Five Break-Up Tips for Jacqueline Anderson, From Me and My Homegirls
I realize that we aren't friends. In fact, we've never had a conversation before, so initiating one in this online forum is a bit unconventional, but screw it. Ladies need to stick together.
You had a tough week. There was the divorce announcement, followed by media outlets snarkily republishing your (admittedly difficult to digest) Body of Truth videos. Then, there was the big DMA gala.
It got me thinking. You were married at age 20 or 21 back in 1995, the height of the AOL dial-up years. There's a good chance that you've never gone through a terrible break-up before, much less an extremely public one in a high-speed internet, social media stalking age. But my ladygang and I sure as shit have, and we like your style.
We applaud your love of racy couture and the ballsy way you've kept it real. So, I wanted to offer you up a little advice for breaking up publicly in 2013, the age of Facebook, texting, blogs, online journals (for holdouts), Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Vine.
1.) If You Want to Wear Those Lace Gloves, Wear Them
There was a lot of 'tude dropped about the outfit you shed in that first video picked apart from your website, but folks especially liked mocking the gloves. Of your detractors, I say: "fuck 'em. "
When we enter relationships, we pair down the things we love about ourselves in order to blend with another human. We have to; there isn't space for two people's everything in one, shared life. When we break up, we root around, trying to remember what made us special and complete on our own.
Sometimes you find mementos of those discarded parts of yourself in strange places. Do those gloves make you feel especially "Jacqueline?" Wear them. Wear them for yoga. Wear them to church. Wear them to Whole Foods, Target, the farmers market, school plays, PTA meetings the dog park and the pool. You're dealing with a lot of crap right now; do whatever makes you happy.
2.) The Internet Isn't Your Friend
The real curse of divorcing in 2013 is the ease of transparency. Back in high school and college, you had to physically seek someone out to tell them that you were feeling empowered, ruined or lost. Now, it takes one blog post, a status update, a few selfies on Instagram. Suddenly, the world is free to chime in on the state of your emotional house. It's a quick-publish system designed for failure.
Now's a good time to do a little spring cleaning of your shared connections. Take a few minutes to comb through your friends and followers online; reduce the number to those you actually care about, and vice versa. Also, you might want to use the "hide" feature on Facebook. Continually seeing your ex on your newsfeed doesn't encourage healing.
3.) Texting is Dangerous
You've just shared half your life with someone: things are about to get weird in your brain. Especially after three glasses of wine or two episodes of Call the Midwife. You'll want to know that he's experiencing a similar level of pain as you, that he's thinking about you, and that you're not alone (now that you're alone). That's when the texting begins. And it gets dangerous, fast.
Here's when you need one great friend. Reprogram your ex's contact page in your phone so that those calls re-route to her phone number. Then, let yourself send those crazy texts. Get it all out. If she's a good friend, she won't judge you. In fact, she'll cheer you on. Also, she'll know exactly when to ring your doorbell holding an entire pie and a tub of ice cream.
4.) You Might Join or Invent a New Religion/Philosophy
You've spent a bunch of years placing your faith in another human. Now, you need something else to master. I wasn't surprised by those videos announcing your new Ashtanga yogic offshoot practice; mostly because I'm a woman who understands the need to establish order in chaos. Hell, my friend Pamela just joined a cult in California. Shit happens.
We thought Pam was going to the ashram for a yoga and meditation retreat, but then they kept her and had her sign a six-month contract. Now she's answering to some Prince name, like Appelonia, and speaking passionately about an unlikely mash-up of disjointed philosophies. The divorce was hard on her, so we're trying to be supportive.
I once found Jesus after a break-up and became unbearably pious for about three months. My mother took up bingo and soap-making during her separation. I think break-ups are the reason Etsy exists. Attempts to regain control aren't always logical and will seem crazy to others around you, but only you know what you need right now. So again, I say: "fuck 'em."
5.) Trust Yourself, a Pen and Paper
Initially, you might want to broadcast your struggle, say through empowerment-themed videos and book deals (Don't do that public speaking tour: you'll regret it). Then, you'll just want to have some real talk and heal. That's when you need a pen, paper and privacy. Jot down when you feel terrible and when you feel strong. Use that timeline for perspective. Soon, you'll see what patterns and triggers cause the shifts in your headspace and you'll be able ignore them or address them. This is a gift you give yourself. It's intimate and private. There is no publish button. No editor. No public relations situation to untangle.
And if you take nothing else from my ladygang's collective break-up advice, trust us on this: If you're staring down the barrel of a meltdown, it's time to blast the Salt-n-Pepa.
Good luck out there, Jacqueline.