Saturday, June 18, 2011

One Year Later: Surviving a Break Up and Starting New

No matter how you slice it, break-ups are tough on both parties involved. No one ever leaves a break up as a winner or a loser.  Everyone feels the pain and goes through numerous emotions after it's all said and done. With this new blog, I'm going to tell you how I survived a break up, moved on, and entered a new relationship.  This blog is not meant to take shots at anyone or name call.  It's simply to walk you through the process I went through and how I handled the breakup.

When my last relationship ended back in the Summer of 2010, I knew the first step in moving on was realizing that it was over.  I had to remove my mind of regrets and "what if's?" I had to tell myself the truth, which is that it was best for both parties involved.  Sometimes, when you are with someone for a long period of time, in my situation, two years, there are a lot of emotions involved.  You have to take your emotions out of it and look at the big picture of it.  If the relationship is causing both parties more harm than good, there is something wrong.  Yes, all relationships have problems, issues, and concerns, but if they are happening all the time, draining both parties of life-force, it's time to think seriously about ending it.

If you are no longer connecting and there are chemistry issues, again, there is something wrong and maybe you are not meant to be with this person.  It's a hard realization to come to, after a long period of time, but eventually, you reach a point where you realize something is missing and it can't be fixed.  You realize that the relationship is broken and beyond repair.

It's best not to talk to them right away, after the break-up occurs, because you might be tempted to take them back or try to work it out again. If it hasn't worked before and you have talked and tried every possible solution, you have to look at the writing on the wall and face facts.  You have to go cold turkey and allow yourself to feel the break up. You have to feel the pain, the heartache and the sadness.  Once you feel those emotions, cry, and reality sinks in, you can move on and start new.

Personally speaking, I saw it as a chance to start a new chapter in my life.  You always have two ways to handle an unpleasant situation.  You can either be scared, avoid it, and live in fear.  Or you can say, "Hey, new is not always bad.  Something new can be a good thing.  It doesn't have to be bad. Embrace this new chapter in your life, as a single guy, and focus on you, see what happens."

First things first, I had great friends that helped me survive it.  They took me out of the house, kept me busy, and made sure I wasn't sitting around and feeling sorry for myself. We went out to the movies, out to eat, and I was never alone.  Without my friends, I would not have survived the break up.  I probably would have been sleeping all day, not shaving and not taking care of myself.  Because of them, that never happened.

I also started to get back into my writing and my career.  I was going to the movies every weekend,  writing about movies, and doing interviews again. I did an interview with Sean Salisbury in September that ended up being quoted in the Chicago Tribune. That, to me, showed me that yes, life is going to be OK and better than before.  There is nothing to be scared of and you have strength inside you to be strong and come out a better person.

I also found out that it was OK to do things on your own. I would sometimes go to the movies by myself or take a late night walk by myself.  I's OK to do those sorts of things by yourself.  It doesn't make you a loser or lonely.  It was sort of freeing, to be on my own, doing my own thing, after being in a relationship for two years.  I enjoyed this new-found freedom.

That said, I still wanted someone to hang out with, female wise, and have something more with.  I joined a few dating websites, and even talked to a few girls.  I didn't put a lot of stock in it. My whole philosophy was, "Hey, put yourself out there, no pressure. You meet someone, cool. If not, that's cool, too."

I was going to school, going to work,  following my Packers/Lakers and just living life.  I can't say I was sad and I can't say I was really happy either. I was just living life and doing my own thing.  As the old cliche goes, when you least expect it and when you stop looking, that's when you find someone.  Sure enough, that happened when I met Amanda in my Journalism class  in the Fall semester, and we started going out in November.  The rest, as they say, is history.  I couldn't be happier in my relationship with Amanda, or with life, in general.  I've never felt so loved, understood, or happy in any relationship before. The connection, chemistry, and love is through the roof.

Yes, the break-up I went through last Summer was difficult, painful, and unpleasant. Even through the darkness and sleepless nights, I was able to find my angel: Amanda. As the old cliche goes, everything, indeed, happens for a reason. The journey to happiness might be a bumpy one, but the destination was worth it. If you would have told me, the first night of my break up, that I would be in this spot, one year later, I would have thought you were crazy.  You can never predict where life will take you or who you will meet. It's crazy to think that a simple decision like taking a Journalism class would give me my soul mate, but it did.

That's the beauty of life and love.

-Tony Farinella

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