heart break

8/22/2015 – Day Eleven.

I haven’t had much time to spend alone. Which in a way can be okay, but in honor of this experiment I should be alone. Alone with my thoughts, alone with my worries, alone with my struggles. At the current time I can’t do things alone but I find myself learning to do everything alone. A few nights ago I couldn’t wait to come home. Sleep in my own bed, go back to my life. Back to my routine and what not. I had this fear of leaving my home that paralyzed my thoughts. I cried for no reason and felt this petrified feeling that everyone I loved was further and further away from me.

When you’re depressed, this dark cloud looms over you. It doesn’t matter how  many times you change your attitude or how much you try to feel better, nothing works. Before I left, something snapped. I couldn’t point a finger at the exact moment, but something happened and my heart broke. I carry things with me from the past that trail ahead into my present. I could point the finger at many culprits of my problems, but the longer the finger points the more I realize the 3 fingers that point back at me. Maybe I was always the weight of my own problems. Maybe I was the one that caused all this unhappiness. Maybe in the end I deserved all this sadness and unhappiness. I hadn’t felt like a good person in a long time. I knew I was selfish, I knew I was a hurtful person, I just didn’t know how much longer I could keep going. When someone tells you what a bad person you are, you start believing it. It infects your bloodstream and seeps deep into your bones, this negativity and paranoia that no matter how much you change, you’ll always feel the same.

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It’s all in my head. All in my head to believe those things. Some part of myself believes that all the goodness that I once had inside of me, left a long time ago. Instead I am left with a walking corpse that cynical ways infects negativity to everyone. I believe I am bad luck. Anything bad that happens to anyone, I believe I am the cause of it. Deep inside I do believe that people are better off without me. Its one of the reasons why I retreat to my shell so often. It’s why I hide from the world, its why I have wanted to spend this time alone. Because a world without me, is a better place for everyone. I know people will read this and think I have absolutely gone mental (or maybe believe that I am right). I painted this picture of my life and built it around so many good people, but once I feel I have hurt enough people, I paint myself out of the portrait. My mouth and my bullshit juvenile ways have found a way to alienate people. When I try to reverse the damage, people mistake my kindness for weakness and walk all over me. I can’t win either way. I can’t keep running away from my problems. I can’t keep pretending that my worries don’t keep me awake at night. I can’t keep allowing the errors of my past mistakes continue to haunt me. I know I can be good, I know I can be a good person.

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I thought about coming home. People I miss, people who don’t really have a clue about whats is going on, which made me yearn to go home. Figure everything all out. Then I wished to pack my bags and run far away back into my hometown. Deep into the dead center. Then I came to the realization that being home would only flood back memories. I am not okay. I am not better but being lost in a city filled with so many people feels better than feeling hopelessly lost. I don’t know where I am going. I don’t know what I am doing and as the days inch closer to being home, I realized how much I don’t want to be home. It rains so heavily here. It rains so often that all I want to do is reach my hand out of windows and feel the rain against my skin. Feel comfort from the feeling of running away. I could lay in bed until the clouds come back to haunt my skin and push away the sun. The lighting illuminates the sky white from the black. Crying out streams of light that guides us to a better way of feeling. It screams mimic my heart beat and I just want to be alone. I don’t have the straight to come back home. I don’t have the energy to pretend that my skin doesn’t hurt. I could lie in this bed forever. Staring at the clouds that come in. Staring at the familiar walls and tiles. All the comforting scents of this city.

I am not ready to go home, because at this moment I feel at home.

I am like the dead sea.

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There are moments in your life where you want to forgive. Forgive just for the sake of finally forgetting. Good times, bad times, and even the ugliest of times. Maybe that’s where I find myself categorizing you. I want to forgive you. I want to forgive every hopeless thing you ever did to me. Forgive every time you said the words and never took them back. Forgive the times you made me believe in fairytales and the hope that things would get better. Instead, I find myself forgetting you without forgiving you. Forgetting you in favor of letting go. Letting go would mean that it would finally be over and I’d have nothing left to hold on to. This tainted memory of an unbiased image of you and the regret you left me with.

I can’t forgive you. The more I try to say the words, I can’t bring myself to do it. How could I forgive someone that has never said “I’m sorry”?  How do you become the bigger person in a situation that left you beyond repair? I can’t keep playing the victim. I can’t keep pretending it doesn’t hurt, when it does. When my heart can’t open up the way it used to. When my soul still searches for an ounce of goodness in a vile person like you. You always said I was the better person. Lately, I just don’t feel like myself. I stopped believing in so many things that I’ve forgotten what my purpose is. I’ve continued to wipe my slate clean, but I never start over. Forgiving to forget you, when all I want is to forgive the things I can’t forget.

