She smiled shyly the first time she brought me flowers-
They were my favorite colors.
She wanted me to remember
That someone was thinking about me
And that I was not alone as I navigated my grief.
I later took pictures of the bouquet from all different angles
And sent the photos to all my friends
Who were so impressed by such thoughtfulness
She smiled proudly the next few times she gifted me a flower arrangement
Some were roses of different sizes,
Others were seasonal blooms
The flowers were to honor our anniversaries,
Or to celebrate my accomplishments
I took pictures of all those flowers
And I changed their water daily
To extend the time I could admire them before they wilted
At some point, her smiles weakened
Sometimes even tears stained her cheeks,
When she handed me beautiful flowers
In an attempt to seek forgiveness,
To seek reassurance of my love for her
I always accepted the flowers graciously
And put them in a vase
To be admired until they died, or until they stank too much
The last time she brought me a bouquet, she was crying hysterically
She had been waiting an hour for me
And I had been waiting for weeks for things to improve between us.
Her shoulders slumped as she offered me the flowers
This time…I told her to keep them
She put them in a vase,
Placed the vase on her nightstand
And sent me a picture.
© 2019 Vic Romero
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!
I stopped crying daily. I didn’t realize I had stopped crying daily until my girlfriend was talking about the “getting-an-internship” struggle. I empathized with her and said, “Yeah, that process sucks. It used to make me sad, but not nearly as sad as how I’ve been feeling now that I’m graduating and in need of a job.”
Then I stopped for a moment because I realized that I hadn’t cried about graduating and needing a job in quite some time. I haven’t been excessively stressed to the point where I make myself physically sick, nor have I been excessively distracting myself from reality. I’ve been productive and calm.
She asked me how and why I’ve been so much calmer lately and I surmised that it was influenced by my daily yoga practice.
She agreed and pointed out how before when I wasn’t doing it every day, I would regret not doing it that day.
I added that I feel a little more…confident in myself. By that I mean, I know I’ll be okay after graduation. I’m unsure what I’ll be doing yet but…I think when I invested in myself by upgrading my blog, I’ve begun to see more of my value. Although I’m still working out the goals for this blog as well as what I want to do to achieve them, I feel more confident than ever that I will get to where I want to be. This feeling has manifested in other areas of my life, including my thesis. I’m more confident than ever in regards to me being able to complete an excellent thesis.
It’s awesome seeing how one small decision to practice yoga daily has affected so many areas of my life. The online yoga community I’m part of has helped inspire me to start taking action, also fueled by the fact that the ending of my undergraduate career is the perfect time to take some risks! I am not tied down to anything, I don’t have a ton of responsibilities yet, and I’m young. Now is the time to take my passions further!
I’ve been considering to invest more into my yoga practice and I am also considering higher education again. I haven’t thought about it since September but doing my thesis (and killing it!) has reinspired me that maybe conducting research is one of my callings. I’m unsure still, but I’m open to the journey!
I randomly decided to listen to a podcast I used to jam to quite a bit called, Truth + Dare. It’s hosted by two women and they talk about real stuff honestly. The one I started listening to yesterday was about how to overcome setbacks. One of the women talked about how they utilize Netflix as a means of distraction rather than actually dealing and working through the challenge.
And then it hit me: I’ve been distracting myself a lot lately. I’m not watching a ton of TV or crocheting just because it’s fun (although it is) but I’m avoiding stuff.
I spent today thinking about this more and I’m avoiding myself. My feelings. I’m trying different activities to temporarily placate my anguish, but I’m not working through it.
After I had a mediocre job interview the other day and was unnecessarily mean to my sweet parents, my sister confronted me and I had my first real talk toward self-improvement.
why don’t you care that you hurt me? what changed? now you just don’t love me…you don’t even like me? you have no respect for me? why don’t you care? i was good to you…i’ve given you all my love and showed compassion for you, although you hurt my heart
BUT I’M STRONGER NOW!!! I REFUSE TO SUCCUMB TO THE PAIN THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO CAUSE ME!!!!
but why are you doing this? who are you? i thought i mattered to you. i thought you loved me.
I ALWAYS KNEW THAT I LOVED YOU MORE, HEY, WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR? HURTING EACH OTHER UNTIL ONE’S SORE, I ALWAYS KNEW I LOVED YOU MORE
because i’d never do that to you…don’t you realize the hell you’ve put me through? all i wanted was you…
MAYBE THIS IS REVENGE FOR ALL THE CRIMES I COMMITTED TO MY FORMER FRIENDS…
no…i still don’t deserve this. i’ve apologized for my petty sins. but if this is the same thing as before, it has nothing to do with me…maybe she’s struggling.
© 2014 Vic Romero
Today was like a lukewarm shower: it’s hot enough to be comfortable and do what you got to do, but it’s too cold to really enjoy the shower and feel refreshed.
My day actually ended with a lukewarm shower because the showers on my side of the dorm are fucked up again.
Baby, I don’t want to see you cry
It breaks my heart every time
-I see your beautiful face crumble
And tears stream from your light-brown eyes
I just want to hold your body against mine
As you shake in time to your cries
I want to kiss it all away
Until the tears stop flowing and you feel okay
© 2014 Vic Romero
It’s easy to forget when you never bother to remember
You never use pencils, you have no need for erasers
You have no need for anything really, not even me
I’d like to not need you, but that’s not how it is, unfortunately
I’ve drawn a few sketches of you and me together
And I know I’d be delusional to think I’d want these memories to last forever
But I was hoping that I would at least have a chance to color them in
To make these drawings come to life, but instead they’ll just be sketches of what could have been
I’m not going to lie, I have cried a few times over this
Your cheeks have probably remained dry, it’s not me you will ever miss
It’s fine, I will get over it
Erase all of my memories and nostalgic shit…
And perhaps I’ll put my pencil down for awhile.
*images from Google…I don’t draw
the incoming week looms ahead
i look upon it with dread
i feel so weak in my knees
i wonder how i’m still standing sometimes
i just want to lie here forever
i want to not want
but only sometimes
i will be able to move on