10 Steps to Tackling Breakups

 

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There’s no right way to get through a breakup. Just like there’s no right way to make a first move or tell someone you like them, this aspect of love has no singular correct path. There’s also no time period in which you NEED to be over a breakup. I am a big believer in taking your time through the grieving process. However, you should still put a little bit of work in to feel as best you can with every passing day of the process. I can’t claim to be an expert on breakups, but like a lot of us, I’ve experienced how hard they can be. A psychologist or love expert could probably provide much more credible information about how to best cope with one, but I also think there’s a level of relatability that comes from getting these tips from a peer. Nothing helped me more during my own breakups than getting advice from people I knew and trusted who had been in similar positions. So no matter what side of the breakup you’re on, I hope these tips give you some tangible steps you can take to get through a chapter of your life that likely won’t be easy. 

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The Summer In Between

A few weeks ago I saw someone post a poll on their Instagram story that said “does the summer in between high school and college feel weird?” I honestly don’t remember what the results of the poll were, but I remember feeling an immense sense of relief in knowing that I wasn’t the only one who felt a sense of uneasiness about this chapter of life we incoming freshmen are experiencing.  

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Thanks, 2018

There’s a song called “This Will Be My Year” by Train. It’s about having hope that the upcoming year will be the year that changes everything for the better. Pat Monahan, the lead singer, explains through song that even after many failed attempts, he still has hope every new year. By the end of the song, Monahan realizes that every year has its own struggles, but with his wife by his side, he can tackle the challenges the years ahead will inevitably throw his way.

Coming into 2018, I was struggling a lot. I was in the midst of my accutane cycle, and even though my skin was slowly starting to get better, I was extremely insecure about it. I was also getting over a really tough breakup. My foot was still injured, so couldn’t run to cope with these struggles, and that was the cherry on top of the very crappy pie. I didn’t have much hope for 2018 because 2017 kicked my butt that badly. All I wanted was a year of healing, but I didn’t think it was possible.

Luckily, 2018 was my year. It was far from perfect, and I definitely didn’t meet my future spouse like the Train singer did, but it was the most transformative year of my life thus far.

 

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Make The Most of Your Vacations

     

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     For months in my AP Euro class this year, we talked about Versailles. For those who don’t know, Versailles was a residence created by Divine Right Absolutist Louis XIV when he ruled France in the 17th and 18th centuries. It’s basically a palace outside of Paris that was created to restrict the nobility’s power by making them come to him instead of the other way around. It’s gorgeous. It’s one of the many places I was lucky enough to go to this past summer on my trip to Europe with my family.

     Let me start by saying this was not my best summer. My love life was all over the place, I spent hours all day doing SAT prep and summer work, and I was just overall miserable. When my family told me we were going to Europe, I was excited but apprehensive because I HATE being away from home. Nevertheless, I boarded the plane that mid-July night wanting to give this trip a chance. I loved the Netherlands and Belgium because we adventured around with my dad’s friend’s family. However, they didn’t come to France with us. My parents and I were left alone exploring all of France, a “problem” that many people would love to face. I, on the other hand, didn’t love this problem. I felt frustrated that my three years of French couldn’t help me figure out this brand new city. My parents were thrilled and loved the sense of adventure, but all I wanted to do was curl up in our tiny hotel room and cry. I blame this on my ungrateful teenage mindset. All I wanted was to go home and pet my best friend’s dog, hang out with the guy I was flirting with, sleep in my own bed, catch up on Netflix-basically just resume my regular teenage activity. I just wanted home! I didn’t bother to read up on the history of any of the places we visited. We only really learned vocabulary and grammar in French class, so the history of these landmarks was pretty hazy to me. I dragged myself through all the museums, taking all the artsy pictures I could, occasionally stopping to read about the painting I was looking at. I was in the historic Louvre, and all I wanted to do was go home! Now, looking back, I’m so ashamed.

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Home Doesn’t Have To Be Only One Place

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     While I am far from being a travel blogger, I do want to share the memories I made and lessons I learned as my family and I traveled through North Carolina this spring break. Ever since my trip to South Carolina in fifth grade, I have been obsessed with the south. I recall how nice our cab driver was, how soothing the sunshine felt, how endearing the country music sounded, and how at home I felt for the duration of that trip. Since then, I have made some new friends from the South, and their stories of life “back home” intrigued me and made me consider going to the South for college. A few months ago I began looking at schools in North Carolina specifically. Why North Carolina? I really don’t know. Something about the state sounded right to me, even though I had never been there. My parents were not thrilled when I told them I was considering going to school that far away, but they still agreed to take me to North Carolina to let me see for myself if this is where I wanted to be. So we booked our hotel, made the college tour appointments, and packed our bags.

Every expectation I had of this state was surpassed. I really mean it.

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Stop Putting a Timeline on Grief

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In our fast paced world, we try to convince ourselves that we need to be perfect in handling our grief. We’re supposed to be sad for a couple of days and then rapidly bounce back into our happy, energetic selves. This is beyond wrong. There is no specific timeline for grief. Whether it’s a death, job loss, breakup, or medical problem, no two people will heal in the same amount of time. By putting this unrealistic timeline on ourselves, we stop ourselves from fully feeling the pain that will only help us grow in the end. We rush the healing process, which only prevents us from accepting the pain in a healthy way.  We turn ourselves into happy-go-lucky machines that are more robot than human.

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What I’ve Learned from my Grandmother’s Dementia

Today is my grandmother’s 87th birthday. My mom and I went to visit her today with a bunch of gifts and flowers. At first she was a little confused, like always, but the day went very well. She opened the gifts and tried on all the clothes we gave her. I painted her nails with the new nail polish I got her and then ate some chocolates with her. I showed her my pictures from the holidays and we talked and took pictures of our own. It was a beautiful day. 

My grandmother has dementia.

She is so similar to me in a lot of ways. I inherited her small hands and love for romance. We both cry when we get emotional. We both love sugary foods. We’re both dreamers.

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