When I was sixteen, I broke up with my first real boyfriend. Back then, the thought never occurred to me that I might ever “love” again. I was devastated. And on one June day, after suffering through months of feeling bad and off, months thinking about him, I went down to my local salon and got the top of my ear pierced. I figured if I could have some kind of physical pain to concentrate on, then I wouldn’t miss him so much. Of course, it did take a couple months after that to start feeling better, but I never regretted that piercing. And I’ve had it ever since.
Fast forward almost seven years: another boy, and a whole lot of changes. Even before Andrew and I broke up, I had been talking about getting my nose pierced. Dreaming about it. But he always told me he didn’t like it, and so I held back. However, I finally decided this week to stop being scared and just do it. Because this is something I’ve wanted for ages and suddenly the reasons for not doing it weren’t as important as the reasons for doing it. And with each of these changes I make, some small and subtle and others glaring, I find myself settling into who I want to be. Who I’ve always been. It’s like I’m starting to feel whole, complete. For so long I let a boy be the part of my life that made me complete, and now it’s all about me.
And like that boyfriend, at sixteen, I dedicate this piercing to the boy who broke my heart. To moving on from him, spreading my wings, and letting myself feel free.