Tag Archives: breakup

Tight Ropes and True Love




Relationships are a delicate balance. Not too long ago, I was texting with a friend and we both realized just HOW MUCH goes into whether or not you and another person will work out.  Geography, Religion, Politics, Education, Finances, Family, Values, Looks, Friends, Interests, Sex Life and maybe most important of all, that bitch called Timing.

There are just so many things that can make a relationship unwork itself. And often that is after it’s already started. Don’t even get me started (see that?) on dating in general. It is so easy to rule somebody out early on for a fault, or let’s be more accurate a perceived fault. It takes years to get to know someone and technology has made dating harder. If you have different text rules, don’t use the right punctuation or seem to be too endearing too quickly, well, you are out. This doesn’t even include those who were already discluded for poor grammar, salary, height, the wrong education or wrong town. Hell, this definitely doesn’t include those who just fell out of the ugly tree. True love, or true tolerance, you be the judge.

Dating is a fragile tightrope that more often ends before it has even begun, even if you can stay balanced, you may just run out of rope…particularly as we get older and more set in our ways. That intricate interwoven security can unravel in an instant – seamlessly, effortlessly, carelessly, pointlessly. (I’m surprised that’s even a word, go me). So, every time you feel frustrated, unloved, uncertain, unfulfilled – just remember, there is a lot that goes into relationships, and life, and you. And when you feel a loss of control, just focus on that last one, because, really, it’s all you can do.

Be careful with alterations.  Pull the wrong thread and the whole thing comes undone.                                                       Samantha, Sex and the City

The Ginga Ninja

Even shallow cuts still hurt


tumblr_mtebtc9AEc1r475q6o1_500Why do breakups hurt so much? You were living your life before they came along and for some reason some fool and his fake version of your future is enough to throw you into a tailspin. They love you one day, not the next. How can that be?

And no amount of lamenting, crying, caring or drinking is going to change the outcome. You are only one half of the equation and you can decide to either get up and get on with your life or never let go. Now, what the head knows and the heart feels don’t always align, even when it’s a “no brainer” that you need to move forward – the process and transition can still be a difficult one. Now, I have successfully let go of my ex-bf of 4 years and the one prior to that of 2.5. I don’t particularly like seeing their photos with wives, girlfriends or houses, nor do I especially love getting messages still from an ex mom-in-law to be. But, the pain of losing them (well, letting go and then later second-guessing) and the feelings of missing them are long gone.  No, now I’m struggling to let go of my bf of 5 months.

5 months hardly seems enough to miss. They never had the chance to fully become part of your life or fully know you and what makes you tick. But, the visions of the future to come started to build and therefore, so did the actions you took in your daily life. Constant contact, sweet words and gestures, saving towards a future – these are all things you do not have without them. Will you get them again?  Perhaps. Will it be a better or worse match? Only time will tell.  But, I can tell you that the older you get, often the more accelerated the relationship. So, sadly, it can be almost as hard to let go of a short, but serious one as it is to let go of a long, but detached one.  The pain feels the same, but hopefully the timeframe doesn’t.

I know a couple that had to leave a 10 year marriage and 18 years of memories. That ended 5 years ago and they still grieve at times. It’s amazing how hard those chemicals in our brains can hang on. It’s amazing how poor our ability to just shut out the past is. Unless you have a lot of practice. And unfortunately for me, I have a long memory, and my ex-bf…well, he’s had a lot of practice. Sometimes it would be nice to get a temporary lobotomy like the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” because we start fresh, we start anew. We start eager for love and untarnished by pain. Our walls are low and our egos aren’t bruised. Our hopes are high and our sense of self is still strong. I would love to start over 15 years old and do it all different. I would love to start over never needing the white picket fence or the validation of another, but sadly, this is something I cannot truly do. You can’t undo your past, but you can…

Well, you write the ending.

The Ginga Ninja




Bad or Good, It’s Still Your Life


maxresdefaultSo I was raised pretty religious and uncommonly materialistic, a pretty weird success-driven combo I must admit. I had a strict (anal), virtuous upbringing – built upon hard work, loyalty, watching your money, watching your back and fearing your god. Somewhere out there was a belief that some sort of karmic retribution for all your good actions paid off, except in this version of the story it was called heaven. That by being a “good” person who doesn’t drink, do drugs, swear or believe in idle actions…you will get an everlasting and happy life.

