Rewind. 6 years old on the playground and someone has just hurt your feelings. You’ve got sand in your hair, mud streaked tears on your face because the boy you like just pushed you down. Later in life… they call this love.
Flash forward to older years, jr. high, high school, collage. The drama, the love, the fighting – the tears. Your life is over and started again within moments… the older we get the more it hurts.
I was talking to an older lady (I use this term loosely…) old enough to be my grandmother and in full out tears as I handed her the morning paper. Her companion of 15 years and her are over and she is distraught. Craving ice cream and someone to chat with; I felt like this woman who has so much more experience than me – was reduced to a broken-hearted 16 year old girl. I realized in that moment that we are all very much the same. We are the sand filled hair, muddy faced 6 year olds on the playground and while our stature, circumstances and lives may change; we all feel heartbreak the same.
Be it the loss of a loved one through passing, or the loss of someone walking away – our identity is so wrapped up in relationships and companionship. Sometimes I like to think I’m “tough”, like I don’t need other people to support me, or be there – but man when reality hits, I am keenly aware how much I actually need people in my life. I guess it goes back to “no man is an island” …
I think serious loss (not talking about OPI cancelling your favourite shade of nail polish, or Starbucks running out of your favourite drink) I’m talking the physically painful, gut wrenching loss – that paralyzes you. I think this kind of loss gives you the ability to reinvent yourself, find the pieces that got lost in someone else and choose who you want to be from that point forward – for yourself.
It’s so easy to wrap your life around someone else. How you think, what you eat, what you wear- what you choose to do or not do. At the moment that you have without question given your all – and when you are totally empty, you are told it’s not enough. That is the moment, you dry your tears, you straighten your shoulders (for everyone’s sake please shower) and you decide to do what makes you happy.
Life is tough. And although we pretend to be tougher and wiser than the tear soaked little girls on the playground – we really aren’t. The hearts still beat, the words still hurt, but what has changed is the ability to change where we are – and most importantly – where we are going.
As Liz Taylor said: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together”