The 9 Stages of Heartbreak

Falling in love in your 20s is different from falling in love in your teenage years. Nobody  forgets the first rush of excitement at claiming somebody as your own and allowing someone to claim you too. Everything is new, and heightened, and let’s not forget about all of those hormones. So many hormones.

That isn’t what I want to talk about, however. I want to talk about the mid-to-late 20s kind of love, where you graduate from going to the movies as an excuse to make out, or sleepless nights in a cramped XL twin bed in your dorm room when your roommate is out of town. Oh no, that was child’s play. You and your significant other have moved on to shopping at second hand stores for that George Foreman grill that would be so great for your kitchen! Planning vacations together, whose parents should we spend Thanksgiving with this year? Talking about the future in un-vague terms, maybe even adopting a kitten or a puppy.  The heavy kind of, commitment and compromise kind of love. The first time you ever envisioned your future as inextricably tied to another individual, and well, the thought of sleeping next to them every night for the rest of your life, feels as natural as breathing. Right?

And then one day it doesn’t. For whatever reason. One day this future that you are so certain about falls out from under you, and with it – every single thing you ever thought you knew about love, and promises, and getting wrinkly with another person turns out to be drudgery, a sham, and you enter the first of nine stages of heartbreak.

Stage 1: Pain. So much pain. Literally, your heart hurts. Your body hurts. You do the groveling thing, the begging thing, and perhaps, worst of all – the “why?” thing. When you ask questions that you don’t really want to know the answers to, about why s/he doesn’t love you anymore. Then you ruminate on this, as you lay catatonic in a bed of snot and tears.

Stage 2: Anger. You had been together for – how long? Two years? Six years? How can they throw all of that away just like that? How dare they put you through this pain? How dare they not love you anymore? This stage is a slight improvement on being doubled over and nauseous from debilitating depression, but make no mistake, you are just as preoccupied with the ex, just channeling the emotion differently.

Stage 3: Acceptance (kind of). Okay. Maybe you don’t want them back anymore. In hindsight, maybe you didn’t bring out the best in each other. Maybe it was a slow drift away from one another, and toward the end even you got a little bored of Friday night Thai food and West Wing. Speaking of Thai – you passed by their favorite restaurant today and had a minor panic attack. You might not want them back, but everything still reminds you of the ex.

Stage 4: Latency. This is a phase of nothingness. You realize you have to shower eventually, and slowly ease back into the day to day of things. Maybe you even go to a bar, praying you don’t run into the ex. Your friends are grateful that you are slowly returning to a semblance of your former self, and even you realize that getting through the day is a teensy bit easier.

Stage 5: Hormones. One day you catch yourself creepily ogling an attractive stranger. Congratulations. You finally started noticing the opposite sex again. You suddenly realize you are single and horny.

Stage 6: Whore-dom. You start half-ass dating. A date here, two there, sprinkle in some hook-ups. Oh you are definitely still keeping tabs on the ex, though, because you will be damned if they move on before you.

Stage 7: Clarity: Oh! You meet someone you actually like. Not just for their body either. It is an eye-opener. You can like someone, and be liked again. It’s too soon though. Too soon to want to claim someone for yourself, or to allow yourself to be claimed by anyone, again. One might call this the rebound phase. Just don’t string it along for too long. Nobody wants to be at the receiving end of that.

Stage 8: Single-dom. You are single. In fact, you have been single for a good while. Sometimes you enjoy not having to answer to anybody, star-fishing the bed, and being selfish with the last bite of dessert. Other times, you get lonely. When you do get lonely, though, your thoughts don’t immediately gravitate toward the ex. They still cross your mind from time to time, but more out of curiosity. One day you hear that they are dating someone new. You expect this news to sting badly, and maybe it does sting a bit. But after that initial moment passes, you realize that you are okay.

Stage 9: You meet someone. You like this person. You look forward to spending time with this person, and you catch yourself thinking about the way they squeeze their eyes shut when they laugh at something really funny. Or the way you feel after a night of cheap beer and B-movies, and they are getting up, ready to leave, but it’s late, and you don’t want them to go just yet. You start making small talk, and your palms start to sweat, and your gut is in knots, and all of a sudden you realize that you really, really want to kiss this person, and you don’t even realize that you are finally, truly, over your ex – because that was the past, and this is the future, and well, the future just holds so much promise.

