Arn't I A Woman?: How to Gracefully Handle Getting Dumped, or How to Re-invent Yourself



Sep 26, 2014

How to Gracefully Handle Getting Dumped, or How to Re-invent Yourself

“Even what may seem at first sight to be an intensely negative situation--a difficult relationship, financial woes or poor health--can serve as an opportunity for the creation of positive value. A lifelong commitment to justice, for example, may arise from an early experience of having been wronged.”

Ten years ago I had been dating Ryan for a month when he texted me to let me know he just didn't feel that way about me, and wanted to end things. Because he and I had been friends for awhile before, and because he was my first boyfriend, that took me awhile to get over. Even though we are great friends now again, we didn't talk for years after that. 

Fast forward ten years later, to this morning. I wake up to a text from the current guy I've been dating. His name? Ryan. His text? Let’s break-up. 

The absurdity theme has been relevant in my life for some time, so I am coming to accept the “hilarious yet awful” motif that is constantly being sprinkled across my environment like little white flakes cascading down a shaken snowglobe. 


As a matriculating undergraduate student fearing an impending future of joblessness and other terrifying realities of being a twenty-something in this really weird, globalized, wired age, I sought out council. It’s terrifying to be young and you should take all the help you can get, I think. So when I went for guidance on what steps to take to lead me out of this torrid path and into a more refreshing course of action, I was bequeathed with some of the best but most difficult advice I've ever received: 

You have to reinvent yourself.” 


It took awhile for me to understand that. That was three years ago and I’m just starting to get it. But the universe, it has a way of delivering the experiences you need- not want, but need- to go through in order to reinvent yourself, but you have to be willing to truly and authentically live through the pain if you want the lesson. I often find myself stuck in a cycle of avoiding pain and conflict at all costs, psychologically disenfranchising myself from real life as a consequence. 

Grad school is not something you can afford to avoid, or not be fully engaged with. Yesterday, I was faced with a choice after a grueling first few weeks in my program. On some real shit, I am slightly more intuitive than I give myself credit for, because I totally knew, like KNEW, that things weren't working with this guy and that things were going to end today. Today, specifically. My friend says you always know when that is coming though, and maybe she is right. Truthfully, if I had really listened to my intuition, I would have ended things earlier when I got that weird feeling in my stomach one morning like ‘this isn't right for me’ but I'm really still navigating the dating world so I didn't fully trust myself. Either way, I was fried, running around school for the undergrad class I assist with, writing my third paper of the week, knowing I was about to get dumped. At a certain point, I decided I couldn't handle it and told a fellow student in my cohort I couldn't make it to class. All I wanted to do was go home and throw my head under the covers and totally shut off. (“I need to recharge” I tell myself but in reality it is one of those avoidance strategies.) And my cohort said: “I think you need to do something different. When you isolate yourself, you don't feel better; you just feel disconnected. I think you can push through it.” He also reminded me to look for all the love that currently existed from the people surrounding me. It resonated with me and I knew in that moment I had this choice to make, and that I could keep feeling sorry for myself, or I could decide to radically accept what was happening and support that through a practice of gratitude. It was one of those days where everything goes wrong, and when you think you finally have survived it there’s another obstacle in your path. I finally was able to collapse in my bed around 12:30 AM. I honestly couldn't believe I had survived the day without folding. That's the dopest feeling, getting through what you think you can't.  So much shit happened yesterday to bring up all these things about myself that I struggle with, I feel really strong that I can get through a lot more than I thought I could. And I think that's how you reinvent yourself. 

So this morning, it was almost like, a reaffirmation of the value I am creating for myself in my life, to get dumped. I know that probably sounds loony but I think if you feel more free without someone, that is a huge sign they were not right for you, except to provide you with an experience that you can choose to utilize to grow authentically and uniquely or be upset over something that didn't really mean much to begin with. Also, as someone who cries like once a day, I oddly haven't. A lot of red flags in hindsight on this one. It's the ego side of me that is bruised, but I have to respect and nourish that side too, because it exists. 

My heart is full now as I listen to this playlist I just made, comprised exclusively of Divas. In the research I've started looking into, I came across a study on the “diva” theme, and one of the qualifying characteristics of the Diva is that she has a fallout with the public eye and then makes a comeback. I say this not because I think I'm a diva (I am) but because it emphasizes the idea that only through our pain can we find meaning and joy. Much like the phoenix, the diva has to fall in order to rise. In this we see the essentiality of pain and the hope for transcendence. 

Postscript: Do you think the blog scared him away? 

"In an age such as this one cannot help but thirst for the way. You may hate this world, but you cannot escape it."

“Teacher, there are things that I don't want to learn.” 

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Sojourner Truth

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that 'twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what's all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what's this they call it? [member of audience whispers, "intellect"] That's it, honey. What's that got to do with women's rights or negroes' rights? If my cup won't hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn't you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can't have as much rights as men, 'cause Christ wasn't a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain't got nothing more to say.

Sojourner Truth

Delivered 1851 at the Women's Convention

Akron, Ohio