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Archive for the ‘Breaking Up’ Category

Guest Blog: Fairytales and Fantasies

“Had I known then what I know now, I would have played less fantasy games like mermaids and house, and played more Monopoly and pushed myself to learn Sudoku.”



Fairytales and Fantasies

By Brooke (currently) Tarkington (en route to) Stamper

It’s funny how, as little girls, we have already mapped out every detail of our lives. From the flowers and dress at our weddings, to the names of our future children, to the type of house and career we will have. It never crosses our mind that these things just might not pan out for us.


I grew up believing I knew how every last detail of how my life would end up. I would daydream about the name of the man I would one day call my husband. I was obsessed at a very young age with every detail of the fairytale life I was bound for. Had I known then what I know now, I would have played less fantasy games like mermaids and house, and played more Monopoly and pushed myself to learn Sudoku.


After my fairytale wedding at age 26, my future children’s names picked out, house hunting, and making enough money to consider ourselves comfortable, I found that the tides can change very quickly.


I am a 28-year-old woman facing divorce and moving back in with my parents. It seems that in all of my careful planning, I forgot one thing: quality. The obsession with my fairytale blinded me to truth. The idea of being an adult, a wife, a mother, a partner shielded my eyes from the reality that I was living. I have a mediocre job, making just above poverty, which I seem to be addicted to. I am currently packing up my one bedroom apartment to move back into my parents’ “very large but with the least amount of privacy” home. I face the stigma attached to a 28-year-old divorcee, and even worse, the pain attached to it. I don’t want to use this as an open forum to bash my soon-to-be ex-husband, but I don’t think I could have picked a person less like me. Goals, mannerisms, ideas, abilities, functionality, family, intelligence — some of the most important things were overlooked in order to appease my appetite for the perfect life. The crazy thing is: I knew this. I KNEW when I married him that I was settling in order to achieve my fairytale. I thought that once I married him, eventually, we would live happily ever after. I mean, I’m a good person. I try to live honestly and kindly and genuinely. I deserved the happily ever after.


So, after years of adulthood, I am resorting back to childlike tendencies. Living with my parents, while they pay the mortgage and the utility bills, coming home to see my mom has cooked dinner, finding less and less of the world I was creating for myself. I should mention that I know that I am blessed to have parents who have taken me back in with open arms and have been a driving force in my emotional recovery. It seems that even when you’ve finally figured out how to be an adult, you realize how unequipped you are to deal with the realities of it.


Fantasies and fairytales are fabrications.


One day, in the future, when I have my own children, they are going to be able to read fairytales and fantasize about their future lives, but with mommy’s realism as a grounding force…….wait a second……”One day, in the future, when I have my own children…..”


It seems that I will never learn my lesson.


Dreaming of the future awakens and excites the soul. I know now to dream differently. I am not dreaming of a name or face of a man to share my life with. I am dreaming of attributes and qualities that complement my own. I am not fantasizing about the perfect career that makes me financially gainful. I am looking for one that makes my soul happy. I have seen the outcome of dreaming realistically, and it is more fulfilling than the fairytale I was pretending to live.


Dreaming like a grown-up is much different than dreaming like a child.


I prefer the grown-up dreams.



Photo by Raymond Brown via Flickr.

Guest Blog: Aftershocks

We toasted to things like ‘doing regrettable things because you might later regret that you didn’t.’… And at the climax of all this mirth, suddenly my pocket vibrates. It’s her.”

I’m really excited to share our latest guest blog with you. I like that adulthood is about processing — thinking about people and events and what they mean for our continued evolution of self.  This guest blogger shares some perspective on life after a break-up in a really thoughtful and nuanced way, filled with imagery of dark bars and lascivious innuendos woven into an expert narrative on self-exploration and evaluation.  When I first read his piece, I kept thinking about it many times during the day because I found it so interesting and compelling. Our guest blogger is actually a professional writer in Arizona, and thus has given me a pseudonym of “The Vernacular Assassin” to preserve his professional ethos.  This is his first foray into blogging, and I hope he will continue sending us guest posts because, my goodness, this boy can write! 


