connect!

Day 305: When Life Gives You Lemons...


Recently, I indulged in a rare moment of downtime and made myself a latte and futzed around on-line. After g-mailing, facebooking, tweeting, and linking in, I checked my AOL account. I know...don't laugh. Why I have never erased it is for one reason and one reason only: my mother who still calls the internet the world wide web, insists on using this e-mail address to contact me when she can't hunt me down on Skype. This is an e-mail address that gets over 300 pieces of spam per month and was created back when I had braces and a-rockin' night consisted of photographing my cats wearing feather boas while watching reruns of The State on MTV. I was such a party animal.

Being off the radar for the past week because of my hectic work schedule, it was no surprise that there was an e-mail from her waiting for me in a sea of junk mail and Facebook receipts. I have gotten used to my mother's internet etiquette or rather lack thereof. Her messages are always in lower case, no commas or punctuation marks and are cryptic notes that say things like: "call me momma". She truly doesn't recognize how a comma can change an entire sentence. But this is also the same woman who used to plant encouraging post-its around the house for our cleaning lady. For example, if Gloria moved the sideboard to vacuum behind it, she would be rewarded with a lime green post-it note stuck to the back of it that read: "very good thank you". My mom has never been sharp with expressing herself through written word.

Today's message, however, contained a link from her source of reliable reportage of world news and vital issues (and stuff); The New York Post and a note that read: "Ridiculous! Some people...I'm telling you. If MF pulls this I'll walk down to his restaurant myself and tell him what time it is." Tell him what time it is? Okay, I really shouldn't laugh. She composed an e-mail with punctuation and sent a link which means that she finally learned how to copy and paste; a technique that she once referred to as: "fancy computer stuff". This is a big deal for The Coquine Family.

My mother knew that it would pique my interest to read that Grammy Award-winning artist Adele is currently being sued by her ex-boyfriend. Not just any ex but the ex who inspired her award-winning album, 21. Why the hell is he suing her? Well, he feels that he is owed royalties of her album because he was the inspiration behind these heart-break anthems and claims that if it weren't for him she wouldn't be enjoying her current success. Okay, so let me get this straight, he treated her like terribly, left her for a model, she wrote about it, people liked it and somehow she owes him for this?! People never cease to amaze me. She's a recording solo artist, what else was she going to do? Release a rap album? A book of poetry? Yes, he inspired these soul-crushing lyrics, but this is a case where inspiration isn't exactly complimentary.

21, although difficult to listen to last year, is one of my favorite albums because it reminds me that no matter how strong-willed and resilient you are, nothing kicks you in the knees harder than having your heart broken. There needs to be some kind of outlet to let out that pain, in order to avoid showing up at your ex's house drunk at 2 am and making an ass out of yourself. For me, it was taking dance classes, reading and writing, for others it's cooking, watching crap television, and in Adele's case, it was writing an album that thank god will finally replace the heartbreak anthem "I Will Survive". I have always found that heartbreak, albeit excruciating, had a way of launching me into the next phase of my life.

My big break-up of 2004, notably after my father died, motivated me to get serious with my life because, at the time, my days were made up of waiting tables, going to Hollywood bars, waking up with a hangover - rinse and repeat. I was still young but I wasn't doing much with myself. After a month of self-pity and complaining that I had been wronged by my ex, I decided to get over it and do something about it. I went back to school, got an internship at a Fashion PR Firm and within a year and a half, was working at the corporate offices of my favorite designer in New York where I met my French bosses who ended up changing my life. Using the break-up as ammunition to succeed, I put all of my energy into changing my life for the better. If it wasn't for that experience, I wouldn't be in Paris right now. 

I still wonder what will come out of this break-up, and if it will come full circle one day. I guess all I can do focus on growth, work harder, recognize the past but not hold on to it, and make better choices based on my new found awareness based on past experiences.

As for MF, he better not sue me for my Liebster award-winning blog otherwise he has a tough Italian mother waiting for him to give him a piece of her mind, and he will not be issued a motivational lime green post-it.

What is it about heartbreak that inspires us to do great things? What positive changes do you remember making after a painful break-up that made you realize that it really was for the best?

23 comments:

  1. Good on you Ella. GM

    ReplyDelete
  2. My big break-up got me French citizenship, a move to Paris and a gigantic raise, and it all led to me meeting the wonderful man who has now become my husband. Not too bad for someone who was wasting away in middle-of-nowhere Bretagne just a few short years ago!

    But seriously, no matter how much getting my heart broken hurt at the time, I still had this overwhelming feeling that it all had a purpose and that it would work out in the end. And luckily it all did. (Otherwise that would've majorly sucked lol).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's incredible!! I think everything worked out just fine for you..to say the least.

      Your story is pretty amazing as well. You weren't speaking French at the time either, right? How did you manage?

      With most break-ups, I felt the same way you did, that I knew it was for the best and things were going to work out even better. The break-up with MF was the first time that I wasn't so sure and I was starting to get worried.

      I was MISERABLE for months straight (and being a professional photocopier where my stapling skills were constantly put into question didn't exactly build my morale) but now that it's behind me, I know it was for the best. Thank god he ended things!! I like my life so much better now!

