The Ex-Factor


     It could all be so simple … but breaking up is never easy even if you’re the initiator. When we part ways from a partner we are not just walking away from the intimacy but from the friendship as well, and that’s often the most painful part. So how do we recover? How do we let go of a best friend? How do we walk away from a time in our lives, an era, even when we know that it wasn’t meant to last? Well, here are some ideas:

      Use that heartache to start something new. You might feel a bit lost or unsure of yourself when you find yourself once again maneuvering the world solo, but there is a lot of good that can come with that. Pour yourself into a creative love and you may find yourself reconnecting and falling in love with a part of yourself that you may have let slip while you were creating a new union.

     If you love to read then try immersing yourself into young adult novels where true love is everywhere and self love isn’t that hard to find. Remind yourself of the innocence and the freedom that comes with the unknown. If you love to write then journal away and express your deepest darks, maybe you’ll end up writing the next classic novel. Don’t think that you’re a great writer? Start small and journal. Journaling can provide an emotional relief as you let out every emotion without consequence, additionally, the next time you are going through something difficult you can look through your past entries and remember that if you could get through that then you can get through anything.

      If you don’t feel like words are enough to express how you’re feeling then why not use imagery? Photography has always been a way to relate emotions and feelings. Pick up a camera or use your phone and capture images of yourself or the world around you and use those images as a creative outlet throughout your journey of re-self discovery. If you’re angry find yourself painting violently and creating abstract expressionist art so you can let out your emotions.

     If none of that works then drown yourself into a music playlist created just for you. Go to whatever music app you listen to and immerse yourself into songs and lyrics that feel like they were written just for you. Need ideas? You can never go wrong with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill or Ctrl by SZA, but if you’re looking for an artist to move you out of that funk rather that allowing you to soak in it then try Lizzo or Janelle Monae, artist more known for celebrating who are and who you are becoming.

      Use your new free time to focus on your work. Unfortunately, life sometimes presents itself as an unbalanced act of cruelty where when one aspect of your life is succeeding the other seems to dwindle. If you feel like your love life has been taking a hit then redirect your focus to your work. Take on new projects both within your field or even take on side projects, such as freelance work. Not only will this fill up your new free time but it will give you additional things to feel great about --along with your obvious awesomeness.

    A new era could also mean a new you. Did you lose any close friends or good acquaintances in this breakup? Well, use this time rebuild and surround yourself with the type of people who want in your future. I am a strong believer in spring cleaning, and that includes the circle around me. As humans we are always changing, and breakups are often a sign that changes in who you are have already taken place or need to. If you have outgrown your previous partner then fill your circle with people who reflect with you who’ve become? Use apps like Bumble or Hey Vina! (an app just for girls) to find friends who reflect the person who are now or want to be.

     While it may be nice to fill your circle with new energy, this doesn’t mean you should rid yourselves of  everything and everyone from your past. Are there any friends who may have lost touch with or don’t feel as close to? Reach out and try to reconnect with them. Sometimes the best way to becoming the person we want to be is by strengthening the connection we have with the people who know us best.

    In the end there is no easy way out of emotions --unless you become a sociopath which I don’t recommend. Allow yourself to feel it but don’t it to take over your life because you have too much to offer and too much to gain. Feel it, learn from it and you will recover from the ex-factor.