So many times I let events, validation and others create my happiness. Having them bail on plans, not accept my friend invite or not accomplishing my goal made me feel less than. For some reason I always had some little project, next step, someday in the back of my head to when I would feel complete. Of course we all love going to Disneyland, but whether or not your life is good shouldn’t be marked only by the highlights. The act of falling in love, the rush of a rollercoaster, the joy of a birthday present, the praise for a promotion, yes they are good, but they are not everything. When your happiness is determined by what is happening around you, funnily enough you aren’t really happy. Sure, in the great moments you are, who isn’t, but you have no idea what to do with the not-so-great ones. For some reason they feel like negative results of something you did wrong. You question your world, your finances, your sanity – if I’m a good person leading a virtuous life, then why is this happening?

Well, as many of us know, it’s not always about being good or bad. The trick is to change your perception so that all in – upbeat day or rotten, you know you are going to survive. The clock keeps on ticking, your heart keeps on beating…so try to have as much joy in watching a leaf tumble in the breeze as winning the lottery. Okay, that example may be a bit extreme, but I hope you realize that I mean good will happen, bad will happen…and so is the circle of life. There is no cosmic curse out to get us, weeeeellllll within reason. I’m not condoning starting a Dexter-esque crusade to tickle your boredom, but swear a little, drink a little, grump a little. It’s gonna be okay.

I had two things happen to people in my life that reminded me how important this lesson is. One had a weekend of tough shifts, tears and boy drama…yet standing out in the sun with me awaiting a taco she had a wave of how good her life was. Though there are down times, it doesn’t take away from the good ones. I too have that from time to time – just an overwhelming rush of gratitude towards a nice day, feeling, movie, hug or laugh. A little look at how lucky I am even though lots is going wrong. I think it’s about realizing that wrong isn’t justice for something you did or didn’t do, but just another day in the field.

I also have an aquaintance going through a breakup. A painful, messy, awful breakup, but his naivety is astounding. He isn’t handling it well, he is frankly, losing his goddamn mind. And I shouldn’t judge because I have too. It is easy to wonder what you did when all is going wrong. But, this poor lad, publicly crucifies himself – lamenting about why she left him, how bad his life is and why is karma out to get him. His status updates tell everybody that his life was perfect for 38 years, he was a rockstar and now he is a failure. That for the first time in his life he is suffering hardship – but he worked diligently, saved money, never tried drugs, doesn’t drink, has never cheated and doesn’t deserve it. What I so badly want to tell him is that trying to be perfect doesn’t always create a perfect life – there is no such thing! We all deserve dirty in doses. We all need a little bad to remind us of the good. We all need some struggle to make us stronger and better. We all need to appreciate life in all its terrible glory to understand that it isn’t the absence of bad that makes a life good, it’s the survival of it.

The Ginga Ninja

Love is a Battlefield


images (1)I had to look long and hard about why a ghost from my past still bothered me.  I mean, the point of breaking up is to move forward and meet better matches, right?  That, or I guess working on yourself…or boning a hockey team, but we’ll go with meeting better matches for the sake of this argument.  Well, as I pointed out last year I had the secret family recipe for a perfect breakup, only the aftermath was nothing like I planned.

Anytime I look back and feel shame, regret, anger or sadness I have to ask myself why.  Why would I still be bothered by something that ended a long time ago and ended for the right reasons?  Plain and simple, I realized it came in one word.  Justice.  I wanted justice.

I have some regrets over feelings I felt way back when and in hindsight there were things I wished I had done differently, said differently or felt differently.  But, there is absolutely no way to go back and unfeel something.  That is a lot more than turning back the clock on a fight, a swear word or an action.  Feelings are cumulative, feelings take time. As I also pointed out last year, if you felt something, you must have had a reason at the time. Looking back doesn’t do you a whole heck of a lot of good because the memory you see isn’t entirely complete.  Either you forget all the bad they did too, or you glorify the good and both can drive you stark raving mad.  You cannot undo the past.

Let me repeat.  You cannot undo the past.  I guess I liked to think I could at least handle the present.  Each and every time I received a message referencing how miserable we were, how we didn’t belong together or how we should just hop into the sack….I knew that those references of the past weren’t completely accurate because I was still being messaged…in my present.  The thing is, eventually that itself was the past too.  So, just like the relationship, why is it hard to let the aftermath of the relationship go?

A friend pointed out that for good people, coming to terms with what is and what was can be hard.  You can’t wrap your brain around how somebody else is going to act and the awful things they may say and do.  And that, at its core is what gets to me.  Like Carrie said in Sex and the City, “We keep dresses we’ll never wear again.  We throw away our ex boyfriends.  If you loved someone and you break up, where does the love go?”

