I Want To Get My Heart Broken


Tonight I went to sleep with a broken heart.

I dreamt with a broken heart.

I know I have to stop. I’ve been good lately. I’ve been so good lately.
Every fleeting memory ignored. Sensitive topics avoided. Approaching tears pacified.
Any sign of vulnerability concealed. Pushed down to a place only God and I know about.
But all it takes is one dream.
And with fervent hesitation, and no expectations for a response, I pick up my phone and type: I miss you.


I came across the file above when I was trying to clean out useless documents on my netbook, in attempt to speed up my online stream of The Big Bang Theory (I don’t even know if there’s logic in that). I was absent-mindedly deleting file after file on my computer when I came across one that stood out to me — Ivebeenthinkingaboutforever.doc. Right away I knew what it was.

I wrote it five weeks after my break-up with a guy I thought was my soul mate, and three weeks after I thought I had gotten over him. It was the emotionally raw expression of my little tragedy. I cringe when I read it again, feeling both silly for ever allowing myself that kind of expressive vulnerability, and grateful that I’m no longer affected by that relationship. We were just two people who met at the right place, at the right time, and fell in love. And, despite our relentless attempts to stay in love, we had to eventually surrender to reality and admit to ourselves that we were incompatible.

Ironically, I dreamt about my ex last night — the first time in over eight months. But this time, I didn’t wake up in tears, or feel the pangs of remorse. Instead, I felt nostalgic, though not for him or the memories we shared. I was nostalgic for feeling.

I was nostalgic for the feeling of a full heart, however heavy. I missed being in love, and loving someone so hard that I find myself going out of my way to do or say things I can’t or won’t usually because of my pride. I missed the rainbows and butterflies I imagine are floating around when I’m with someone I’m crazy about. I was nostalgic for blissful, witless, romantic glee. I missed the feeling of being so in love that it made me want to build a giant ship, fill it with people (and not enough life boats), have it hit an iceberg, sink, and leave me with nothing but a giant wooden door, only to let my significant other use it as a floating device, as I sacrificially sink to my icy death… just ‘cause I love him that much.

Given my track record, my first thought at that realization was: What the hell is wrong with me? Isn’t this exactly what I don’t want? To feel the same way I did a year ago? To feel so cataclysmically hurt that I considered moving to a different province to avoid everything and anything that remotely reminded me of him, or us? To have every waking and sleeping moment be haunted by a memory that is neither welcomed nor unwanted? Didn’t that last relationship make me want to never give myself so entirely to another man again? Do I really want to be writing shitty, depressing entries about my shitty, depressing breakups again?

Does this mean I want a boyfriend? Because I’m almost positive that I don’t want one right now. I enjoy my newfound sense of autonomy (my exes always tend to be overbearing and anxious). I love my life right now. I’m in love with the novelty of freedom and liberty. I love casually dating boys I don’t intend to love or marry. I love being able to see, dance with, hug, kiss, or fool around with whoever I want. I like being able to hold on to something that I know isn’t mine to keep. I love being happily single.

So how can one dream about a person from my past give me a sudden inclination to love someone again? And do I really want to get my heart broken again?

And after much debate, I’ve come to a conclusion that yes, I do want to get my heart smashed in to a million — no, a billion — pieces again. Yes, I want to fall in love with someone and put my faith, trust, and future in their hands, knowing that with it, I gamble both my heart and sanity. I want to meet someone who I will think is my soulmate (again), knowing that it comes with the possibility that they won’t feel the same way. I want to love someone who can potentially hurt me in that way where I can physically feel the thump of my heart dropping in to my stomach.

The heartbreak is essential to my happiness. Because the before and after of “Ivebeenthinkingaboutforever.doc” was, and is, fucking awesome. The before was fantastically perfect. I felt loved, cherished, valued, and adored. Because there was a time before that when I felt like I was living in an unbearably cute bubble of affection — a time period where in everything and anything he and I did was genuinely and nauseatingly endearing to the other. A phase in my life where I was so blindly in love that baby talk and nicknames like ‘bobo’ became acceptable behaviour from my boyfriend.

And don’t EVEN get me started on the after –- what it was like when I finally got over it. The after was when I began to find myself, remembering things about me that I had long forgotten while I was in a relationship. I remembered that I prefer tequila over beer, that I do, in fact, very much enjoy interacting with the opposite sex. I remembered that I like to dance at clubs, sing in cars, take long showers and take my time when I get ready to go out. The after was when I realized that I had the freedom to do all of these things, without the need of anybody’s approval. It is a time of egocentric independence and self-fulfilling-selfishness. It was also a stage when I re-(re)-discovered dating. When I finally kissed someone new for the first time, the novelty of the affection was electrifying.

If given the choice, I would relive that miserable August night when I dreamt with a broken heart. Because heartbreak is the core, the center, of two equally wonderful experiences — and without it, being in love and falling in love will cease to exist. I welcome heartbreak. Better yet, I embrace heartbreak. The before and after of “Ivebeenthinkingaboutforever.doc” is the trajectory of my entire 20s, summed up, and waiting to happen again. And it will happen, whether I like it or not. So I say go ahead, wear your heart on your sleeve. Love blindly and recklessly. Fall in love, get your heart smashed (and repeat). Time heals all wounds, and what doesn’t kill you only gives you something to blog about.

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image – Neal Fowler