My Cure for Heartache Is Just Down Candy Cane Lane

Time has a way of making fools out of us all, doesn’t it?

There was a time when I felt with absolute certainty that the man I was with was the man I was meant to marry. And, despite that nagging voice in my head reminding me that I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to get married at all, ever, I carried on as though my path was already written. And let me tell you, that path was a messy one. I got lost and trampled over people I care about and crushed my love for life along the way.

We broke up. It was sudden, although in hindsight not surprising. We were on a porch – with his family and our friends inside sitting around a dinner table we’d all just eaten at moments ago – when he told me he loved me and that I was beautiful. I returned the sentiment and followed up with a request that he assist me with my mom’s big 6-0 birthday party the next day. There would be dozens of guests and I was domestically challenged. He suggested that we break up. I smacked him in the face, just like they do in the movies. And so it was over. I was sure my world would crumble, and for a while it felt like it did.

The peculiar thing about heartache is its memory. Its powers linger long after its gone and can render even the most strong-willed person helpless at the mere sight or smell of lovers past.

I’ve been an adventurous person all my life. I’ve broken bones and done face-plants playing sports and I have teetered cautiously up the sides of mountains. I have dyed my hair blue and then shaved it all off. But not once after any of the nosebleeds, perils or beauty disasters did I even consider retiring my jersey or hanging up my hiking boots, and my hair eventually grew back. And yet, the threat of a love gone sour can stop me in my tracks when I sense it’s approaching. Even when the slightest possibility of heartache is nowhere near, should I even think about a time when it ruled my life I become panic-stricken.

Why is it that emotional pain lingers on long after the physical scars have healed? And how to show that asshole heartache to the door?

It is my mother’s 61st birthday tomorrow. And that means that today is the anniversary of one year apart from the man whom I thought was the love of my life. He is celebrating this anniversary by moving in with his new girlfriend.

There was a time when the mere thought of him moving on without me was enough to push me over the edge. There was a time when I thought that even time itself couldn’t heal my heartache. But one year later, here I am having a little celebration of my own. Yes, I’ll be celebrating – and I share this with a note of caution that my playbook certainly isn’t for everyone – by inviting a nice young man over to my place so I can bask in why being single is such a better look for me. I have learned that I’m happiest when I get to dine buffet-style rather than with a set menu. For some this could lead to heart-attack, and I caution those women to choose a different approach, but for me there is nothing healthier than a trip to an all-you-can-eat dessert buffet.

If you’re thinking that I’m running away from life and dangerously close to becoming Alfie, you’re wrong. Trying to do it the other way is like trying to squeeze my foot into the wrong shoe size – it may look okay from the outside, but I always end up limping and come out much happier once I’m barefoot again. And I’m honest with interested parties about who I am, and it’s not like I have become just a fair-weather friend. It’s that I’ve gotten to know myself over the past few years. I’ve wined and dined me and taken me out on dates and I’ve really listened to what I had to say. And I have found that I’m simply better at life when I operate this way. I’m more productive. My zest for life blooms. You couldn’t smack the smile off my face. Call me a glutton if you must, but I will counter by reminding you that the saying “fat and happy” wasn’t coined for no good reason.

Besides, I’m just not looking for a serious relationship right now. And I’m pleased to report that it’s not even the memory of heartache that’s stopping me.

Yes, time has shown me that my heart can love again, and it turns out that the love of my life is actually named New York City, and so I’m moving in with him in the spring. He’s worth even the most sordid memory of heartache, and he doesn’t mind if I fool around with other guys before we take it to the next level. See you in May, my love.

9 Responses to “My Cure for Heartache Is Just Down Candy Cane Lane”
  1. Sara Schwarz says:

    Hanging on your every word. You have a gift AmyJayne. Can’t wait to read more. Also…are you and NYC registered somewhere?

  2. Thanks Sara! You’re so sweet. And yes, NYC and I are registered at a little place called Visa. And also Una Pizza (just in case anyone out there is looking to get us a wedding gift…)

  3. Peter McConaghy says:

    Great post AmyJayne, and great blog in general!

  4. Amy I too am better at life when I operate that way. My zest for life blooms and no one will ever change that except maybe NYC? Thanks for putting it into words for me. You will do so well in life. You know already what takes most folk a life time to come to terms with.. Well done. Deirdre

  5. The Food Whisperers says:

    I read it twice- wow Amy! You are such a beautiful writer! I can’t wait to read more!

  6. I Love NY…and I think NY loves me too!

    Together for 10 plus yrs….the best thing was cutting off the man who was interfering with my affair-

    Girlfriend, welcome.

    (just found your blog, I’m excited for you!)

    Happy Valentines Day, Tamara

    • Tamara, thank you! Happy Valentines Day to you too, and thanks for the welcome into your world of love and faith in NYC (and for the photos you share). Wishing you many more years of wedded bliss with your City. xoA

      • It’s time. You are ready… take yourself on a date. Go to South Street Seaport, upstairs to the candy store…and have a sweet time. Indulge with your sweet new love, who brings more and more love with patience and understanding of it’s city soul. Yum.

  7. Tamara, I am going to take your advice and whisk myself off on a South Street Seaport date this week. You had me at candy (and how could I say no to something so sweetly offered by my love?)!

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