Blogging the 30-Day Breakup Guide: A week in a day (or two)


Ahh, The Frisky once again comes to my rescue.

It’s been a little more than 36 hours since Brian and I made our split official. I felt strange waking up yesterday knowing it to be true rather than facing the possibility, as I did Monday, but despite the ease of the split and where we stand now I still (understandably) need to take active steps to move on.

So yesterday, I turned to the 30 Day Breakup Guide. Written by Jamie Beckman, the subject of a new book and on its second run through The Frisky, the guide is quite simply a day-by-day list of things to do to fully reclaim yourself after a breakup. I’m a poor candidate to run the book through, if only because of the nature of the breakup itself, but already I’ve done several of the days’ suggestions and I have to admit – I feel good about it.

Day 1: change your cell phone’s wallpaper so it has nothing to do with the ex.
     Okay…I wasn’t going to do this one. My BlackBerry shows me the cast of Glee, an interest that was and is all mine. Still, the last few times I looked at my home screen I’ve been reminded of just how much our tastes diverged when it came to that show. It was time to make a change, if only to reaffirm that I am who I am. Now, when I pick up my beloved Berry I see the handsome and talented Jonathan Rhys Meyers — good ol’ King Henry — and I’m satisfied.

Day 2: tell your friends.
     My closest friends knew all weekend that something was going to happen…and between the blog post on Monday morning and my relationship status change immediately after the fact, I have to say that they’re pretty well aware. To cap it off, I had the best conversation with my friend Drew last night, who swore to me that I would have guys falling over me in no time. Regardless of the truth of the statement (I believe you, darlin!), it’s exactly what I needed to hear.

Day 3: collect your friends’ advice and kind words in a “Breakup Bible”.
     In progress…when I have everything put together I will follow up with some of my favorite quotes.

Day 4: meet two gal pals at your neighborhood bar, throw back a few cocktails, and let them tell you it’ll all be okay.
     Check…sort of. I went out with Sarah and Jake (not a chick, but perhaps even better) on Saturday night before the breakup, and they did tell me that everything would be okay – if, of course, I stood firm in the conviction that I am a strong person and if I didn’t make the mistake of second-guessing myself. I think that a certain amount of second-guessing is inevitable and even healthy, but the bottom line is that I got some very important support.

Day 5: take a trip somewhere – even grandma’s house will do.
     I planned to take a week-long trip at the end of April – to NYC, where I could visit my friends in the area and take in a lot of the sights that McKenzie and I missed during our road trip in 2007. I canceled that trip shortly after getting back together with Brian, in part because of money but also in large part because I didn’t want him to feel abandoned if I went to another state for eight days without him.

     So, New York is back on the calendar! (Somewhere.) It will take some time to put everything in place and make sure that I can get the time off, but I’m excited to finally do what I’ve dreamed so long of doing. In the meantime, next weekend is a trip to Put-in-Bay, and this weekend is full of possibilities…

Day 6: go grocery shopping, buying exactly what you and you alone want to eat.
     I stopped at Giant Eagle on the way home yesterday. Sure, there was food in the house, but I decided to have a low-key Mediterranean dinner. Half an hour and some cash later, I walked out with giant olives, feta and camembert cheeses, grapes, raspberries and a bottle of Moscato — all things I absolutely love and wouldn’t have in the house because I knew Brian wouldn’t eat them. I made my little dinner and had a movie date with myself. (Leap Year is the perfect movie to reestablish the idea that love is twisted and unexpected but totally possible.)

Day 7: box up his crap.
     Done and done. The benefit of having a face to face discussion is that the ritual exchanging of personal belongings can be accomplished at the same time. When we met in the park, he had a stack of things that I left at his house, for which I gave him a similar stack (and the parts to my car – another story). Once I got home, I commenced phase two: I took the pictures that sat on my bedside table, the Valentine’s Day cards that graced my bookshelf, and the ring he gave me for Valentine’s Day five years ago (which, regardless of how opposite my purposes it is I asked to have returned), and put them in a box out of site.

     This mini ritual was an eye-opener for me. For our years of history and the seriousness of our relationship, it was startlingly simple to erase the visible signs that we were together. The only item in the box that I haven’t had since 2005-2006 is the Valentine’s Day card from this year…and the packet of poppy seeds I just realized I neglected. The bouquet has long since faded.

Day 8: buy a new “look at me!” dress.
     I received confirmation that my brand new dress shipped this morning. If you skip the link, just keep an eye out for pictures of yours truly rocking it out. Online shopping may not have the same thrill as perusing the store and finding it with your own eyes, but it’s pretty convenient — and hey, if the dress isn’t as amazing as I thought it was, I can take it back and then do some shopping!

Day 9: re-read a book you loved. Baby-sitters Club, anyone?
     Those books were good, but my favorite book is Wicked. My small, slightly worn paperback copy called to me from the bookshelf as I considered this particular step, so I pulled it off the shelf and set it by my bag to bring with me. For those of you who have lived under a rock for the last several years, Wicked tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West before she earned that fearsome moniker. Maguire’s masterful use of words and plot introduce you to a character whose compassion battles with her sense of inadequacy, and lends an entirely different perspective to the Ozian tale with which we all grew up. Revisiting my favorite anti-hero will be like coming home.

Day 10: stop watching crap reality show reruns and change your perspective by taking in art produced by a woman.
     Okay…I may need some help with this one. Results to follow.

I don’t know what effect sprinting through the guide will have on me, except that when I woke up this morning I was a little less sad than I was yesterday. It’s a good feeling to reacquaint myself with myself, rather than the half a couple I’ve been, and to realize that I still like what I see. And that, as they say, is the important thing.

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