When I look back at each and every thing I did in the aftermath, I understand why I did it and feel very little regret about my actions.  I tried my best to do and say the things that were warranted at the time and make me feel like less of a shit in the long run.  But, what I realized I got angry about was the actions of others, the actions I cannot control.  Uncontrollabe urges, disrespect, unanswered texts, insults, crazy rants and degrading comments…I am not angry about what I did or didn’t do, only sad at what was done to me.

So, that made me realize yet again, you can only control yourself.  If I am not angry at myself for my actions and words and I know that I cannot undo my past, why am I at times still living in it?  It was because I wanted justice.  I wanted the great apology, the heartful closure or the happy ending.  This is life buttercup, time to suck it up.  Just because you try to treat others fairly doesn’t mean everybody plays by those rules.  All is fair in love and war so they say.  Good old Pat Benatar pointed out “Love is a Battlefield”…probably because sometimes love and war really do feel the same.

I can’t be upset that life moved on without my karmic justice. The only thing I can control is my own life, my own mind, my own feelings, thoughts and actions and ultimately only half of my relationships.  It takes two to tango and if you aren’t the one stepping on toes, I guess it’s fine to keep dancing, but maybe find a new dance partner.

“The past is a ghost, the future a dream, and all we ever have is now.”  – Bill Cosbycasting-background-black-ghost-wallpaper

The Ginga Ninja

Can a Breakup Leave you Broken?


hell, red, grim reaperGetting through a major breakup is kind of like going through the stages of grieving. Now, I’ve seen everything from five to eight stages depending on who is telling it, but either way, they are there.  A movie once quoted, “Breakups really break you up”.  I hate to put it that way for anybody who has lost somebody special, but it really is like grieving.  I mean, I guess letting go of anything really is – whether a pet, a job, an apartment, an ex, or a loved one who has passed on.

Maybe one partner gets through it quicker, or certain phases last longer…and I’ve heard that maybe some of the stages switch places.  But, in the end, you need to go through all of these things to make it through alive.

Disbelief.  Denial.  Bargaining.  Anger.  Isolation.  Guilt.  Depression.  Acceptance.

Well, I can tell you that Denial was probably there for me for awhile.  Even before ending it.  Denying that something is wrong and trying to tell yourself to just hang in there…it tends to happen PRE-breakup if you are the dumper and early days if you are the dumpee.  And I guess Disbelief for me came in two different ways.  For months I needed space.  I didn’t really think of myself as alone or even single for that matter, but wasn’t too upset and wasn’t too broken.  Only when I realized what had happened, how much had changed and how alone I really was, did I enter into some sort of manic disbelief period.  It didn’t really happen, I didn’t really choose it and it wasn’t really over.  I mean, accepting it was over would mean starting over in more ways than one.

The mind is a funny, funny thing…because in looking back I know now that I went through a period of Bargaining.  Believing we could work it out after all and believing that I could make all these sacrifices and suddenly be okay with things I knew I really wasn’t okay with. Even though the whole thing was my idea, I turned around and tried to convince him (and me) it would all be okay.

Well, it didn’t go as planned.  The big reconciliation blew up like a Looney Tunes ACME bomb in my face, in my heart and in my life.  I then went through a serious phase of Guilt. I thought I had ruined my life. I spent an entire summer trying to keep myself busy beyond belief, but really just going bananas.  I felt so unbelievably guilty for everything I did (or didn’t do) to get to where it got.  I felt guilt for the feelings I had, the feelings I didn’t have, the things I didn’t forgive and to be honest, started feeling guilty for everything I had ever done to anybody I had ever loved.  You can ask my friends…a lot of weird “I’m so sorry” and “I will always love you, thanks for putting up with me” texts came their way during this time. I thank them for being oh so patient, understanding and awesome.  I wasn’t crazy, but fuck, I was guilty as a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

After this I started to get Angry.  I started to get really angry that I had made all of these allowances during the relationship, after the relationship and had tried earnestly to hold my head high and be the bigger person.  He, on the other hand was being horrible and selfish and treating me with more disrespect than I even thought was possible.  I was so angry at him, at myself and at the way things had turned out.  I, in turn started to be very selfish, very unaware of my reality and very distrusting of people as a whole.  I started to take a turn for the worse.

