I was eighteen, everything familiar and comforting in my life had been blown away by the winds of change. I had gone away to college and thus suffered from homesickness, had to create a new life in a strange place, lost touch with many of my hometown friends, and I went through a difficult breakup. I wrote all about these things using a free version of this blog.
Five years later, with a college degree and more life experience under my belt, I have found myself in a similar predicament, yet simultaneously different. I am back under my parents’ roof and thus desiring more independence, I have to create a new life in a familiar place, my friends are either working full-time or are no longer nearby, and I am going through a difficult breakup. Oh, and I seem to forever be in need of a permanent full-time job. I write about all of these things using this blog, which I now own.
How has everything in my life changed while all remaining the same?
All the heartbreaks I endured in high school led me to the discovery of an effective method to instigate change and growth to support the flourishing of myself as an individual. The method is to create a to-do list, and then tackle it! It’s simple, yet super effective and rewarding. You can see my previous breakup-recovery to-do lists here, here, and here.
How to Bounce Back from a Breakup
- Keep applying for jobs. I know, this is probably the most eye-roll-inducing item on the list considering “applying to jobs” is all that I’ve done since May. I will land a job soon though, I’m positive of it.
- Clean my room and the spare room, which is essentially a disastrous extension of my room because it’s filled primarily with my own belongings. I don’t need that much shit! If most of it was thrown out, I wouldn’t even notice. Plus, by organizing my space, I am more prepared to move out.
- Get a haircut and paint my nails. Sure, they’re not necessarily transformative tasks, but I am well overdue for a haircut and painting my nails would make me feel fancy, which is important. I want to feel good about myself.
- Plan a weekend trip, then actually follow-through on it. It’ll be something to look forward to, which I definitely need.
- Lean on the friends that I have during this time of healing.
- When I get a job, fearlessly put myself out there, both professionally and casually. Perhaps I can make some new friends through work.
- Finish reading Don Quixote because I’ve been meaning to finish it for over a year, plus it’s hilarious, which I definitely need in my life right now.
- Resume reading my chakra book so I can begin to create chakra yoga classes. That will be a fulfilling project to work on and to share with my students.
- Do guided meditations for a few weeks to establish the habit of meditating. Meditation is medicine.
- Find something weekly to get excited about and to look forward to. This can be something as simple as treating myself to a nice meal or trying a new class at the gym.
- Free-write daily to alleviate my burdensome thoughts. Express myself and my creativity!
- Until I get a job, find ways to engage with people. This can be by making small talk with someone while I wait in line at the register or by offering someone I pass a compliment.
This list was a little harder to make now that I’m no longer on a college campus where there are more opportunities for social interactions and activities. I did the best that I can though and these challenges will help me cope. I’ll update you all on this list in a few weeks.
What is on your to-do list to enhance your life?
I wasn’t expecting to ever be single again, but here I am. Single. It’s still surreal, but that’s probably because it’s a fresh wound. We called it quits only yesterday.
So, how am I feeling? I’m both devastated and relieved, regretful yet confident, depressed but also accepting of it. Essentially, I’m feeling a mixed bag of emotions. My feelings are overwhelming and they ebb and flow, but it’s part of the breakup process, which I’ve become familiar with. I mean, it’s been a while since I’ve gone through this process, but it’s hard to forget something so emotionally messy.
To help myself with my healing process, and perhaps to help anyone else that is going through a break-up, I would like to share some notable lessons I have learned from the three relationships that I’ve had. Well…one of them was a confusing friends-with-benefits situation, but it taught me a lot, so I included it.
1. My First Love
My first girlfriend introduced me to the world of dating and lesbian relationships. She was my first kiss and my first love. She supported me during my horrific experience coming out to my family. I enjoyed my time with her during my senior year of high school until we broke up during my first semester of college.
Although she wasn’t a terrible girlfriend, she left much to be desired. We seldom hung out outside of work or her house. She never wanted to do any of the activities that I proposed to her, but she would feign interest and then flake last minute. So, she also had horrible communication skills, which I somehow overlooked until she broke up with me by completely ignoring me.
From that relationship, I learned that I wanted a girlfriend that made an effort to spend time with me. I also learned that if someone hints that they aren’t interested in you anymore (AKA by completely ignoring you), take the hint. It’s not worth chasing people if their heart isn’t in it. Not everything is meant to last forever, and that’s okay.
