A letter from the broken-hearted girl


Emma Tanner, News Editor

I started off this school year with a sore heart. I lacked the enthusiasm and wonder of my freshman year. My change in maturity was partly to blame for that, but the elephant in the room was the fact that I had been dumped the day before.

I had never been through real heartbreak before. I heard it in songs and from the mouths of those who had been hurt in that cruel, indescribable way. My heart had been guarded like a bank vault from the time I was young, but I allowed myself to be vulnerable in college. It was a new start for me, I thought, so it was due time I changed. 

“I think I’m getting dumped today,” was the text I sent to my best friend the day my (now-ex) girlfriend asked to meet in a place we’d never been to before. 

To quote “Friends,” we were on a break. We had been for four days. I waited with bated breath for any sign of fondness from her, but all I got was a text asking to meet me thirty minutes away from my home. I was nearly vomiting the whole way there.

Cue me crying in my car in an empty park. I had worried myself sick over the final verdict on my relationship, one I didn’t have a choice in. Nearly a year of my time had been watered down to a two-minute conversation. I thought back to all of the things I gave up or turned down to spend time with her. Just a moment of her time was like gold to me.

I am not saying I was completely blameless. My standards of wrongness were different from hers. I could forgive an argument while she could not. Our breakup was so sudden, though, that I felt blindsided by it. 

In gaining her, I lost myself. I tossed aside any interest that didn’t align with what I thought she would approve of. I attempted to make myself the oh-so stereotypical “cool girl.” She never asked me to, but I felt an obligation to be ever-available to her. I became someone I didn’t even recognize. 

Looking back, I can see the rose colored glasses I wore for my first love. I was eighteen with a naivete to relationships. My previous experience included high school boyfriends that I was less-than-stellar to, so I didn’t know what to do with myself when I felt real love toward someone. I loved the rush of something new. It was invigorating. I ignored any flaws or cracks in the foundation of our “perfect” relationship. 

Love is so much easier to put into words than heartache. I was a poetic mess while I was in love, but it has been an uphill battle to express to my family everything I am feeling. My responses are short and rapid-fire. Yes, my heart hurts. Yes, I feel lost. No, I haven’t eaten. Yes, I’ll do it soon. 

Grief is an expression of love. That ache is so much worse when the person you’re grieving is still there and you have the unfortunate luck of seeing them at least once a week. Seeing her exist in the same space as me feels almost voyeuristic. My biggest fault is my ability to love endlessly.

Ever since, I have attempted to focus on myself. I am not one to prioritize my health and well-being. I started yoga. I went to therapy for the first time in six years. I have tried to eat healthier. My progress is not linear. I have stumbled and fallen. I have cried in my car after school more days than I would like to admit. Healing of any kind is not perfect.

I have a distaste for an ending without closure. I never got mine and I have to live with the fact that I never will. Not every ending is perfect and things seldom end the way you want them to. The best thing I can do for myself is let go. I have to learn to exist without someone who was once a main player in my life. We are both adults who made our own mistakes that we have to live with. 

I know I will not be fine for a while, but that’s okay. Heartbreak is slow and painful, but it does not last forever.