By The Vernacular Assassin

It was about two weeks before the end when my breakup sensors started going off. She was picking fights about little things.  My foot was spending more time in my mouth than in my shoes.  Bedroom moments had become tainted with exasperation from interminable arguments. Spooning had virtually ceased.  After protracted exit negotiations on a recent Sunday morning, we indulged a final time in that one thing we had no disagreements about, and I gathered the last of my belongings. “There are two books of yours in my nightstand,” she said.

“No, I already took them,” I replied.


“Yesterday morning.”

 “Yesterday morning? Why did you think you had to take them without mentioning it? I wasn’t going to hold them hostage!” she said.

“I know, but I could smell the smoke in the breeze,” I told her.

Driving away, that familiar feeling of “what now?” struck me. I thought about how I dealt with the last breakup, which was a soul-shaking 9.5. My id, suddenly unrestrained, was unleashed like a tsunami: two full months of happy hours that ran until 2 AM, long nights with dreary postmodern novels (“a screaming came across the sky”), hundreds of chicken wings, dubious hookups with tattoo-covered women, making a drunken ass of myself in public on the regular.  But this breakup was a 4.5, tops—and hadn’t I grown up a bit? Yes, it’s a new day—this time would be different.

When I got home, I cleaned the house and did laundry. I reached out to friends I had been blowing off. I frenetically texted old flames and hookups. I went to the gym.  And in my perspiration it hit me: I might be a grown-up now, but forget this, I need to get drunk.

I can’t explain why breaking up sends me into a self-destructive rampage, but I’m not the only man who does it. However, this time I knew it was a choice, and that made it fun. On Monday morning I didn’t feel guilty about the hijinks of the night before—and after work it was “three hours of sleep be damned, let’s go to Mill and shoot some Jameson!” We toasted to things like “doing regrettable things because you might later regret that you didn’t,” and of course, that already tired-out meme of “winning.” I acted a fool in front of random women and laughed at myself heartily. And at the climax of all this mirth, suddenly my pocket vibrates. It’s her.

“I hope I’m not bothering or interrupting you.  I’m just used to talking with you around this time, so I just wanted to see how you’re doing.” Over the sounds of laughing women, breaking glasses, and Irish folk songs, I sheepishly tell her that everything’s fine—but that I don’t have time to talk. “Well I’m really happy we’re still friends,” she replies. After we say goodnight, I feel wistful and order another double. Hearing her voice was the best moment of the night.

Later, I let my friend drag me to a strip club, and as we walked in I was reminded of why I’d never gone back to one after my first time seven years ago.  I felt miles away, slouching numb and intoxicated in a chair, meta-analyzing the sociological undercurrents of the room, when a woman suddenly sits down on me and says, “This is courtesy of your friend.” She planted my hands on her waist—I gave a squeeze but something felt off. I noticed that her breasts were too large and her hair was blonde, not jet black. Her perfume wasn’t Mont Blanc. She didn’t have that tattoo I liked. Her movements were adept, but so unnatural and calculating, as if she were trying to arouse me at gunpoint.

I couldn’t ignore it—I missed her.    

What I realized under the black lights was still true in the light of day, but there’s nothing I can do but let go and let my feelings for her subside. My queasy stomach and piercing headache tell me that this really is a new day, and perhaps there are better ways to deal with this bit of heartache. So I go into work, clean-shaven and pressed. A younger me would have called in sick on a day like today—but that lingering taste of liquor, cigars and shame somehow invigorates me to keep on marching.

Photo via Jetalone on Flickr.

Adulthood is Change

It has been a while since I have updated. Lots of changes have happened to me as of late. I recently found myself single after a very long relationship. I won’t hash out the sad details here. It was just an unfortunate case of: he was not sure that he loved me, but wasn’t sure enough to let me go. Thus, a relationship that went on too long and ended too abruptly.

Adulthood is sometimes about heart break and loss. The goal is how to learn from each experience and grow stronger, brighter, and more whole.

So I find myself moving out of a home and a life that we had spent many happy years building. I pack my books, my wine collection, my picture frames, my clothes — but all I will take with me from this place is my unbreakable capacity to love.

In my upcoming blog posts, I will be experiencing adulthood as a single person. I am committed to living “a life less ordinary” and I intend to take lots of adventures and share all of my learning experiences with you. 

Cheers to new beginnings!


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