When you quit your job after your girlfriend dumps you, shit gets real. Everything feels like it’s falling apart; you can’t concentrate. And your co-workers will wonder, in your wake, just why the hell you stopped showing up.
Life gets tough. Our personal lives sometimes take precedent over our jobs. For me, this has always been the case, extremely so. Hell, when it rained, I used to despise having to get to the job. Just working while knowing that outside it was wet, cold and dreary, it was enough of an excuse to want to keep myself indoors.
But, as an adult, that can’t always fly. You’re expected to work through misfortunes, just as you have to work through a thunderstorm. When your life seems to be falling apart -- you can’t ignore responsibilities. That’s when things need to be held together the most, so they say.
Of course, this is just more bullshit to keep you working, always, which is the American way. We only know how to keep at it. Don’t stop. Don’t let your emotions cloud your ability to serve somebody else. That would be wrong.
Really, what is so wrong with taking your problems to work? Talking about things is how we can alleviate the pain and stress, frustrations and pressure of being a workaholic, or just a person who shows up and does the bare minimum of what is expected of him or her. And what is wrong with saying “Fuck It?” I’d like to know.
Take to the road....
Why can’t we start over when things get bad? Did our ancestors give up on themselves when they came to America?
Whenever I break up with a girlfriend, I immediately quit everything. I stop talking to my friends; I walk out the back door. I leave my job, and everybody hanging. I burn bridges faster than I can even stop to assess the damage of what I have done to myself. And you know what? It always teaches me something.
It teaches me that I am capable of being myself, in a new way, in a far away place, without her. And what could be more rehabilitative after a trauma (as it evidently is a trauma for those who can’t keep their feelings to themselves) than to walk away from the fire, pick up and move on….
Most people, however, are not capable or willing to purge themselves of their guilt with starting somewhere new. They have to live in the same ways, doing similar things, but just without that person that they lost. That’s all fine and well. But it’s not for me. It seems to take longer to heal, when you just let it roast in your soul. Talking about it helps; but taking to the road is the best medicine money can buy.
Forget about drugs. Forget about booze. That is only a momentary escape. And it doesn’t last. What really helps a punctured and darkened soul is the chance, another chance, to rebuild. Even if it means dynamiting it all to hell, there is a certain strength in carrying on, in a different place.
Isn’t that why people came to America? To escape their broken homes, their broken governments, their broken hearts. The legacy of rebuilding continues….
And it should go without saying that we shouldn’t wait for anybody to help us change what we need to alter in our own lives, in our own way.
I am merely speaking (writing) from personal experience; that’s all I can do for the reader: tell them what I’ve learned.
And I have learned, continually, that when I break up with a girlfriend, quit my jobs, departing from my friends and family, I always come back to the one thing that I had been overlooking and ignoring in the first place.
Who I am. What I want. Where I want to go. How I want to live.
This isn’t selfish. Especially since the breakup had been about these very things: figuring it all out.
Now that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a good listener, or that I didn’t want to be respectful of the other person’s needs, wants and desires. It just means that sometimes people clash, and hearts collide. Or is it heads? Yes, heads collide. Hearts just get heated and crushed.
The best way I know of how to get my head out of the sand, is to hit the road.
After the breakup, I soared on a bus, from Philadelphia to San Francisco. I didn’t tell a soul that I was leaving. And some of my belongings are still in a hostel in Old City, as well as somewhere in my ex’s apartment, although I wouldn’t be too surprised if she tossed it out with the trash.
And that’s fine with me. Because it’s better to move on from something that wasn’t working than it is to stick with it, pretending that it’s all dandy, which is what so many people do anyway.
I am not most people. So heed my advice with a glass of beer, or wine.
It’s just with all this uprooting, I have learned that I’d rather be myself than to be something somebody wanted from me.
If it’s a mutual agreement between two people, that love can exist -- without flourishing -- than that’s up to those people. If two people can grow together, without hindering each other’s lives, philosophies and souls -- then, perhaps, they should be together.
If not, there’s always the rest of the world to see. Experience and explore. You could take the one journey that so many people keep buried: the journey to become, singularly, what you believe to be true about yourself.
And any partners you acquire or befriend on the way (or keep in contact with), that should suit you just fine.
Because those are the very people who will be there for you when you need it.
Image Sourced: On The Road