Advice for Dealing with a Breakup: Redecorate

One of the breakup quotes you can find on Pinterest.


Over the weekend, the Museum of Broken Relationships opened up in Los Angeles. Some genius in this world decided to build a museum dedicated to physical items/memories of breakups. My initial gut reaction when I heard about this museum: Um. What a depressing place. [Side thought: I hold a similar opinion on an Adele concert. Love her music during a breakup but paying real money to sit through hours of weepy music? Please cut my throat already.]

But after watching segments on the space and researching the background behind the museum, I am now more curious than ever to visit just so I could read the selected stories behind the chosen pieces. What a juicy glimpse into other people’s lives.

The Museum of Broken Relationships had me thinking about the breakups in my own life. Breakups are hard, right? Everyone goes through heartaches at some point. It’s inevitable. During last year’s breakup (aka Ghosting 2015), I desperately tried to find a quick, magic pill to ease my own unbearable hurt and pain. I never found the instant fix but instead slowly accepted that healing just takes time. On one of my pity party days where I did nothing except read Rosal and Neruda poems, watch Brene Brown videos and lay in bed, I Googled searched topics such as ‘How to deal with breakups,’ ‘How to get over him,’ ‘Best break up advice.’ Since I was desperate to find a broken heart cure, I looked for anything to motivate me out of my bed so that I could at least try to turn on the lights again.

There’s a lot of advice out there for a person mending a broken heart (I could have used this museum last October!). I tried, although miserably, to be open-minded with all the advice not only online but from loved ones. But when you are the host of your own pity party, nothing really works. However, I did run across one suggestion that resonated with my innermost OCD personality and heart: Redecorating.

Redecorating gave me a needed distraction/project.  Instead of spending hours in my bed searching Instagram to extend my torture, I dedicated my time to Pinterest searches revolving around ‘Small studio decorating.’ Instead of going through our old photos (again and again) on my phone and re-reading text message histories, I download the Ikea catalog for inspiration, religiously read Apartment Therapy for ideas and for sales. Eventually, I developed a game plan to redecorate within a budget and a small space.

How therapeutic to finally take down the photographs, postcards, hide (or donate) the shoes and leftover clothes. Since I no longer had nightly phone calls and weekends trips to look forward to, I used my free time to focus on redecorating. In between the tears and weepy moments, I measured the dimensions of my space and mapped out my possible new couch’s placement.

Before the breakup, my apartment felt closed off and dark. I knew that I needed a visual, positive change in my home life. My updated redecorating plan involved buying a brighter, more comfortable couch bed for guests, a rug to make the studio feel cozy and a coffee table just because I wanted a coffee table.

As a result of my broken relationship, I created my sanctuary. A space all my own again. A place I felt safe. Even with my heavy broken heart, redecorating allowed me to start rebuilding my world- one furniture piece at a time.

Redecorating achieved. “Sometime sadness is just what comes between the dancing.”-Patrick Rosal

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