The Break Up Year: A Year Defined By My Ex

Break Up

How one break up can define an entire year.

I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to write this post.

Actually that's a lie. I know exactly why it's been so hard to write this post and why I've been avoiding it forever.

For me, 2011 was a bi-polar year. I had a lot of really amazing highs—won a work award, was honored at a fancy pants gala, got my face on the cover of a magazine, smashed my half marathon PR—but there was one heartbreaking low that really defined my whole year.

Back in May, Matt and I broke up. To say I was completely blind-sided would be the understatement of the year. It was a random Thursday in May. The weather was decent, I was looking forward to the weekend and glad to be home from work. I was more than a little surprised to get home from work, open the door and see Matt standing in my living room (yes, he had a key.)

Then he said the four worst words in the world, "We need to talk." And just like that a nearly three-year relationship with the guy I thought I was going to love forever was over. I'm pretty sure I hyperventilated as I choked on tears.

I spent the next several weeks in a numb stupor. I couldn't eat because my stomach hurt so much and I lost an absurd amount of weight in a very short time. (Don't worry it's all back now. I have tailgate season to thank for that.) I had never been so grateful to be swamped at work because it kept me distracted. I'd hold it together on the Metro ride home and by the time I got to my front door I was sobbing again.

It was a long summer. I was grateful for my friends who dreamed up crazy things for us to do to keep me busy and get me out of the house (Backstreet Boys concert anyone?). I was grateful for my softball team and our post-game margaritas.I was grateful for days at the beach and I was happy to be outside in the sunshine.

Still running took a major back seat. I didn't have the energy or the motivation for distance running. I embraced shorter distances and the mental clarity that came with them. (In light of what you know now, this post probably makes a lot more sense.) I ran with family. Tried to run for the fun of it. In the process I managed to set a new 5K PR.

When fall rolled around, I started to feel like my old self again. Tailgate season helped. Being surrounded by friends helped. And like the cliche says, "Time heals all wounds." And yes, time really helped.

It's been almost 8 months now and I'm definitely in a better place than I was back then. There are still days when I'm sad for what I lost and miss the way things were, but those days are fewer and farther between.

In many ways, this singular event defined 2011 for me. And I don't mean that in a bad way.

Yes at the time it truly sucked more than anything in the world, but since then I have grown so much and learned so much about myself and what I ultimately want out of life. I know I'm strong enough to stand on my own two feet. I have a job I love that I'm pretty good at. And I have the best damn friends a girl could ask for. I'm lucky to have it as good as I do.

So while 2011 was an emotionally hard year, I'm trying to take the lessons I learned and use them to pave the way for a kick ass 2012.

Written by Jess Milcetich for

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.