 

 

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Amen.

“Everything is more complicated than you think, you only see a tenth of what is true. There are a million little strings attached to every choice you make, you can destroy your life every time you choose. But maybe you wont know for twenty years and you may never ever trace it to its source and you only get one chance to play it out… just try and figure out your own divorce.

And they say there is no fate; but there is: it is what you create. And even though the world goes on for eons and eons, you are only here for a fraction of a fraction of a second, most of your time is spent being dead or not yet born; but while alive, you wait in vain, wasting years, for a phone call or a letter or a look, from someone or something to make it alright… but it never comes, but it seems to but it doesnt really.

So you spend your time in vague regret or vaguer hope that something good will come along, something to make you feel connected, something to make you feel whole, something to make you feel loved; and the truth is: i feel so angry! And the truth is: i feel so fucking sad! And the truth is: i’ve felt so fucking hurt for so fucking long and for just as long i’ve been pretending i’m ok, just to get along just for… i dont know why.

Maybe because no one wants to hear about my misery; because they have their own.

Well: fuck everybody!

Amen.”

From Synecdoche, New York.

 

PS Charlie Kaufman makes me realize, the human experience, my trials, tribulations, all of it – is so cliched…and yet somehow we’re all in this together, right? Heartening, in it’s own way.

 

 

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I have completely strayed from God.

And, I don’t care.

Thoughts of a godless world have always scared me and struck me as arrogant.

It really doesn’t anymore though. It doesn’t prevent me from seeing the goodness in the world. Or striving to contribute to it.

It doesn’t change much of anything.

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Zou bisou bisou, and future stuff.

DISCLAIMER: Everything after the video is…wishy washy, pedantic, stoner, sleepy girl talk. Meaning, pedantic in philostoner way, not that I’m actually high.

I ❤ Mad Men.

At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the trajectory of this season but then I realized that’s because, like myself, Mad Men is growing up. Growing old.

Maybe it’s because of the writer’s strike and the year+ gap between last season and this season, or the fact that I’m actually waiting a full week to watch new episodes because I’m all caught up – or the fact that now they are now in a time period rife with historical events and turning points that were hammered into our brains in school – but – this season is just so different.

It’s no longer some glamorously dark period show, when Don and his buddies, were at the peak of their game – with the women, the constant drinking and smoking, the philandering. Nope. Not anymore.

They are beginning to be regarded as old fogies, and the new generation is coming up, and it is depressing to see that way of life become obsolete and dated, despite how unhealthy it was. As Roger said in some episode this season that I can’t remember the name of “When is everything going to go back to normal?”

This entire season seems to be about a reluctant meeting of the past and the future. My mad men can taste the bittersweetness of it all, without really knowing what it means.  It’s sad. And the answer to your question Roger is that –

It’s not ever going back to normal. You can’t go backward. Life: A lesson in impermanence, as a friend of mine would say. This is my blog. So I’m going to bring this all back to me.

They say (not some vague “they”…SCIENCE) that as you grow older the neurons in your brain begin to fire more slowly, and you absorb less of the world around you, thus time seems to go by more quickly.

When we were all children, summer vacation was an infinite stretch of time, the duration seemingly lasting as long as the school year itself (I liked how it was put in tonight’s episode of Mad Men).  As we grow older, days blur into weeks, and months, and eventually the years pass by one after another, without distinction.

At a certain age, I fear many of us reach some sort of state of arrested development. Locked in on one certain time period that is the last real, tangible, vivid memory, that we are constantly nostalgic for or reminisce on (not always in a good way), that we use as a reference point for other things that come along in the future.

It’s dumb.
Maybe it is a past lover. But reminisce all you want, close your eyes and try to rewind time, to your fondest memories and your most torrid. You may feel a twinge (hopefully not more, if it is a past lover and you’re really over it), but it will never hold a candle to what you felt in that moment.

Maybe it is your travels. I have fine memories of the London summer, lying in Hyde Park, sharing laughs with friends, feeling my heart awash with the warm tinglies of a budding friendship. I remember it, but there are details I’m missing, and it’s not nearly as satisfying as it was in the moment.

