The Business

20 Nov

The business of breaking up isn’t pretty.

After you get over the intial gut-wrenching pain and fear of being without someone you’ve known for a number of months (or years, as the case maybe) which always results in the infamous “Ugly Cry,” where your face is all scrunched up, red, oozing liquid from eyes and nose, tons of tissues strewn about, messy hair and other not-so-attractive characteristics, you have to get down to business. Business of moving forward, even if you’d rather not.

You know, things like deciding if you’re going to keep your Facebook Account. And if you are going to keep your Facebook account who do you need to purge from the list? It’s unpleasant to log-in and see a status update from the ex, or his best friend, or perhaps worst of all his family who you love and miss. Oh, and don’t forget about the cute couple pictures. DELETE; you have a copy on your computer anyway. Not to mention the obnoxious business of changing your relationship status which appears in two or three spots on your profile and potentially your friends’ walls if you have that box checked. It’s rather agonizing, really but two bonus points for you if you get through it without crying.

Then there’s the issue of the various reminders hanging out in your room. Picture frames. Little cards and notes. Stuffed animals. Paintings. Sculptures. You don’t necessarily want to throw them out because they still mean something to you, with or without a relationship. Best to box ’em up and save them for a day when you can face them.

Don’t forget your stuff! If you lived together or practially lived together there’s a good chance that you amassed a fair amount of stuff at his place/your place. It’s easiest to approach the exchange of stuff via text or email and agree on a drop-off point or time, preferably not face to face as that could totally set you back about two weeks in the recovery process. If a drop off isn’t feasible, ask a friend to go get it for you or at least, go with you. This can be just as challenging as declaring your singledom to the world because I bet you forgot about that particular gift/note/memorabilia that he gave to you and you accidentally left at his place. When it shows up in the box(es) or bag(s) of stuff that’s been returned to you, be prepared for a return of the “Ugly Cry.”

Lastly we have the reconnection to the life pre-relationship which can be quite tricky. It’s not that the relationship was your whole life but you have to retrain everyone in your life to think of you as YOU and not “You + boyfriend.” This can be tough especially in your mid-twenties when 95% of your friends have already taken the engaged/married plunge, married + kid plunge, or are about to be one of the three. Their weekends are sacred, which is something you know well but the weekends are such a large expanse of time. Time to be alone. Time to reflect. Time that can be dangerous. Staying busy as a bee is the only way.

Your friends and family will marvel at how organized and clean things are. You’ll send more emails and snail mail. Your Google Reader will be clean. Your gym membership will finally get it’s money’s worth. You’ll investigate new areas of interest. You’ll try out various volunteering jobs until you find one that you really like. You’ll spend more time with your Gram. You’ll plow through your “to be read,” pile. You’ll add sexy new clothes to your closet. You’ll earn frequent flyer miles as you traipse about the country in search of the next big adventure. You’ll have momentary setbacks, biting back the tears or letting them fall, but you’ll put your head down and move forward. It’s the only way.

And best of all? You’ll find that you can survive.


24 Responses to “The Business”

  1. SoMi's Nilsa November 20, 2009 at 4:48 pm #

    I heart you. Lovely, well-written, slightly gut-wrenching, but great for closure post. Have a wonderful weekend. I’ll be talking to you soon…

  2. Liz November 20, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    Yes, you can survive. And I do say you look lovely doing it too! You are a wonderful woman!

  3. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 20, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    Another beautiful post, lady. Oh I know all these feelings so well. I never handled my break-ups with as much strength and bravery as you, though!

  4. Lisa D November 20, 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    Yes, you not only will survive, but you will thrive and come through this stronger than ever. When I read these posts, I feel like I could have written them 2 years ago when I was going through this w/ Ryan.

    The facebook thing was awful, to be quite honest. I ended up just terminating my membership for a couple of months until I was ready to hop back on & then at that point, I deleted him as a friend because I just couldn’t stand to see what he was up to.

    Hang in there, my dear. And if I lived in StL, I’d be clearing my weekends for girls night, complete with popcorn, wine, chocolate, and whatever else your heart desired! Wish we lived closer!!

  5. katelin November 20, 2009 at 7:14 pm #

    yes you definitely can survive, that is definitely the one thing to always remember in a break up. you’ll make it and one day it’ll all be okay.

  6. fritz November 20, 2009 at 7:23 pm #

    i have to admit that my “big cry” envolved tripping over a rock in my parents driveway resulting in what looked like a battered woman…at that point i told my mom that at least i look as bad as i feel…you will totally make it!!

  7. Mel November 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    I have never done the break up thing very well. :( But being able to write this post just makes you that much more strong!

  8. Erin November 21, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Nora, this is such a beautiful post. We are all here for you1 If you ever need to get away for a weekend, I have a nice futon and puppies who will cuddle you!