2. The Dick, AKA the Friends-With-Benefits Dick
I hate talking about this guy, but he’s important for the purpose of these “relationship lessons.” To summarize our shitty interaction that lasted too many months: he never spent time with me outside of a bedroom, he didn’t respect me at all, and he was only my “friend” (with conditions) until he got what he wanted from me.
I learned that I needed to follow my heart. I had wanted to end the relationship for weeks, but I was afraid to end it. Thus, we only stopped being FWB after he was “done” with me, and he made that clear when he never reached out to me again. Ultimately, I had chosen to protect my fears at the expense of myself, and it took a long time to forgive myself for that and to heal from the wounds he left.
The main takeaway: DON’T TAKE SHIT!!!!!
3. My Truest Love
I was introduced to my most recent girlfriend during the darkest period of my life: I was depressed from the devastating and shocking loss of my cousin. She supported me, cared for me…she was so patient and kind to me. We became close friends. She chased me from the very beginning because she wanted me to be hers, and even when I was hers, she never stopped chasing me. By that, I mean that she continuously prioritized me and made me feel wanted. She valued me as a person. She initiated dates with me, and thus, we’ve gone on many adventures together. Being in love with her made me want to come out to my family for a second time, and she supported me through that. The relationship I had with her is the longest relationship I’ve been in, and she’s been part of significant accomplishments in my life. Our relationship was really beautiful, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Although there were so many amazing aspects of our relationship, eventually they weren’t enough to sustain a healthy relationship. In fact, things became very challenging between us as adulthood became more demanding. As young adults trying to navigate the most tumultuous time of our lives, we had been suffering as individuals and bringing that negativity into our relationship. It is impossible to sustain a healthy relationship when both people are suffering.
When I realized that we were enduring a repetitive, toxic cycle, I began to reflect on the lessons from my previous relationships. For the first time in my life, I took my own advice.
I’m proud to have been confident in myself to end things before it became more toxic or before we grew to hate each other. I followed my heart, and it was super hard…it still is hard, but I know I made the right choice. I’m also proud that I practiced bravery and patience with her so that we were able to break up in person, face-to-face. She was able to walk away feeling as respected as possible, which is really important to me. Thus, we ended things on a rather positive note for a breakup, so there’s potential for reconnecting if that’s in our future.
I’m sure there are lessons from this most recent relationship, but it’s still too soon to know. The pain is too fresh to be objectively reflective. If/when that happens, I’ll be sure to share those lessons.
Do you have any relationship lessons that you would like to share? Please tell me in the comments below!
Droplets of rain struck my coat and dripped away, joining the puddle at my feet. I hugged myself as I stood underneath the lampost on the corner of the quiet street, waiting. Sighing, I checked my watch again. She was ten minutes late, which wouldn’t have been an issue if the coffee shop wasn’t closed and if it wasn’t pouring.
Eventually, the headlights of a car shone into my eyes as it parked across the street. Then I got a text.
I hurried toward the car, anxious and nervous to meet her. As I neared, she stepped out and took a long drag of her cigarette. Her hair was longer than it was in the pictures of her online profile, and the dark locks were draped loosely over her shoulders.
“Hey, how are you,” she asked nonchalantly, ignoring the rain.
“I’m okay. Wet.”
“I’m sorry for making you wait,” she said.
I shrugged, feigning indifference.
After some deliberation between us, and despite my hesitation to get into strangers’ cars, I climbed into the passenger seat beside her. The stench of cigarettes and cologne consumed me. She took one last drag of her cigarette before flicking it out of the window and shifting the car into gear. We drove a couple of blocks to another shop, which was also closing.
Desperate for a place to hang out, and despite my reluctance to invite strangers into my home, we were soon walking through the halls of my apartment building. She carried a case of beer and her backpack, and I fiddled with my keys in my pocket. I figured that my roommates would notice if something had happened to me in the living room.
The second we entered my apartment, I went to my room to change. The layers underneath my raincoat had become soaked not from the rain, but from my nervous sweat. When I returned to the living area, I found her already at home, sprawled out on my couch. I took a seat across from her, perched on the edge of my seat.
