Last year, I experienced my first heartbreak. We didn’t have a conventional relationship. He was non-committal and I convinced myself it was acceptable (it wasn’t). I was clouded by the hope that he would someday be a man and make things right with me. He never did and I was left to mourn the loss of the boy I considered my best friend.
In respect to the person this blog concerns, I won’t go into details on why we ended our relationship. I’ll only mention the following: 1. He broke up with me. 2. I naively wanted to work things out. 3. We tried. 4. We failed. 5. After all was said and done, we decided to sever all ties and move on with our separate lives.
I didn’t take the breakup well. I cried everyday for several weeks. I would feel excited to leave work and class just so I could go home and cry again. I finally understood what my skinny friends meant when they “forget to eat". I developed a hatred for Hello Kitty. Whenever my Ex would feel bad about something, he would buy me a Hello Kitty doll. Given our turmoil, I had several of these Guilt Kitties collecting dust all over my apartment. I wanted to rip her cute little face to pieces every time I thought of him. I was a mess.
At the time, I thought I would never get through the aching feeling of being alone. My friends were beautiful through the experience and kept reminding me that he didn’t treat me well. I, of course, didn’t believe them and immediately jumped back into the pool of self-pity where I cried as I watched Hawaii Five-O and ate stale crackers for dinner. There’s no point in trying to reason with the brokenhearted. As a close friend shared, “You have to let yourself be sad before you’re ready to heal.”
At a certain point, I became concerned that the mourning process had negatively affected my life. I stopped writing. I didn’t go out much. I wore hideously unattractive sweatpants outdoors. Like many broken people on that desperate quest to expedite the healing process, I too brought someone else down with me. Some people get involved in meaningless “relationships” while others recruit friends to stalk and abuse their Ex. Not one to want a trip to the free clinic and/or a retraining order, I went to the bird store to find comfort.
Hana (Japanese for “flower” and Korean for “one”), my beautiful lovebird, has been the love of my life since the day she flew directly in my face at Pampered Birds. My friends encouraged me to get a pet to distract myself from my aching heart. It worked! Instead of healing my insecurities and focusing on loving myself, I was running after a tiny green bird, consistently scrubbing bird poo out of my carpet and desperately trying to keep her quiet to avoid an eviction.
The only way to keep her quiet was to hold her close to me. Lovebirds, in their nature, require constant companionship. Whenever I was at home (which wasn’t often), Hana demanded 100% of my attention. She loved cuddling. My moments with her were sweet and I quickly fell in love with this precious ball of green and peach feathers.
She was my baby. I only gave her filtered water. I cleaned her home twice a day. When she was sick, I canceled plans to make sure I would be there for overpriced medicine time. She had a strange smell, but I soon learned to love it. I kissed her every chance I had and allowed her to ruin several of my favorite shirts. She had me wrapped around her little green wing.
While I was washing the dishes one day, Hana was in her cage chirping. However, it wasn’t the usual pattern of joyous chirps. I looked over and saw her staring into a tiny mirror in her cage. Due to having paper-thin walls, her chirps echoed and she misinterpreted the feedback for another bird. She would search for her mysterious bird friend, but he was nowhere to be found. Her faint chirps gutted me when I realized she had longed for the same thing I wanted: a partner.
That night, I held her and cried in bed as I came to the realization that I had denied Hana a lifelong partner. I couldn’t provide another lovebird because the bird banter would surely secure an eviction notice, leaving all of us homeless. I made the difficult decision to find her a mate and a new home. I posted ads on several classified websites. For personal reasons and the negative connotations associated, I avoided craigslist.org. It was like online dating, but for birds.
I wasn’t surprised to see that my beautiful angel received several responses. I sifted through them and immediately deleted people who had neglected spell check and/or didn’t have a lovebird (i.e. did NOT read my ad properly). I would even send the replies to my friend Angela for a second opinion. My standards for Hana were high, way higher than my own standards in the human dating world.
I prayed every night for the Lord to give Hana a beautiful life. I wanted her to have a HUGE home with a partner who would be her lifelong mate. After a few days of deleting nonsense in my inbox, I found a family who had recently adopted a lovebird and sought a mate. The family had a HUGE aviary and their lovebird was a babe! Perfect!!! I soon made arrangements for them to meet to test their compatibility.
My heart ached as I drove to the park to meet Hana’s potential family. I was fine until I parked my car and held her for one last time. There I was, clenching a small bird at a public park as streams of tears and mascara residue poured down my face. I looked like a crazy person. She was my baby and I was so heartbroken to see her go. I called Angela and she reassured me that I was doing the right thing for Hana. I quickly wiped my tears because I knew that “unstable” was not a good first impression with the in-laws.
Hana and “Mr. Potato Head” were fast friends. I had a peace in my heart that this was her mate. I liked the family and felt good to give Hana (or by default, “Mrs. Potato Head”) the opportunity to have love. I kissed her goodbye and watched as Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head started their new life together.
I got into my car and cried by myself for a few minutes. My heart was once again broken to pieces. The only difference was that I was also happy amid my sadness. Now that Mrs. Potato Head found love, I had the tremendous opportunity to focus on loving myself. I wiped my tears, shifted my car into drive and decided to pamper myself that day. I got my eyebrows threaded, bought a few replacement shirts and treated myself to a delicious lunch.
Upon arriving home, I collected all of my dusty Hello Kitty dolls and donated them to a thrift store for others to enjoy. My beautiful friend Tara generously rearranged my furniture and helped to make my apartment a home. After months of agonizing over a lost love, I was finally able to have a fresh start in loving ME.
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