In a year, you said I would find my way to hate you. In reality it took me too long to come to terms with hating you. I can’t hate anybody. As much as I have the ammo to hate you, I can’t. Maybe deep down I am trying to be the good person you once saw in me. I just get so clouded with memories that its hard to remember who I used to be. I used to be so many things. I used to be a person in love and now I have nothing to show for it. I used to believe in lot of things and lately I just can’t begin to start. Forgiving is easy, forgiving is being free of all the hurt that the past has dealt you. The more I start to forgive, the angry I become with myself. The person I was in the past still with the mistakes of yesterday. No matter how many steps I take forward, I find myself running back. Back to the familiar, back to the stupid nonsense bullshit I should be over with.

You told me not to trust you, and that’s just what I did. You told me not to love you, and that’s just what I did.

Believing every word that I’ve tried so desperately to forget. Putting my trust in a person far to broken to ever understand the meaning of love. I know to love a person is to fully let go of yourself and put the trust in someone else’s hands. But I want it back. All of it. Everything that you put me through, every vile bullshit thing you said to me. I didn’t deserve it. I deserved better and you always knew that.  Finally, I know that now. I want it back. All of it. Every tear, every smile, every time I brought you up that you didn’t hesitate to bring me back down. I want the tiny broken fragments of my heart back. The heart you so carelessly tossed aside and I without hesitation gave to you. It’s the only thing I desperately want back. The one thing I find myself missing in the end. It’s only when I have everything back that I can fully forgive you.

I have to be the bigger person to forgive you. Forgive every word that brought me to tears. Every frightening word that cut through me worse than any knife could. To allow my soul to rest and my heart heal, I have to forgive you. Only then will I be truly able to forget you and finally let you go. I know I’ll never get the apology, I’ve wanted from you. To be honest I don’t want anything from you anymore. Even the heart that I’ve lost, will not return to me. Eventually I’ll get a version of my heart back, maybe not in the way it was before. Stronger, better, who knows. I am okay with that because in the end, I have to forgive. Forgive the past, forgive you and more importantly forgive myself.  I know, I deserve better. Next time I won’t be so careless with my heart. Next time I’ll know that I have to love myself before ever trusting a mirror image of you. When I can forgive myself is when I can forgive you. Until then I have a long ways to go.

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**This post was written a few months ago in my journal. While I do not harbor the same feelings I once did, I just wanted to revisit this and write it down publicly. Putting this post out is finally coming to terms and getting a sense of closure on this previous chapter of my life. I’m okay now, I promise. **

Confessions of a Shopaholic.

Back in 2009, I watched a film called “Confessions of a Shopaholic” (film was based on the Shopaholic novels by Sophie Kinsella).
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If you’ve never seen it, breakdown:

It’s about a girl named Rebecca Bloomwood, who’s a writer and because of her shopaholic ways ends up thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt. Not to mention she starts writing articles for a financial magazine about being responsible about your finances and wellllll ohhh the irony seeing that she is flooded with never ending debt.

CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC

Basically my life story without the designer wardrobe, less accumulated debt, or the handsome Hugh Dancy.

While I did absolutely enjoy the film, I at the time of the films release could not possibly relate. Actually, I just absolutely refused to relate. My spending wasn’t that out of hand. I had an absolute handle on my finances. Sure I didn’t have money. Sure I spent every paycheck on unnecessary things, but I wasn’t spending $325 a check on various handbags or shoes. I was in control of my money, in control of my life. The only thing I absolutely learned from that movie, wasn’t to save money. No. Not at all. What I learned was that I needed to step my wardrobe game up.

At the time of the film’s release I was 27, recently getting over a broken heart and you guessed it broke. I had a very good job, making really great money (great money that I knew how to spend). I worked literally 5 minutes away from my home and I should have been content. I should have been fine with the cards I had before me. Sadly once you start the process into your late 20s you become disillusioned with your current state and start thinking of the past. At least thats what I did. Processing a broken heart is a long process to begin with, processing a broken spirit can take a lifetime. I was in the middle of both problems. I was unhappy with my life, unhappy with the state of my solitude and started a downward spiral of spending.