She passed me a bottle of liquid courage, which I graciously accepted. First dates are the worst. I didn’t even know if this constituted as a first date.
Was she having fun? Did she like me? Did she want to just be friends? Did she want to see me again?
My anxious thoughts were interrupted when she said she had just gotten out of a nearly two-year relationship.
I supposed dating was no longer on the table.
© 2019 Vic Romero
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The title of this post makes me laugh.
In all seriousness though, it is true. I rise before the sun does and I sleep well after it has fallen. This is primarily because I got a temporary full-time job!
I’ve actually been enjoying both the job and the grinding. It may be a little odd to be excited about joining the rat race as well as working a conventional 9-5 (it’s actually, 8:30-5:30pm…the grinding is real), but it’s true. I love it. I love working consistent, normal hours, going to the same place every day, seeing the same people…I’m not even being sarcastic. It’s such a nice shift from attending a large university where there was tons of volatility in your schedule, working a campaign job which had weird hours, and then being unemployed since November.
So yes, I’m finally in motion!
I’m unsure how long I will have this role, so I’ve continued my job search. Thus, when I’m not working, I’m job hunting, interviewing, and completing surveys for interviews. It’s been a little intense. I can’t wait to get a full-time job and be able to spend my free time reading. The only reading I’ve had the energy to do lately has been through Audible, which is better than not reading at all. In fact, thanks to Audible, I’ll be finished with Pride and Prejudice soon!
Anyway, the job itself is good. It’s not my “dream job,” but I’ve learned to express gratitude and to practice Santosha, or contentment. I’ve written about my realization that I need to find Santosha before, but I’ve noticed that I need to find it again. It all started on the second day of the job…
I was feeling bummed out because the work is not mentally stimulating. There’s nothing wrong with the job, but it is very boring most days. The dullness allows my mind to wander and to partake in my favorite activity: comparing myself to everyone else. (This time, I’m being sarcastic. The comparison-trap leads to my self-destruction).
My thoughts became consumed with Wow, I could have a career job right now, but instead I’m just answering phones and My friends have benefits, and I’m only getting paid hourly. Unsurprisingly, these self-pitying thoughts ruined my second day of work. After that, I realized that in order to not be miserable every day, and the only way to get as much as I can out of this experience, I have to change my perspective. That’s when I remembered Santosha, one of the Niyamas in Yoga philosophy. While practicing contentment, I realized that this is where the Universe wants me to be right now because the Universe totally conspired to get me this job.
First of all, I had an interview for this job back in…late November I believe, and I got the interview through a job agency. I went to the interview already resistant to the job, which was probably why I never got an offer. I was exuding all this negative energy to the Universe that I didn’t want a job offer for this position because I deemed that the job was beneath me. Now I know better than to judge a job so harshly, especially when I’m unemployed.
After that interview, I continued my bleak job search for months with the help of the temp agency. Then the holidays came around, I took the GRE, and I spend much-needed time with my sister who was home for break. Around the time my sister was preparing to return to school, I became antsier than I already was to get a job.
Then in January, I had a job interview through the temp agency for a job that seemed perfect. I willed the Universe to let me have it from the beginning too.
Well, the day I was supposed to hear back about the “desirable job,” I got a call from the agency about the job I had interviewed for back in November. Something hadn’t worked out with the person that they had hired and they needed a temp until they found someone externally. I was excited to have a job offer, even though it wasn’t the job that I wanted initially. Unlike last time, I wanted to accept it.
Before I committed, I called up the other recruiter to find out if I got the “desirable job.” Well, surprise, I didn’t get it, so I accepted this job that I now have!
This position was initially temp to permanent, but now that they want to hire externally, it’s just temporary. The fact that it was initially temp to perm frightened me because I didn’t want to be so committed to a mundane job, but now that it’s just temporary, I’ve been able to relax and really enjoy myself. Additionally, I’m working in an industry related to the field I want to be in, I’m interacting daily with people in this field, and I’m able to learn from them and network with them.
Aside from full-time job stuff, I’m still teaching yoga and I’m loving it. I want to update you all soon on some new things I’ve learned as a teacher! That’ll be another post though.
While I’m working full-time, I decided to post only once a week on Sunday mornings. If time permits, I’ll post during the week too. I’ll play it by ear.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading 🙂