The trajectory of my priorities in life took on a radical change about three years ago, precipitated by one of the most ego-blasting experiences.
It was a blustery day in spring, as I sat with a close friend of mine in a West LA auto repair shop eagerly awaiting the owner’s attention so we could discuss my problematic vehicle. As he finished up a phone call, I heard an alert on my phone and I automatically felt a sickening gut punch. I was trepidatious to check my email inbox, for I knew something bad was coming. Sure enough, when I did, I received THE email. An email containing five concise and carefully thought out paragraphs detailing as to why MY RELATIONSHIP needed to end.
I passed my mobile to my friend so she could read it and her jaw dropped. The owner was off the phone by this point and both my eyes (and my ass!) were burning. He started his pitch and I just blurted out, “I’m sorry - I need a minute! I’ve just been dumped via email!“ The poor guy just looked back at me puzzled, not knowing what to say.
Well, truth is, neither did I! But my friend Monika did, as I relayed to her what had happened later on that day. She groaned and then responded, “Dude! You’ve been Berger’d!“ I had no idea what she was talking about - at first. And then I remembered. I remembered THAT episode of “Sex And The City” where Carrie was dating fellow writer Berger and then happens upon a Post-it note on which he lets her know their relationship was over. Yes, THAT episode when she was dumped via Post-It Note. (In case you missed it, thanks to our “On-Demand” world, you can relive the mortification, or, live vicariously through Sarah Jessica Parker‘s character in season six, episode seven, entitled “The Post-It Always Sticks Twice“.)
I’ve often felt the feeling of humiliation in front of people but never had I felt it whilst alone. I can now say I’m glad that relationship ended the way it did because it served as the lynchpin for some of the most vital growth I’ve needed to experience.
I was questioning every part of myself, and as a result, every part of myself was under the lens of close investigation. It was through that process that I began to focus deeper on what had been ignored for far too long. ME. It was all about that other person. I remember a friend of mine telling me that once he began a new relationship with somebody he basically handed over his soul and said he had nothing left for himself. I truly identified with that comment. And in looking back over the years I wondered in each relationship I had been in, just how much I gained versus how much I had given up. Intellectually I knew that a true partnership was not about sacrificing oneself, so why had I done it so much? I think a part of me used to believe a lot of those actions were “selfless“. I now know the opposite to be true.
So I stepped up my game at the gym, surrounded myself with healthy, positive people. I learned the power of forgiveness. I felt grace; true grace for the very first time. I started taking voice over classes and discovered a new found passion and the ultimate sober high when I stepped into the recording booth. And that’s how that dream again…
Breakups shouldn’t ultimately break us but hopefully, they break things down enough that we are able to break the patterns.
Photo, Hair, Makeup & Styling: Melanie Manson