Here was my situation:

While making money is great (Honestly who doesn’t like making money), my job wasn’t my ideal job. For the past 12 years, I had worked more than 10 different jobs and never felt any of those jobs fit who I was. I had been working non-stop since I was 14, I needed a change. What a normal motivated individual my age would have done was figured out a way out of that slump.  Either finding work in a different industry or just figuring some aspect of a plan. Had I been in a right state of mind I would have done that. Since I was still completely heartbroken, I found myself drowning myself in work and trying as much as I could to occupy my time. Work helped with the forgetting but it also made my life miserable. Honestly I didn’t know what I wanted as a career. I was finding some amusement keeping with a blog but nothing too spectacular. I loved photography but honestly I had grown tired of taking everyone’s picture. I was burnt out. I had been a nanny, telemarketer, admin assistant, executive assistant, personal assistant, receptionist, claims specialist, hostess, sales assistant, general store clerk, and all before the age of 27. I needed a new beginning. I needed a different change of pace. I also needed a new wardrobe in order to go into my new life.

Somewhere I had heard that to start fresh you need to get rid of the old and start purchasing the new. Purge yourself of your old life and make way for a crisp clean new beginning. Here I wanted a new life, something to get me out of this slump I was in. I wanted something that would make my outsides look fabulous that would in turn make my insides feel good. Equipped with various subscriptions to different varieties of magazines (Elle, Vogue, W) for inspiration and a new spending account, I was well on my way to a new start. Therefore I started with the first place I would get the most notice, my wardrobe.

My average paycheck from my employer at the time was around $1225 bi-weekly. I was making roughly around $612.50 a week. Coming from working at jobs where I was averaging $300 a week from temping, seeing $1225 on my check was good money. While I had always had a passion for fashion, I could never really afford the beautiful luxuries I loved in the magazines. Sure I’d splurge on a great pair of designer sunglasses (Dior “Glossy” $325, Marc Jacobs “Terry” $325, Dior “AviaDior” $425, etc), but owning a pair of Louboutins was just ridiculous. With the help of the wonderful world of Ebay, Ebay helped me obtain all my designers needs for a fraction of the cost. Then you have to put into account that a lot of H&M’s were opening up in shopping malls near me, the complete access of online shopping, on top of the Ebaying, that’s how it all began. Since I was convinced that owning new things would be the first start to changing my well being, I had a spending no-holds-bar-free-for-all. Lets break this down to the theory of emotions. A majority of everything I buy is based on emotions, during this excess spending there was no exception.

With a large collection of monthly magazine subscriptions, I started reading various articles of ways to get over a broken heart. One of them happened to be: “To get over a past relationship, rid yourself of anything that reminds you of your past relationship“. The article went into detail about things you should keep, things you shouldn’t keep and a variety of those items of course had to do with wardrobe. Since I was extremely broken hearted, I got rid of anything that reminded me of the past. Instead of getting rid of it, in the way of donations I found ways to make a profit of my heartbreaking items. I started selling everything. Craigslist became a huge factor and when items wouldn’t sell on craigslist I would sell on ebay. I didn’t care if I made my money back, I just wanted to get rid of things that reminded me of the past. Anything that was a memory of a sad time in my life, I wanted completely out of my house. I didn’t need this bad juju going into my new start, my fresh beginning. With the profits of my sellings, I started buying new things. Things that were going to improve my well being, my new fresh start.

The Spending Breakdown:

My monthly income: $2450

My monthly expenses (phone, insurance, credit card bills, gas): $382
Miscellaneous expenses (going out, restaurants, coffee): $344
Just my expenses alone: $726 a month

My “New beginning” spending income: $1724

Sales from Ebay/Craigslist monthly: $300 +
H&M: $300
Target: $500
Nordstrom: $150
Neiman Marcus: $375
Sephora: $75
Ebay: $400
Urban Outfitters: $100
Total Left over from Spending: $124