      Delete
    2. Ha, I believe you that your less-than-stimulating job (plus the office politics) didn't help at all! But seriously, I think you did an awesome job at getting your life back together - and you're now making things happen your way on your own time.

      Delete
    3. Aw, thanks Sam!

      And LOL...yeah, "that" office certainly did NOT help.

      Delete
  3. I had to laugh at your Mom and her internet skills...exactly like my mother...never any punctuation..or capitals..spell check never on...sentences that run into each other so I have to forward it all to my sister for translation...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to excuse it as a "mom thing" but then I hear of friends of mine whose grandparents have like a tumblr and flickr accounts and think no, it's a MY mom thing...and apparently your mom too!! I'm glad it's not just me.

      I keep telling my mom to write a blog about her experiences on the plane and she looks at me like I just asked her to give me a root canal. This is a woman that uses her computer to play solitaire, check her schedule and e-mail and use Skype. That's it.

      Good thing she doesn't know how to comment on the blog!

      Delete
  4. Oh dear! My mother writes emails the same way! Punctuation is for saps!;) So is spelling;)

    Breakups force you to look within and make important changes. They're painful, but very cathartic. I'm actually grateful for all of them: they've made me stronger and they've helped me figure out who I am, what I want and what I'm willing to put up with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess it really is a mom thing! lol! My moms text messaging skills are worse! They go like this: "jakjs hi" She gets frustrated with the keys!

      Well said! They are painful but with the wrong person they are so necessary! I really am grateful that things ended when they did with MF...I couldn't imagine putting up with it for another year. I can't believe that there was a time when I actually wanted to work it out with him...

      Delete
  5. Regarding guys like MF and Adele's bf: a mofo is always a mofo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why is it always the assholes that hurt us the most though?

      Delete
    2. Cuz they're the ones who are sent into our lives to teach us the most about ourselves...

      Delete
  6. Very inspiring, I'm taking notes! Toi aussi, t'es forte cherie!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci!!!

      We will always make mistakes with the wrong guys and it's what makes us stronger and helps us appreciate the next good guy, as well as helps us learn what we don't want! : ) xo.

      Delete
  7. I would never give my ex credit for inspiring me, however, after our break-up I was finally able to be myself - without judgement and criticism from him. In turn, that encouraged me to get my blog on, finish my book, and be on the road to publication. I've always thought about including in the acknowledgements section: "Thanks for rolling your eyes at me in public when I told my friends I was writing a book. That humiliation motivated me more than you will ever know."

    (Just keep a legal disclaimer on everything and don't use real names!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's definitely not giving these jerks credit but giving it to ourselves. I too felt handicapped from pursuing my dreams because MF was pressuring me to go back to Fashion Corporate just so he could say that his fiancee works for so and so.

      WOW! You should so write that in the acknowledgments! I can't believe your ex made you feel like that! How hurtful. I can't wait for your book to come out. I have no doubt that it will be fabulously effervescent! I'll have to keep checking back at The Champagne Diet for updates! : )

      Delete
  8. I think your mom and my mom are cut from the same cloth...she also believes in no punctuation or capitalization on emails or texts, and I thought I was the only one who's mother also leaves the cleaning lady post-its. Ay yi yi! Apparently, you get to deal with all this as well. haha

    And, I will also volunteer to fly my ass out to Paris and give MF a "telling of the time" too if he decides to sue you. Preposterous!

    xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like everyone's mom can't be bothered with silly things like proper grammar in e-mails. She'll be pleased to know this (I know you're reading mom..so I guess you're off the hook!). And OMG..the post-it notes. Really? Your mom does it too?! It's so embarrassing!

      You should fly your tookus out to Paris anyway! Have you ever been here? I can see you finding it very inspiring!

      And I don't think MF can see...I hate to break this you ladies but his real name is not Monsieur Flaneur. Shocker, right?

      Delete
  9. I feel weird typing this since we don't actually 'know' each other, but I adore you, I really do.
    Mushy moment over.
    Break ups have always been my best source of inspiration. Nothing kicks me up the ass and into high gear like a break up (after a couple days of wallowing of course). But now that I'm married to a really great guy, I'm going to have to find another way to get a kick up the backside.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my..thank you! That's so kind of you. I'm totally smiling right now. : ) <-- see. No really, thank you.

      I have always found that I lose my inspiration when I get into a nook of a relationship too but the glimpses that I get from your life on your blog, it looks like you're still kicking your heels up!

      btw...you know I still think of the story you wrote about blow drying your pipes in the freezing cold! It's incredible!

      Delete
  10. My big breakup led to me learning how to be independent and love myself for the first time, which led to a kickass few months in Shanghai, which led to me moving to Singapore, which led me to meeting the love of my life (who I just spent the last week with in Ireland!). My ex was actually a good guy, didn't treat me like shit (we broke up due to distance) so he taught me there are good guys out there and I deserve to be treated nicely (as all previous exes were douches). I figured if he could be nice to me, surely there were more guys like him out there -- if not better :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment, Edna and great point! You don't have to be abused by the ex in order to move on, feel inspired and challenge yourself. Break ups are sad with our without the heavy drama.

      I'm glad you brought light to this because I wasn't able to. Unfortunately, most of my break-ups have been traumatic and miserable. :)

      Thank you so much for commenting and I'm happy to have now discovered your blog!

      Delete