I recently had an encounter with a young person who was so distraught they couldn’t speak, and I seriously thought someone had either died or was seriously injured. After the sobbing ended and they were able to speak, I was told the reason for the emotional meltdown was due to missing a person they had recently broken up with.
Let me tell you, the almost 5 minutes of watching the flood of tears, the erratic breathing, and the possibilities of what could possibly be wrong going through my head - was almost causing me to have an anxiety attack; so when I learned a breakup was the cause, I felt a bit of relief.
We talked and hugged, and I reminded them if they ever need me, I’m always available – that’s the great thing about cell phones – no matter where you are, you can be found…a blessing and a curse at times, really!
While driving to work the following day and thinking about the conversation, my first thought was, “Thank God everyone is ok” then, “Yikes, that was a lot of emotion over a breakup”; and then I remembered the devastation of my first crush all those years ago and all of a sudden I totally understood the level of emotion shown the previous day. Everything seemed so intense back then; and whoever coined the phrase, “These are the best years of your life” couldn’t possibly have attended high school. I had some good times in high school don't get me wrong, and I still cherish some of the friends I made back then; but "the best years of my life"? No so much.
I do however, try really hard to remember how I felt when living through the various seasons of life. It's so important that others recognize they're not alone and even more important that we don't give the impression that we know everything or that, as adults, we've forgotten what it was like to feel those intense emotions. I don’t ever want to become that person who sounds as if they’ve never had an issue or life just always worked out for them; or the person who makes it sound like they always did the right thing - because the moment we stop remembering – we no longer relate to those around us; and the moment we stop relating, we stop making a positive difference in our world.
My life has been a series of learning experiences. Some longer than others, some more difficult, some I’d rather never talk about again, and others I’d like to relive. Then you have those moments as an adult, when a song takes you back to that special night when you were 15 at a dance, swaying back and forth with the guy wearing the coolest white pants (Hey, it was the 80’s and they were cool!); or when your sister-in-law asks you if you’d like a piece of Big Red gum and you have to decline because you haven’t chewed a piece since breaking up with the boy with whom you shared your first kiss…which causes a fit of laughter that has given another wonderful memory.
This breakup discussion has left me feeling so many things; but most important is the joy I feel being thankful for many lessons learned, the countless wonderful people who've crossed my path and those who continue to make me smile.