It’s the end of the year. It’s been one heck of a year.
While some of the past few months sucked big time, I wanna take this opportunity to also recognize just how lucky I’ve been to have received all this support from my friends.
Love received vs. love perceived
During a breakup your feelings play tricks on you. Sometimes shit ain’t as bad as it feels at that point in time, but you don’t know because your heart tells you everything in the world sucks and there’s no hope.
There’s this human tendency to sink into a hole of negative emotions (or sometimes just numbness). Whatever you’re feeling at the very beginning is all-consuming, eclipsing some of the sweetest gestures. The intensity of those feelings subsides over time and then you really start seeing how awesome your friends are and have been.
Tiny words on screens
Society likes to condemn texting.
But you know what? Words, whether transmitted electronically, written on paper or told to you in person, are still thoughts that are with you.
Here’s how many text messages I exchanged in the past 4 months:
There are entire text message conversations I had with some friends right after the breakup; during some of the toughest times; and at random points in time. They all helped mend my stupid little heart.
I wanted to point them out, if only statistically (to respect their privacy). Below are the ten folks I exchanged the most text messages with, in order of when they responded to my breakup.
The real world
There were, of course, also plenty of occasions when my friends would do things for me in the real world. They went on trips with me, made a point of trying new things (like making pie crust for the first time!) and sometimes sent me gifts from far away. In short, folks rallied to show me just how much fun life can be.
And that’s super helpful. After a breakup, you just have a lot more time on your hands. Even once you’ve cried yourself silly, there’s still time left for other things.
Here’s a timeline of real-life events from the past few months as documented on instagram:
Yowsers, the internets
Last but not least, I also want to recognize the 4,759 people who started to follow me here and the countless others who have tweeted and written about this tumblr in some very sweet ways.
I was not quite sure what to expect when I started publishing these charts. There were some really hateful comments on some sites. But there were also a lot of encouraging words that made me feel like my graphical explorations of this painful period weren’t as futile as I expected them to be. Thank you guys.
And have a happy new year!
Note: For this post I used a software that allowed me to recover my iphone data. I got individual spreadsheets for everything from calendar records to call logs. The csv file I received for my text messages was 21,417 rows of messy, unwieldy data. But complete with weird-looking things that used to be emojis!
As a former full-time videographer and photojournalist, I still like to take photos, even if I no longer carry a DSLR with me at all times. The lovely side-effect of having a small and handy camera with you at all times is that your photo albums are created on the fly and, if you’re anything like me, often posted on social media.