Dress: Spell and the Gypsy Collective // Sunglasses: Rayban 

Heartbreak can take on many different forms. From lost loves, to the end of friendships, missed opportunities, the passing of a family member, all these things can make you feel soul consuming sadness inside and out.

Over the past year or so I have had more than my fair share of heartbreak. I have lost jobs I once thought were my dream through no fault of my own, I’ve been with two Grandparents during their final days, had my first long term relationship end suddenly and without warning, and found out my oldest friend has a terminal illness. My heart has broken a hundred times over, in a myriad of ways.

Some might say that heartbreak due to events in your life is the worst human emotion to endure but I disagree. Feeling your heart break for someone else and knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do to fix it is a million times worse. How do you comfort a parent who has just lost their own mother or father? What can you say to a friend who is feeling as shattered and helpless as you are? How do you console your sibling who also feels like their childhood hero has vanished and misses them every day? I don’t have an answer to those questions, but I do know that in time things begin to heal. Like anything that is broken it is never quite the same again, but the cracks slowly begin to be filled in with new memories and a new version of life is born.

My own personal journey with heartbreak has taken many twists and turns. There has been spontaneous crying and crying all day long from a complete sadness within. An inability to answer the question “Are you ok?” with anything that even vaguely resembled a truthful answer for fear of lifting the lid on the emotions I was struggle to contain. Forgetting everything, repeating myself in conversation and feeling physically sick for weeks on end. As the months went on, I curled further and further inside of myself, slowly but surely suppressing any emotion to escape pain.

I was fighting against the continual and vast changes in my life, praying for it all to slow to calmness, battening down the hatches until the storm passed. The further into myself I curled the worse it seemed to get. There was no specific day or event when I began to unravel, I don’t really remember it happening.

As time passed, new memories were made; celebrating my birthday in Barcelona, going to gigs and festivals, the hen party and wedding of a dear friend, a summer of sunshine and laughter, and the slow realisation that I was allowed to be happy amongst sadness.

As that realisation blossomed so did hope.

Hope is quite possibly the most magical feeling, a instinctual knowing that things can and will get better.

When life draws you back, it is best to think of your sadness like an arrow, pulling you back to propel you forward. As far as you can sink into heartbreak and sorrow, know that you can reach love and happiness of the same magnitude when the tide turns and life sends you hurtling forward again.

Now I’m setting sail, instead of wishing it would all stop I’ve pressed the speed up button, quitting my job, moving my worldly belongings across the country and booking flights to the other side of the world. A friend said to me it sounded like I was running away, in reality I was setting myself free and giving myself permission to feel happiness and joy again. I know that I am the only person who can. 

If life insists on throwing endless curve balls my way then I might as well direct that energy into a path that I have chosen. One thing I have learnt is that with life you are only ever along for the ride, so I decided I might as well make the journey worth it, for both good and bad.

There are still times when I find myself in a downward spiral, set off by the simplest of things. I have also found myself to be the person to start epic singalongs on coach rides, to snort laugh at the most inappropriate of things, and to feel contentment and like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

The thing about heartbreak and pain is that you have to know it, to know when you are truly happy again. I haven’t found my bliss yet, but the journey there sure is something special. After all, it is my experience that the kindest and strongest souls amongst us are the ones who have known true pain.