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How To Be Successful: Get Broken Up With, Get Spiteful, Get To Work

by Avery Nixon

“My heart was pulverizing in my chest. The dial sounds seemed to last an eternity and a half while I waited for him to pick up. My first real boyfriend. My first love. The first person I ever wanted to share my life with. That person answers the phone in complete and utter silence.”

I wrote this, barely holding back tears.

Yes, that is a real passage from my first college writing assignment. And yes, I sat there and cried while I wrote about my boyfriend of three whole months. I know what you’re thinking, and I’m just as embarrassed as you think I am.

When I got broken up with over the phone, I thought my life was over. I was crushed. I wasn’t aware that it wasn’t over, but just beginning.

I was stricken with not only extreme sadness but jealousy. I was jealous of the fact that he seemed fine while I was dying inside. My life became a Taylor Swift song, and as much as I adore Ms. Swift, I couldn’t let that continue.

Do you want to know my secret? I’ll have to admit, it may say something about my character that this was my method of choice, but it worked.

I have always dreamed about being a screenwriter, but I was too scared to ever go for it. Even starting college, I never thought I would make it or even stand out in a crowd.

I felt as if I wasn’t even prestigious enough to be a side character in my own movie, but only to be cast as an extra. The breakup elevated those thoughts.

I was sick of thinking that way – as if my life was over before it began. I decided I was going to do everything in my power to be as successful as possible in my life and make him regret leaving it.

Not too long after he broke up with me over the phone, I began working day and night to prove to him I not only could live without him but prosper. My goal to make him jealous consumed me.

I am aware it sounds toxic to just try and “win” a breakup to make the other person miserable. But eventually, I got to the point where it made me so incredibly happy it wasn’t even about him anymore. I was doing these things just to put a smile on my face, not a frown on his.

Life got too busy to think about being sad and mildly toxic. Misery was conquered by clubs, photoshoots and most importantly, my passion: writing. Pushing myself to try and “win” this breakup actually made me find happiness again.

My sadness became fleeting as I wrote my cares away and opportunities started to arise. All of this made me take a long look at my past.

As a girl from a small town with only a few places to explore my infatuation for film and writing, not much lied ahead of me. No wonder I was miserable. Now, going to a college near New York City, I feel as alive as ever.

You can listen to “Liability” by Lorde, entertain yourself with the same old pick up lines on Tinder, watch “You” and think, “Man, I wish someone loved me like that,” or whatever else you have to do to fill the void, but I promise you, nothing feels more fulfilling than living the life you dreamed of.

You can always indulge in your guilty pleasures and listen to a heart-wrenching masterpiece of an album, say one of Taylor Swift’s, our queen, (also the queen of getting dumped over the phone) — but you could also indulge in your dreams.

I hope every broken-hearted person finds their way back to what they love. Whether you chose to do this for yourself or do it out of spite because you’re a Virgo moon, like me, just know your life isn’t over.

If you’re willing to be spiteful enough, it has just begun.

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