For some reason, whenever I write about something for a creative writing class, my past relationships come to mind and paper. I don’t know if it’s because they’re the easiest subjects to vent about or they help me escape the present drama. They are far from happy topics to talk about. Obviously, every girl loves going back over her failed relationships.
When I think about my breakups, the word nostalgia comes to mind. For some reason, when I hear “21 Guns” by Green Day, I still think of my long-term high school boyfriend. When I pass the dorm on campus I slept in on most nights I think about my first, failed college relationship. When I drive through or hear someone talk about Harvard University, I remember that fond month and half I hung out there every weekend with my ex-boyfriend, my second failed college relationship.
Nostalgia is a funny word. I feel like people throw it around, add it to hashtags on instagram and don’t really think about it. One part of me thinks the term is so overused, so by the time someone says it with meaning, there is little left. The other part of me loves it, it sounds sophisticated and beautiful. It makes me sad that no one in our generation talks like that anymore; it’s either “aww” “throwback” or “classic”.
I am starting to understand why breakups are such an easy subject matter for writers, and why there are so many stories written and published about failed relationships. In the first few weeks of my creative nonfiction writing class, we’ve written about scars, our parents, and, you guessed it, breakups. Our teenage and adolescent angst we have about those relationships that ended so wrong can come out and rear their ugly heads in writing, in a safe space.
The best thing is, people sympathize with you! After writing about a relationship that has gone so far down the toilet this year and reading it aloud, I got back comments like “we are so sorry” or “that is so awkward, that must suck”. For me, it was validating. Maybe that is why people write about them, it makes the guy look like the bad one in the relationship.
Sometimes I wish I had other inspirations in my life than failed relationships. I’m tired about writing about the same breakup and that same weekend when things were still good. The one good thing about continuously writing about these experiences is that somehow, every time I learn something new about myself. That is the most important part about inspirations: they are teaching moments. If they can’t be happy memories, let them be teachable.