It is all in the past, memories are essential, but they are fragmented and flawed, and you can’t capture them and take them with you. Sad that times of pure unadulterated joy are fleeting, and merciful that I can’t really go back to times of heartbreak and anguish.  Life is linear, and that is as it should be.

So even though I’m so tempted to regress and curl up and watch Rugrats episodes and eat Cheetos because the prospect of adulthood is frightening and I don’t even know what to expect, I will never be a child again. I will never be able to revisit the love of past paramours again (thank gawd), and daydreaming about my past travels sucks because I’d much rather be back at those places, and new ones. When I think back on memories, I never feel it as if I am feeling it myself, with immediacy, but it is more like I’m watching a film, where I am being played by someone who looks just like me, and I can deeply empathize with her without really living through it.

Out of the precious few moments I have in this life (because life is too damn short), there is only the future, there is no true past. It’s a collection of fragments that our brain randomly holds on to, and shared experiences and brief moments of spiritual connection with others. I realize that this leaves me with only now. Now. Right now. And the promise of the future.

It is much more fun to imagine a future than to dwell on the past anyway.
Not entirely sure if this was coherent, but whatever. Bedtime por moi.

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Midnight in Paris

I think everyone with a romantic streak idealizes history. The thought that there were generations upon generations that lived and died and loved and thought deep thoughts and felt the same things I feel now before I was even born blows my mind and makes me feel my insignificance acutely.

I always wanted to be born long ago, with the stipulation that I’m white and have perfect vision (my legal blindness would be crippling and obvious, pre-invention of contact lenses). Maybe as one of the March sisters. Or the other Bennett sister. Yes, I’ve always felt anachronistic and wished for the past. I’m a silly girl with escapist tendencies.

So that’s what this movie is about. Being present.

I bought Midnight in Paris today, after watching it twice, I’m convinced it is up there on my list of most beloved movies along with Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Mean Girls, and The Mummy (I’ve seen it probably over 50 times).

My sister said it is DELIGHTFUL.

In the privacy of the internet, I’ll say it made me wish I lived in the 1920s and 30s for the sole purpose of banging Hemingway. Bow chicka wow wow.

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Bukowski

I am so irredeemably taken with Bukowski right now. I’ve always been fond of the idea of him, but never got into his work…his poetry isn’t exactly for the meek of heart. While I appreciated his vulgarity from afar, I never reveled in it like I am right now.

Don’t know what that says about me. Perhaps I’m more crass myself at 25 years of age. But I am delighted.

My favorite poem right now…

Quiet Clean Girls in Gingham Dresses

all I’ve ever known are whores, ex-prostitutes,
madwomen. I see men with quiet,
gentle women  I see them in the supermarkets,
I see them walking down the streets together,
I see them in their apartments: people at
peace, living together. I know that their
peace is only partial, but there is
peace, often hours and days of peace.

all I’ve ever known are pill freaks, alcoholics,
whores, ex-prostitutes, madwomen.

when one leaves
another arrives
worse than her predecessor.

I see so many men with quiet clean girls in
gingham dresses
girls with faces that are not wolverine or
predatory.

“don’t ever bring a whore around,” I tell my
few friends, “I’ll fall in love with her.”

“you couldn’t stand a good woman, Bukowski.”

I need a good woman. I need a good woman
more than I need this typewriter, more than
I need my automobile, more than I need
Mozart; I need a good woman so badly that I
can taste her in the air, I can feel her
at my fingertips, I can see sidewalks built
for her feet to walk upon,
I can see pillows for her head,
I can feel my waiting laughter,
I can see her petting a cat,
I can see her sleeping,
I can see her slippers on the floor.

I know that she exists
but where is she upon this earth
as the whores keep finding me?

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Ms. Apple

Fiona Apple is my goddess divine. Her voice, her words, she seduces my senses every time. Sigh. Hers was also the first concert I ever went to.

I’m addicted to “Slow Like Honey” right now.

Though dreams can be deceiving 
Like faces are to hearts 
They serve for sweet relieving 
When fantasy and reality lie too far apart

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