My monthly expenses allowed me to have a spending cushion of about $1724, to which I used to my advantage. Problem with that spending cushion was that I wasn’t budgeting any of that. I wasn’t putting more money to my minimum payment on either of my credit cards. I wasn’t even properly saving money. How I saw my check bi-weekly was $1225, the lump sum of the week where I had endless possibilities. Instead of budgeting my expenses or cutting costs in items I didn’t need, I spent more. On top of the need to change for my new beginning, more excess spending started happening. Upon reading all these “life changing” articles in various magazines, I found myself spending even more. A few items from Urban Outfitters, A few designer dresses from Ebay, unlimited amounts of new products from Sephora. My room started to look like a UPS shipping center. Items were coming in and leaving just the same. For every one thing I sold, I bought two items in it’s place. If I sold a Marc by Marc Jacobs dress (purchased for $325, sold for $100), I bought 2 more dresses (Ebay find: Marc by Marc Jacobs Dress $100, BCBG Dress $295). While I saw income coming in, none of it was making any profit. Since I was spending the money before I had any chance of making a profit, I was left more broke then when I started. Somehow I didn’t care. I was so completely numb from heart break that I didn’t realize that my $1225 dollar paycheck was leaving me only $100 until my next paycheck. Instead of saving that $100 dollars, I did what any irresponsible person would do. I spent it. I went from having a $1225 dollar paycheck to having only $100 dollars for two weeks. All in the name of a broken spirit and new beginnings. No matter how many times my parents told me to save my money. The countless times I had to ask for a handout to get me out of my overdraft hell, I couldn’t stop spending. The spending like much of my life was completely out of control. Yet somehow I wasn’t Rebecca Bloomwood status. I was still keeping up with all my payments and even if that meant my account would overdraft, all of my personal expenses were always paid on time. I didn’t have any bill collectors calling about my debts. While I did have debts, I paid just enough to cover my expenses. Yet never enough to fully be out of the hole.

Left to Right: BCBG Sequined Dress $295, H&M Dress $29.95,Topshop dress $59.90, Robert Rodriguez Dress $99, H&M Dress $34.95.  TOTAL: $518.80

Left to Right: BCBG Sequined Dress $295, H&M Dress $29.95,Topshop dress $59.90, Robert Rodriguez Dress $99, H&M Dress $34.95.
TOTAL: $518.80

Budgeting was a word that did not exist in my vocabulary. I was looking great. I had great clothes, great accessories, therefore people started to take notice. My once conservative way of dressing, turned into a more colorful approach to fashion. My wardrobe went from only a few key pieces to an assortment of stylish must haves. The more people complimented my ensemble, the more I felt the need to buy. It got to the point where I stopped finding the need to get rid of items and started to keep them. I state that I’m an emotional shopper because while I was purchasing things for my new start/new beginnings I was still miserable. I wanted to fill the void of my unhappiness that I found myself spending more money to obtain this happiness. The only time I had ever felt a pure sense of happiness was buying something. Because buying beautiful things meant something big was around the corner. With every new purchase I found myself wearing only a fraction of what I bought. For every 7 things I bought, 2 would be worn religiously. 3 would be kept for “special occasion” purposes, still with tags. The remaining 2 items would never be worn and just be hidden in the closet until I do my yearly donations, and still with the price tags. The $300 dollars or so I would spend at the store and wear only about $60 dollars worth of the purchase. I would be left $240 shoppers defeat and $240 dollars out of my account and deeper in the hole. It was this need for the luxurious things that will make my life better. So I thought. When you start maxing out your credit cards all for the “love” of fashion your realize that something eventually has to give. In the course of that time I had managed to spend a little over $3,000 in the course of 4 months. 4 months! If I wasn’t going out every weekend or buying everything I could get my hands on, I was paying off debts and finding ways to make more money.

What I should have done was asked for help. I should have talked to someone the moment any or all of this emotional bullshit was happening. I didn’t, I thought this was a problem I needed to solve myself. The only way I could resolve any issue I had, was with spending thousands of dollars on bullshit purchases.  It was more than just the spending, it was this emotional void that I thought I was filling with buying beautiful things. Looking at that part of my life as the person I am now, I just wondered why no one shook me and said what I was doing was wrong. Nothing I was feeling internally could be solved throwing money at a problem. No matter how much a bag, scarf, jacket, or sunglasses cost, while beautiful it may be was never going to ever make my insides feel better. While my spending has since downscaled since the Shopaholic Storm of 07. I can’t help but look at a lot of the items from that time period and think “Man I spent 400 bucks on this?”.

While I may not have had the supreme spending power as Rebecca Bloomwood, I did feel the void she did. Just that notion that all of our saddest darkest moments could be solved with a credit card and a shopping spree at Bendel’s. Thousands of dollars in debt later we both realized that, none of that was healthy. No amount of beautiful items will ever make us happy (as much as we didn’t want to believe it). The temporary happiness we get from buying things can never silence how we feel on the inside. While it took Rebecca Bloomwood about midway through the film to realize her mistakes (probably longer in the books), it has taken me a few years to realize my wrong doing. I get it. We live, we learn, and we save up money to pay off our debts. We all have to grown up sometime. While I may not have been vocal about my problems in the past, it’s good to get a handle of my emotional needs now a days. I know I am not perfect, I never pretended to be. Eventually we all find ways to bring our happiness back with out the need of material things. At the end of the film Rebecca eventually found a way to be happy and debt free. Soon, so will I.