There is no secret formula to dealing with a break up. Everybody handles it differently. Some people cry, some people burn photographs, some people get absolutely blind drunk and kiss any available human within a five meter radius. All are fabulous coping mechanisms as far as I’m concerned. But for me, I hopped on a plane to New York City.
To give you a bit of a backstory, I was with this guy for almost two years. We were madly in love. I’m talking the kind of love that makes you spell out ‘I love you’ in barbecue sauce when you make him his favourite breakfast and serve it to him in bed. That was until he dumped me via text while I was at work.
I tried the traditional methods of dealing with heartbreak. My friends picked me up that night and we sat around eating chocolate and talking about how much better off I’d be. I laid in bed for days on end. Once I’d gathered enough confidence to leave the confines of my house I went out and drank fancy cocktails and (attempted) to flirt with the male species again. I was better, but I still didn’t feel like myself.
It wasn’t until I decided to visit two of my oldest friends who had left town for the big apple that things really started to change. Upon graduating university, they both landed jobs in New York City. When they weren’t working on Wall Street or helping celebrities daughters choose their next five thousand dollar handbag, they were hanging out with nightclub promoters and drinking cold drip coffee and reading books in Central Park. When they invited me to come and stay with them in their little Brooklyn apartment, the offer was too good to decline.
I arrived at JFK airport at 10.30pm on a Wednesday night and I spent the next three months basically just wandering around the city, but I never felt like I was lost. There was always something to discover. The subway systems are just as busy at two o’clock in the morning as they are at two o’clock in the afternoon.
New York, aesthetically, is exactly like the movies. But it’s the smaller intricacies that make it so magical. The boys on the trains who break dance for tips, the bands who play on subway platforms just to entertain the crowds even though they never stop to listen, the grumpy old man who is easily irritated by tourists snapping photos of his apartment stoop. (Hot tip from me to you, buddy: don’t live underneath Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment if you don’t like attention.)
By immersing myself in a completely new environment, I was able to let go of my old one. I was no longer plagued by memories of my partner because I was too busy making new ones with myself. It sounds incredibly cliché but by getting lost in New York, I found myself again. I’m not saying that it takes travelling to the other side of the world to get over a break up, and I’m certainly no expert on the whole relationship subject, but if you have an opportunity to try something new, please take it. It can seem frightening at first, but jump in the deep end and I promise you’ll teach yourself how to swim again. You’ll remember what it’s like to trust and love yourself, and it’s the best relationship you’ll ever have.