The last time I went through an actual break-up (as opposed to implementing a policy of gradually falling of the face of the planet in order to stop “seeing someone”) I think I was twelve. A few weeks earlier a boy in my class had asked me, through a friend, to go out with him. We sat in awkward silence at the opposite end of school benches at lunch for a little while. And then I decided to tell him, through a friend, that I didn’t want to go out with him anymore.
And then I went and danced to the Spice Girls.
I never did the sickening teenage romance. Upon entering the dating game, I became quickly convinced that my soul-mate was located either in the eighteenth century, or France. Or even more likely, in eighteenth century France.
So I am at a bit of a loss to know how to react to this. Movies suggest I should either be watching Sleepless in Seattle on repeat while crying into a bucket of Ben and Jerry’s, or in a perpetual state of drunkenness determinedly making questionable life choices and finding a new level of public humiliation (beyond the daily experience of being a classical singer). Insecurity tells me to buy a cat and start the collection that will come to define me in my perpetual spinsterhood.
How am I? It depends. Sometimes I’m strong, functional and calmly rational about it all. Other times the shock, sadness and emptiness take over completely and I cry for so long that I end up looking like I tried to blend tomatoes with my face. I swing between these states like a hyperactive pendulum.
I got used to being part of an us so slowly that I didn’t really realise how much I would miss it, so it’s perfectly normal for it to take some time to get used to being just me again. Common sense tells me to embrace the pain and acknowledge what I’m feeling, while staying busy with study and friends so it doesn’t become too consuming.
And I think that designing a machine to travel back to pre-revolutionary France while listening to the Spice Girls surrounded by cats is the perfect occupation to keep me occupied.