I was lucky and lasted until I was 24 years old before I truly got my heart broken. Sure, there had been people in the past who had hurt me, and for a while when they did it felt a lot like a broken heart should have. You see, I always assumed when someone really broke my heart, like in the movies, that I would cry for months and write them letters every day begging for them to take me back. In reality I couldn’t sleep or eat for three days and eventually thought about checking myself into a hospital. When they left me sitting on the front steps of our shared apartment, I wrung my hands so viciously I quickly gave up my attempts to stop biting my nails. It wasn’t sadness like I thought it would be — no, instead it was absent. Absence of this person and the absence of knowing who I was without them.
If getting your heartbroken sounds like the worst thing that will ever happen to you, then you’d be right. It is. It stings and it feels weird and you don’t understand why you’re sobbing at a radio commercial; you just know you’re not in charge of your emotions and it feels scary and reckless and wonderful all at the same time. It took me three days of not eating and sleeping to realize this, but getting your heart broken is the best thing that can ever happen to you.