The one with the breakup

Kayla McLane

Amidst the chaos of moving into the dorm freshmen year, my phone screen lit up with a text from my soulmate —my other half and true love, or really any other barf-inducing cliché you can think of.

But since those names no longer apply, let’s call him Big Mistake. The man I thought I would marry was actually a scheming, immature boy who lacked emotion and empathy.   He was as closed off as a brick wall, and had an allergy to anything related to the spectrum of human emotion.re-Kayla

I came to college and realized God’s plan for my life did not include him. The plan did not involve me getting married at the young age of 18, and it surely didn’t involve me in a relationship with a man who did not respect me. Walking away from that relationship was the healthiest decision I’ve made in my life.

Not knowing it wouldn’t last forever, I spent a lot of energy on a relationship that had an ending that looked like a nasty head-on collision with a semi-truck.

However, as I obliviously carried my tenth load of boxes up the stairs to the dorm, dripping with sweat and wheezing, I could not see the eventual crash approaching ahead.

My family and I unloaded more boxes than what should fit into a standard 12-by-12 dorm room, and while my mom micromanaged how I should hang my clothes, my sister tacked up too many posters while all of us kept bumping into each other. It was enough to make me want to pull my hair out.

After every box was moved up those dreadful stairs, we rearranged the furniture, and I could almost hear Ross from the television show “Friends” shrieking the famous line, “Pivot.”

I kept five of my family members content while simultaneously answering every text message from Big Mistake.

I came to college with the idea that I was the exception to the rule. Breaking up with my high school boyfriend would not happen. I was smarter; I was special. I was in love.

I knew better than the thousands of high school couples who had come before, all whom had likely broken up within the first two months of arriving to campus.

I worshipped the movies that said high school was the end-all-be-all for love and that we find our life partner in those short, confusing four years.

In reality, I spent the first year navigating puberty as an awkward 14-year-old. I didn’t understand love; I barely understood Algebra 101.

Moving into college, I was a know-it-all. I didn’t need parents who had no idea how it felt to be 18 years old. They also didn’t know enough about my relationship to tell me it wouldn’t work out.

Remember how we always thought our parents didn’t know jack about the world? Now, after being thrust back to the bottom of the social ladder as a freshman, it humbled me as a person and made me realize that I don’t know everything. Experiencing my breakup alongside women in similar situations, I realized I didn’t know a lot about life, just like every other 18-year-old.

I didn’t have much of anything figured out, and I undeniably didn’t know what it meant to be in a serious relationship. I know now that my parents knew I wouldn’t marry Big Mistake, but they didn’t tell me. They let me fall on my backside all on my own—taking life’s swings as they came.

We have to make our own mistakes as young adults. Life is just amusing that way sometimes. We don not learn from others’ missteps; that would be too easy.

We do what we can to conquer the hurdles ourselves—sometimes sailing above with ease, other times tumbling to the ground and eating dirt.