Expiration Dates

By Kenza

It should be noted that in some ways expiration dates are arbitrary and somewhat ignorable. These are not the expiration dates I'm talking about, I'm not talking about the ones in your fridge that force you to eat the yogurt a little quicker than you'd like -although to be fair I usually just end up throwing it away- I'm talking about the expiration dates with people. 

I understand that it's probably a two way street, but it's my blog so I'm going to talk about my own street. 

I've moved around a lot in my life and cycling through people has kind of just been a thing that happens with those circumstances. I will say that it's not all bad, you don't really have to put in much effort with people if you aren't going to see them for much longer. HOWEVER the flip side of that is you really won't see them for much longer, but I've gotten pretty used to it. But, with the amount of people I have cycled through, whether it's friends, acquaintances or boys I have noted that they kind of add up and take a toll on you. 

The part where you don't have to put in a lot of effort or care too much is great, I am really good at not caring about people sometimes but this isn't always a good thing. When it comes to people that really do count, sometimes I'm clumsy and don't know how to actually care. 

The part where people leave is the kicker. I have had a lot of people leave and in the beginning I didn't notice, after a while it bugged me, much later it pissed me off, and now it's ironically humorous (but like the kind of ironic humor where you laugh while you're crying because of how ridiculous you must look). Losing people is never easy and I am pretty much the master of handling this situation wrong but I have found that there are ways to help ease the transition. I have learned to just enjoy people for who they are and let them go when the time comes, but there are a certain few that have dug their nails into me. 

David Foster Wallace said "Everything I've ever let go of has claw marks on it" and I don't think there's a better way to explain who I am than that sentence. I could care less about people that take too much from me, the people who talk more about themselves than they even know, and the people that blame everyone else for their problems. Those people I can let go of because I never really attached myself to them, but certain people in this world that make me grow as a person and help me to question everything -especially myself- are the ones that I kill myself letting go of. I honestly don't know how to get through letting go of these people, if you have any tips let me know. 

I think it's okay and even good to cycle through people in your life and enjoy them for what they bring to the table, but it seems to me that people have expiration dates in friendships and relationships. The ones you can see coming from a mile away and either can't or don't want to stop it. I noticed that even if you think someone is going to be around for the rest of your life that the truth of the matter is that the expiration date is still looming and it doesn't care how much you love the person or what you would do to keep it from coming. 

Much like the laws of science, the expiration dates invisibly written on people do not care whether you believe in them or not, they exist despite your feelings and what you want.

The Truth About Breakups

By Kenza

They're layered. Just when you think you're whole again and out of the woods another wave hits you and knocks you down and it's not fair and it doesn't seem worth it and sometimes I really don't think it is. 

Recently, I went through a breakup of my own. I have this unique talent of repression where for months at a time I refused to acknowledge it. I tend to do things like:

- Pretend I'm 'totally fine' and 'seriously guys, I'm great don't worry about me'. But the weird part is that since I'm so seasoned at repression that I really, honestly felt totally fine. I felt lucky that I got to skip over all of the hard breakup stuff and just be over it

- Party. This was strange because I had just turned 21 so it's part of your job to party for a few weeks so no one raised an eyebrow when I went out from Thursday to Saturday night for about a month and a half. Going out is fine, getting wasted every time you do it when you're going out as much as I did is not fine. 

- Get a whole new group of friends. This can really help in a breakup, however since they don't really know you in the relationship intimately they can't offer advice. It's important to talk to people who were around during the good parts and bad parts. 

- Sleep. I am someone who avoids. I avoid everything, and sleep is a great way to do that because you don't even know you're avoiding because you're asleep. Well once my body stopped being able to do all the things during the day and still go out like I wanted, I inadvertently decided to sleep all day so that I could essentially go out all night. 

- Get piercings/tattoos. I got tattoos, I like them luckily and I am happy I have them. But it was something about changing myself so that he wouldn't recognize me as familiar to him. Anyway, if you feel like getting a tattoo because you've been thinking about it for years HELL YES. Tattoos are sick and I love them. But if you get 3 unanticipated ones in a month, you should be a little concerned. 

These are symptoms. They aren't just 'oh they're going through a breakup', it means a storm is coming for you. If the relationship meant anything to you, a storm is coming. I spent no time, absolutely no time thinking about what part I played in the relationship, what part he played, and how he was doing because if I did -and it's time for real honesty-  I would have completely unraveled. 

And that's exactly what I did.

The holidays hit everyone hard. Whether you don't have a great relationship with your family or you're having a rough year or going through a breakup. 

I spent every New Years since I started college with this guy, so New Years is what really got me. I couldn't run anymore, I couldn't sleep anymore to avoid it, I was with my parents so I couldn't party to numb it, and my parents knew him and liked him so there was talk about him over the dinner table. We recently moved to Bainbridge Island, so the whole time I was there I kept thinking about how much he would love our new house and where we live now. I really, really missed him. Not like I miss my friends when I go on break, I mean like there was something missing in me when he wasn't there. The storm hit me. 

I was forced to understand the gravity of the situation. I had avoided for 4 months (successfully) and now 4 months later, I'm supposed to face it. When everyone thinks I should be over it by now. Honestly, screw what other people think. You process things in your own time and if people don't understand that, then you really don't need them in your life. It's a good weeding-out process. 

So now, I'm sitting in bed. I have a sort of flu that I believe to be caused by stress. I have had to completely sever all communications with my best friend and the person that really meant the most to me in the world. I'm angry, sad, jealous, you name it. But it's better than being numb because at least now I know I can work through it.  

No one can make it better and people say 'only time can heal' well that's a load of crap. Because I spent 4 months of my time not healing because I wasn't facing it. You have to be the one to decide to get better, no friend, no substance and no amount of time can help you. It's hard work and it's emotionally exhausting and I'm pissed off that he's fine and living his life and I'm here thinking about him. But one of the most important things to remember is that it's not about the other person anymore. It's about doing whatever you have to do to get healthy, get better and get whole again. 

That being said, there are things that are helping me right now like:

- Ice cream.

- I have gotten really into soups which frankly I don't understand but I'm rolling with it.

- Grey's Anatomy. I always fall back on this show when my life isn't so great. 

- Cut your hair. I cut mine off, I love it and it'll always grow back if I get sick of it short. 

- Fresh flowers. They just help, until they get that really bad flower smell, then throw them out because it's bad Juju. 

- Stop excessive drinking. I have stopped drinking for a while. I don't know how long it'll be, I don't mean I wont have a glass of wine with dinner with my family because that's unrealistic and it's not the type of restricted lifestyle I want for myself. I mean when I'm in social situations at bars I don't drink anymore. It's cheaper, healthier and I wake up with no hangover on Sunday morning which is worth it. 

Here's something that I think is really helpful, it's not a black and white situation. You're going to feel fine one minute and then another wave hits you and you're not going to be okay for a while. That's okay, that's the process. Forcing yourself to be fine isn't going to help you it's only going to make it more difficult later. I am now facing my emotions and feelings, and it sucks. It's probably one of the most confusing and painful things I've ever had to do. But if I don't deal with it now I'll just have to deal with it later.