  9. Emily Jane November 22, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Oh gosh I know these feelings so well. When my then-fiance left me (after surgery, at Christmas) it was totally the end of my world and I LIVED in a constant state of Ugly Cry. All the time. My stepmum was an absolute doll though – she came round and took down all pictures of us, cleaned the apartment out and moved all the furniture around so it didn’t look at all how it did while we’d lived there together. I deleted all his friends off Facebook and blocked them all too; occasionally one would try and contact me telling me I’d “ruined his life” and things like that and that I should just “go back to England” – so I found it best to just block every single one of them, and absolutely remove all photos from facebook, from my computer and from albums too (that part took me a little longer). I was lucky enough to have my now best friend come into my life at this time, take me under her wing and make sure I had somebody to spend all my newfound free time with actually doing things and not wallowing and thinking too much, because I definitely am guilty of doing that. I hate to think of anyone going through that and I’m glad you’re getting there – I just wish I lived a little closer so I could come give you a hug. You’re handling this so much more strongly than I did and I know you’re on your way to better things. *Hug*

  10. Kyla Roma November 22, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    This is such a difficult thing to go through Nora, and honestly I think you’re pretty much a pillar of strength. Ugly crying included. You’re just amazing, and you’re doing so incredibly well!!

    I wish we could just be room mates. I think it would improve out quality of life immensely. Jesse totally wouldn’t mind! Deal? =)

  11. Lys November 22, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    i am obviously completely out of the loop…this is the first thing in my reader i chose to read after 4 months of being MIA and i don’t even know what to say other than messaging is definitely in order.

    i miss you, i’m so sorry to hear about this (especially so late!), and i hope you’re staying strong. let me know if you need anything.

  12. Jessica November 22, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Aww honey I’m so sorry you’re going through this. It makes me want to get out my shiv and go to town on his car. For me, Facebook would be hard because it’s out there then for EVERYONE to see rather than being dealt with privately. BIG HUGS

  13. AuburnKat November 22, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    Whem my ex and I broke up I was a complete mess for months. It was so hard, we had been together for 6 yrs, we had made to big moves across the country and we owned a house together with our (now mine) three cats. It was one of the hardest things to get through, but I survived and I am a thousand times stronger for it.

    Even though I’m not a huge fan of men right now (as you know) I still believe that there are decent guys out there…just not sure where they are hiding! =)

  14. mandy November 22, 2009 at 9:32 pm #

    I think you are doing amazing. You are such a strong woman. You are handling things in such a mature manner. I hate that you have to go through this and again wish we lived closer to each other so we could go out on weekends for crazy fun.

  15. Gigi November 23, 2009 at 2:54 am #

    Well, I went through 3 Kleenex while reading this. And I’m not going to pump you full with “you can do better”, “this is for the best”…because right now, it sucks, no way around it. Your strength is amazing and that is what I’m commending you for. You’ll have bad days, and good days…but just know that whatever kind of day, you have friends who support you…always:)

  16. ria November 23, 2009 at 10:32 am #

    it’s times like that when it’s best to remind yourself that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, no matter how cliche it sounds :) you will definitely be ok!

  17. Alesia November 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    And it sounds like you’re surviving with your heart still open, which is the biggest trick of all. Hugs to you, Nora. Brave, strong girl.

  18. nicoleantoinette November 23, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    I think, truly, that heartbreak is the hardest thing to go through. This is a gorgeously moving post and I’m constantly thinking about you and wishing you all kinds of goodness.

  19. Imogen November 24, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    Hey there sweetie…
    Just decided to get back into touch with the blogosphere and saw your post..:(
    So sorry things didn’t work out between you and your man (something I can totally relate to, btw), but -for what it’s worth- I do believe everything happens for a reason & am sure you’ll get all you deserve, in the end…
    Hope you feel better & keep in touch!

    Feel better soon & do keep in touch.

  20. tabithablogs November 24, 2009 at 12:03 pm #

    Little late on this one, but I just wanted to say that this post is absolutely beautiful, and I agree with Kyla — you are a pillar of strength. And I believe that YOU believe (as you should) that you will come out of this stronger, wiser and ready for anything the world throws your way.

  21. Megan/SomewhatVoluble November 24, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    You are such an amazing, strong woman. You’ll get through this and come out better on the other side. I just know it.

  22. Rebekah November 24, 2009 at 10:49 pm #

    I think it’s pretty clear just from reading this that you’re getting your thoughts cleared up and taking positive steps now – even if you are doing the Ugly Cry on a few of those steps. You will survive AND ROCK SURVIVAL, because you’re too good to just sit here and exist.

  23. Margarita November 25, 2009 at 5:28 pm #

    I want to give you the biggest virtual hug ever. Seriously, if computers could have arms… That was a good post, it sounded very therapeutic and almost poetic the way you wrote it out. It’s all very very true. I wish you the best and if you ever needed to talk to anyone, I’m here.

  24. E.P. December 2, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    It is truly amazing how a breakup can show us what we can survive, what we can overcome, and how was can rise above a crappy/awkward situation. I am sending you HUGE hugs as you continue through this. You know I’m always here for you!

    And this post? Absolutely beautiful.

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