I think I did go through a Pseudo-Depressed stage.  I wasn’t ready to steer myself into traffic or anything, but I was lonely.  Lonely, feeling a little less than worthwhile and just starting to give up.  My love life was in shambles, my friends weren’t geographically accessible, my finances were non-existent and my job was incredibly stressful.  I was defeated. I found myself getting sick, worried, fatigued and shutting myself out.  It didn’t help that this was one of the worst virus seasons since…well, ever.  But, I had great visions of what I wanted to do when I felt better and I cancelled plans left and right in the meantime.  For me, this would be my period of Isolation.  At first it was simply because I didn’t want to bum everybody else out and then it was because I was too sick to care. Landing myself face down on the floor with a paramedic on the way is a great way to realize that something had to give.

And it did.  I feel pretty great these days.  I still get lonely, I am still neglecting that new gym pass I bought, I’m still working on my diet, I’ve realized I may not be the guitar god I hoped I would be and I need to find my next job.  But, I’ve Accepted that things are how they are.  I’m ready for whatever comes next.  I don’t know who that is, what that is, or what 5 years from now looks like. But, at least right now…that’s okay.  I’ve accepted that this is my life now.  I mean, a wise friend told me “You can’t screw up your life, you can only live it”…and she is right.  But, when you’re Stuck in a Moment as the great Bono puts it…you just need time.

So, over the past year, I’ve gone through periods where I want nothing to do with the opposite sex. I’ve gone through periods where I wanted attention to get my mind off my ex.  And now I’m in a great place of “Fuck it, let’s just see what happens” and I’m opening up that door.  I’m flirting, I’m focusing on me, I’m getting healthy and I’m loving my time with my friends.  Only time will tell.

And like usual, I thought I was so original when I had this realization.  And as per the norm, I was reminded how completely un-unique and un-special I actually am.  God, we all sit here in our little worlds and think that nobody has ever felt or thought this way before.  If only we could go back to our 16 year old selves and assure them how completely normal and non life-changing all breakups really are. http://www.sheknows.com/love-and-sex/articles/816216/the-7-stages-of-a-break-up-1/page:2

“If you’re going through hell, keep going” – Winston Churchill

The Ginga Ninja

A Brave New World


So, the question is…what 30 year old woman gives up a good guy and chooses to be SINGLE?  Egad. Say it ain’t so.  Today’s society (no matter how hard we try) still shuns a single woman over the age of 29.  Who cares if she is divorced by 31, so long as she has snuck that first wedding in , thank god.

Kidding. Well…sort of.

But, what is the definition of Single?  Is it somebody who has never been married, has never had a serious relationship, has never dated, only casually dates, or somebody who has been divorced or even widowed? In a way, I suppose it’s all of the above.  One thing is for sure though, single men are eligible bachelors, and well, single women…..spend their life looking for Mr. Right, or even in the interim, Mr. Right Now.

It is actually so much easier to be a single woman today than ever before as far as the stigma is concerned, but sometimes I think those Victorian women had it the best.  Never had to work, sat around and did needlepoint all day with servants, had people hold doors and throw coats over puddles…and with corsets you never really needed to worry about your figure because it did it for you!  Holy Bosoms batman.  If you are lucky enough to catch a fella’s eye, he’ll take care of you…and if you aren’t…well, then your daddy will.

Today’s women are expected to be educated, employed , financially stable, smart, respectful, sexy….and not to mention possibly eventual mothers.  But, with most of us in schools until our mid-20’s, knee-deep in debt, how can we be ready to settle down by the age of 30, or crazier still, have our careers, relationships, and possibly even a baby popped out by that age!  Thankfully 30 is the new 20….or so I’ve heard.  That decade from 30 – 40 where you are supposed to have it all figured out sure is a bitch.  Damn that biological clock.

Anyways, I have married friends, common-low friends, divorced friends, and even those still looking for that first love.   And ladies, though this is for you, I do have friends in the Lonely Men’s Club too.  Today there really is no true right or wrong, but you can be damn sure for all those empowered women out there, 50% of them are as scared as I am right now and simply putting up a good front.

If you happen to come across a single gal….give her a pat on the back, congratulate her for all she has accomplished thus far, and tell her that the world really is her oyster….or at least her shell.  She could use the encouragement, because behind that big smile, those flirty eyes, that devil may care attitude and insistence she is going to make it on her own…is a little girl who once upon a time imagined that the idea of “once upon a time” really existed…that life really was like a Romantic Comedy, that Prince Charming was really coming, and that you really could do it all.  She’s okay, she’s doing alright and frankly, just getting by in this crazy world.

It’s time to embrace being single. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, I’m not fabulous (though pretty darn cute and not bad in the kitchen if I do say so myself).  But, I’m not saying Single and Fabulous.  I’m saying Single and Surviving.

  “Don’t worry about Life, you’re not going to survive it anyway.”

The Ginga Ninja