WARNING: This is going to be a very whiny post about a very basic bitch problem that probably has zero relevance to anyone…so feel free to not read this. And apologies if you do and end up hating me.
Ever since my relationship met a grisly and increasingly unpleasant end, I have been keeping busy with the usual: nights out on the town getting drunk with the girls, horror movie marathons to remind myself that worse things can happen (though demonic possession doesn’t seem half as bad as getting dumped after four years because he was “never into it” but I desist), sleepovers and pool days, day drinking now that no one is monitoring my alcohol intake, and pretty much everything and anything involving the presence of others. Needless to say, after five weeks of this I am utterly and completely exhausted. I have never been a very social person, preferring to go out maybe once or twice in the week and one of those instances being a quick lunch, and this marathon of activities has completely drained me. And it’s not over yet! No, if anything, it seems to be getting worse. I don’t really mean to complain (ok I do because I am EXHAUSTED) and I am extremely grateful for my friends, old and new, who have supported me through this hell (which is nowhere near to being over), but can I just stay home?! Or can they come over to my house? Better yet; can I please be alone? Just for a few days?! Because I have work outside of work. Actually, I have a whole list of responsibilities that need attending to (such as cleaning my apartment) and have been grossly neglecting since classes seemingly ended. But, you see, when you’re a graduate student beginning her thesis classes never end! I am supposed to be reading for my graduate exam, prepping the question I have to submit on my area of emphasis for said graduate exam, looking at PhD programs or MSc programs and internships or possible jobs for Spring 2017 (the latter) and Fall 2017 (the former). I am also supposed to be editing three research papers and submitting them for publishing and choosing at least one conference to attend next academic year. Amongst my other responsibilities: getting my driver’s license (the explanation for my lack thereof requires its own blog post), negotiating more hours at work (for which I need to not be exhausted from my social life so I can appear to be a far better employee than I am), and improving my writing. Instead, I have plans to go to the movies tonight (thus spending money I need to save), plans for a get together at friend’s tomorrow night, and plans for a girls’ day the next day. In general, this constant going out is taking a huge chunk out of my budget at a time when it is already severely limited. But, of course, it doesn’t end there, I have to set dates next week for seeing a friend who recently got married and that I haven’t seen in months and another that is going through a break-up and we are just beginning to hang out.
Part of my relationship’s utter failure had to do with the fact that I gave up everything for my ex and that included friends and things I enjoyed doing. Our lives revolved around his family, friends, and hobbies. My family and friends were forgotten (it was nearly impossible to see them because my ex consumed all my time with his plans) and I was unable to keep pursuing my own interests (like reading and writing, hiking, and going to the beach). In this whole “building a new life for myself” post-breakup period I swore to cultivate friendships with people I had neglected and people who had shown great interest in getting to know me. The only person I talked to and was close to emotionally, was my ex and that put a severe strain on our relationship and I know I need to be independent and have a social network before I can even consider dating. But this is too much. It’s summer and I want to lay out alone on the beach with a book or watch Netflix in my pajamas all day. Or write a blog post with no interruptions! I find a lot of comfort in being alone and I think it’s important that everyone learn to be alone. For four years I was never ever alone because my S.O. was always there and my greatest fear after breaking up was that I would be suddenly overwhelmed with so much time by myself all I would do is sit and cry and dwell on what I’ve lost. So I went into super-socialite gear and began filling my calendar with activities. The repercussion of that has been an inability to be by myself because everyone wants to spend time with me (horrendous, I know). Apparently my recently-dumped self is utterly fun and it’s because I am aware no one wants to hear me profess my undying love for the jackass who broke my heart or obsess about every single thing he might be doing, so I force myself to not feel anything and have a good time. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know what’s an act and what’s real. And this is where I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to be alone to figure out what’s really going on in my heart and head. Also, it’s past time I get serious about whether or not I’m going to do something with my life, like I had planned to do before falling in love with the aforementioned jackass. But…I hate to cancel plans so I have to keep on this marathon with hanging out. I am honestly beginning to miss classes just because they gave me an excuse to never go out.
But returning to a core topic: the most important part of a break-up is learning to be alone and not always with someone. Learning to be alone with your thoughts and feelings and facing them instead of constantly running away. It can take time and it’s important not to mope, but it’s also important to not pretend you’re over it when you’re not. The advent of so many forms of communication make it hard to ever be truly alone since you can be reached by a variety of means, but you should try to unplug. For me, one of the hardest things is the fact that my ex and I have so many friends in common that I often find myself scrolling through my Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat and wondering if my ex is present at some activity of a mutual friend’s ands I searched the photos for any hint of him. This is literally level-three stalker born from my innate need to see him which is the worst…so unplugging is sometimes the only option. Full detox! Constantly being connected makes it hard to draw the limits or boundaries between who we are and what we want and what others see us as and want from us. Personally, I have always struggled with this because I feel an innate desire to be liked and obsess about what others think (probably a huge contributor to my failed relationship). Anyway, the point is: can I just stay home for the rest of the summer? Pretty please? Or at least for a couple of weeks?