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Learning from Heartbreak

December 31, 2016

Photography by Kate Opre

 

I find heartbreak to be very common in life, whether it involves a ending things with a significant other or saying goodbye to the last slice of pizza. To me, the hardest part about heartbreak is not knowing what to do with myself after-the-fact. 

 

Dating has changed significantly over the past few decades. The new tradition is to slide into your crush’s DMs and hope they respond. Personally, I like meeting organically, and building a relationship face to face instead of through the screen. And so, when I find someone who does just that, and takes the time to get to know me in person, I feel special. But sometimes it doesn’t always pan out. That’s when my heart sinks and I realize I have to start over. Again.

 

Getting to know someone takes a lot of time and effort, and as much fun as it can be, it's also incredibly exhausting. When things don’t work out, it can be discouraging and make you want to lay in bed under the covers for the rest of your life. Heartbreak hurts. It’s this deep and crippling pain that feels physical, but you can’t even bandage it or put a cast around it in hopes of healing it. It’s tangible, yet you can’t touch it.

 

While the aches and pains of heartbreak have kept me locked in my room, avoiding interaction of any kind, I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I expect from myself and from others. I’ve learned that if I’m going to include someone in my life, they better be worth it. I’ve learned that I have value and deserve goodness just like the next person. 

 

Just like anything else, heartbreak has a lot to do with perspective. Either you can mope and be sad for a long time, or you can turn it into an opportunity to move forward and build yourself as a person. I once heard a quote that said something like, “Disappointment is an indication of what you expect from yourself and others.” And it’s true. Clearly the only reason we get disappointed is because we expected something but received something else. And as much as it sucks, I’ve accepted that I’m not always going to get what I want. 

 

When heartbreak brings you down, remember to step back and see where you can go from there. Of course, take time to grieve because that’s just as important. But afterwards, step up and grab the situation by the shoulders. You’re in control and you have the power to move the situation in the direction you want. It’s easy to let heartbreak run your life, but letting it control you only causes more stress. Embrace it, learn from it, and overpower it, because only you can.

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