For me, the summer of 2020 was full of many unique experiences. It was the first time I cried on my dad’s lap since I was 12 years old. It was the first occasion I’ve ever successfully baked a three-layer cake made with homemade cake and frosting. It was my first (and last) attempt at doing a Chloe Ting workout challenge. It was the first time I had not been to camp for the season in my whole life. It was the first chance I had to see the Fourth of July fireworks in over a decade. It was my first time watching Cheer, One Tree Hill, Stranger Things, Outerbanks, Hart of Dixie, All American, Sex and the City, and New Girl. It was my first experience taking summer classes. It was also the first time I had been broken up with.
I was completely blindsided (over a Facetime call); my heart was shattered like a broken mirror, my appetite was diminished, and my hygiene was nonexistent. I slept through each day so I would not have to bear the pain of consciousness, and I tossed and turned each night. Amidst the pandemic, I willingly quarantined myself in my room, unable to be comforted by my girlfriends. I did not want to begin to face the world companionless.
I stopped responding to my texts, phone calls, and Snapchats, except only for an exclusive group of best friends I confided in. I went months without coming downstairs for family dinners. I spent a lot of time trying to distract myself with anything I could think of confined to the walls of my room. Despite these setbacks, the fact of the matter was I still got up every morning to wash my face, brush my teeth, put on a fresh pair of pajamas, and face life, even if it was just me in my room.
It took practically four months of my life for me to start fully living. Every day that went by, I continued to push myself with little steps, like opening the blinds to the window, doing a face mask before I went to bed, or creating a new Pinterest board. Eventually, I started to come out of my room. I began working out, whether it was going on a long walk or suffering through a YouTube video. My brother got me obsessed with Stranger Things...how is Hopper alive? I baked a lot of cakes. I experimented with babysitting four-year-old and six-year-old brothers, and yes, I did leave in tears. I developed a wonderful skincare regime, mastered my playlists, and started to smile and laugh again.
Throughout the summer, I became a better version of myself than I ever thought possible. I became more confident and reassured of what I wanted in my own life and my romantic endeavors. I enhanced my creativity and artistic talent. I became mentally and physically stronger. I didn’t realize at the time, but I was so eager to embrace the new version of myself that was waiting to break through.
To all the girls out there who are suffering through heartbreaks, here are a few important messages to always remember:
1. If he was stupid enough to let go of you, then he was never worth keeping around in the first place.
2. If you are the only one who is reaching out, please, stop texting him.
3. Everything happens for a reason, even if you don’t know what the reason is yet.
4. Even though you might be hurting on the inside, the sun continues to rise and set, the moon glows, and the stars still twinkle.
You are always you even when your world implodes. When life feels like it shatters into a million pieces, you have to figure out a way to fit them back together. My heart was wrecked like a broken mirror, and even though it is months later, my wounds continue to heal. As I try to reassemble the fragments, I understand it is never going to look exactly the same as it was before. However, I’m slowly beginning to see my reflection again.
The point is, each crack in my mirror was an experience I had during the summer of 2020, and these extraordinary experiences, both wanted and unwanted, compose the version of myself that I am today. I am not perfect, and I am continuing to improve and work on me. So as I stare back at my fragmented reflection in the mirror, I admire every crack and splinter. For every broken piece has made me stronger, wiser, and healthier, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Written By: Jessica Norris