Declaration of warHeartbreak has inflicted grave damage on me since my relationship with my boyfriend came to a recent end. I was laid to waste by that full-torso sickness that’s so specific to heartbreak, which wrenches your chest and gut into a nexus of pain. Then came the dull ache from the grief of missing him, and the acute pangs from the unexpected reminders of him. A familiar temptation beckoned me to hide out and shovel popcorn at my face-hole until I was bloated enough to float myself down the Animas. I initially gave in. But I’ve taken the self-destructive approach before, and it’s both miserable and ineffective.
I wanted to do it differently this time, so I started to compile a list of activities that might combat heartbreak in a healthier way, and which I could reference again for future bouts of emotional torture. I will execute “missions” that have been strategically plotted within the scope of this larger heart-mending operation, and chronicle the adventures here in DGO. Many activities signify a refocused effort to appreciate my first love, dreamy Durango; some of them are personal challenges with an emphasis on riding solo; and a few are the standard, post break-up shenanigans you would expect from a sad girl skirting the precipice of a downward spiral.
Leaked intelWhen I relocated from Austin, Texas, to Durango a few years ago, I proclaimed that I had moved, “for love … of the mountains.” It was the truth, and I remain enchanted by these mountains that slice into the horizon, and ensconce themselves in beds of pink clouds and a curtain of indigo sky. I could pen a passion-soaked ode, but essentially, mountains are mega-babes. I proceeded to spend my first year in Durango entirely alone, a social hermit too enrapt with my new surroundings to address my isolation. Eventually, I opened myself up to the idea of finding some human love and affection here; I don’t mean to commit blasphemy against our beautiful backdrop, but mountains simply don’t know how to play tonsil hockey.
One Saturday evening when the well-adjusted people of Durango were mingling downtown, I ventured out of my den like a shifty creature of the night to scavenge for food. While waiting to pay for my take-out at the bar of El Moro, I heard low-pitched murmuring from a handsome man seated at the stool closest to me. I leaned in and asked if he had said something (assuming he probably needed me to move), but apparently he hadn’t spoken to me at all. His response was something like, “I actually didn’t say anything to you before … but I’d like to now.” It exemplified the artistry of delivering smooth, panty-droppin’ syntax in a package of sweet earnestness. That’s how I came to meet my eventual ex-boyfriend, Tom (name has been changed).
Rules Of engagementSo here’s how I see this project working:
You won’t be exposed to any bashing of my ex. He is a GREAT guy, to the extent that his gentlemanly conduct has inadvertently made this break-up extra hard … that bastard.
A rebound relationship is off the table. This seems like a critical time to sit with and examine myself, as well as the life I’m leading. There’s displaced energy that I had previously been investing in my former boyfriend, which I’ve resolved to channel toward my own self-care and interests. (Note: I’m a proponent of prioritizing self-care and having fulfilling adventures in general, but especially in the emotional aftermath of a break-up). I’m open to developing harmless crushes that culminate in futile flirting or platonic friendships, but I won’t be caught canoodling in any darkened bar corners.
When necessary, names will be changed or concealed to protect identities.
On a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be issuing comprehensive mission reports for two separate adventures that I’ve undertaken. Each report will provide a breakdown of the objectives, and a summary of events (and inevitable awkward moments). Plus, there will be a debriefing section that covers what I’ve gained or any advancement in particular skills, and how effective the activity was in terms of rendering first aid for a broken heart.
I recognize that my own heartbreak is nothing special or unique, nor is it near the severity of what others may experience after longer-term partnerships with greater investment. But, it hurts like hell nonetheless. So in the interest of soldiering through some pain now and mitigating pain in the future, I’m engaging in this intensive operation to expedite my recuperation. I hope some other wounded hearts find a comrade in me, and I’m armed with relevant content for the whole-hearted readers, too – I’ll be dropping some crazy bombshells, invading your favorite local spots, and attacking a solid list of Durango activities you might be interested in trying. Stay alert for the first mission, coming soon!
Cassidy Cummings is a mountain lover living in Durango. She likes her books the way she likes her cookies – thick.