Tiny Heartbreaks

Published by Brooke 1 month ago on Fri, Oct 22, 2021 4:09 PM

These past few weeks, I asked Concordia students to acknowledge the little things.  

But not like, the fun little things.  

The stupid ones.  

Today is the day we acknowledge those things. 

Concordia does not have an overwhelmingly large student population, which is great. However, if you think that a smaller student population means that there will be fewer awkward interactions, think again.  

“I was sitting at a table right next to one of my friends in Janzow and said ‘Hi’ pretty loudly while looking at him. And then I was kinda just looking at him awkwardly for a couple of seconds before I just looked at the ground.”-Sid '25  

In fact, it’s possible that there are more awkward interactions.  

“Sometimes you say ‘hi’ to someone, but they’re listening to music and they can’t hear you.”-Jonathan '23 

We could write entire dissertations on our awkward interactions.  

“When you see someone walking towards you, but you are still quite far apart so, it would be weird to say hi to them so early unless you plan to talk to them for a long time. The alternative to this is pretending not to see them until you are almost past them so once you say hi, they have already walked past, and you do not feel bad for only saying hi and not having an entire conversation. The problem with this is that if it is inevitable that the two of you will pass each other, then you will have to deliberately not look ahead of you until they are close by. You can stare in any direction except the way you are walking. The downside of this is that if they notice you are walking their way, they might also notice that you are trying not to look at them. They might even be concerned that you are not looking where you are going and could potentially trip and fall. The ideal thing to do here is to look away from them for as long as possible, but when they get close enough to notice that you are looking away, then acknowledge their existence. This should give you and the other person just enough time to say hi to each other and a bit more. It is best to have a second line ready to say to them in case they are feeling extra talkative and decide that a 'hi' will not be sufficient for this conversation. If you do not say hi at the right time it can be an effortless way to slightly ruin your day and feel like a tiny heartbreak.” -Andrew '24 

 Sometimes, it feels like you’ve finally got the interacting thing figured out, and there's no one there to see it.  

“When you have something, you are excited to tell someone in particular and you’re waiting all day for the class you have with this person, but then they happen to not be in the class that day.”-Anna '24 

Or they’re not there soon enough.  

“When you’re walking into Thom or somewhere and there’s a person behind you, but you’re going to be late if you hold the door, but you also feel bad for not holding the door, so then you don’t, and then your heart breaks.”-Nate '24  

You may be thinking “Ah! People! People are the problem. If only we could go through doors without people. Then the world would be completely devoid of heartbreak.” Wrong.   

“When you try to walk through a doorway while you are opening a door but it’s locked so you just end up running into a closed door. Always a fun time.”-Micah '24 

It’s official. We cannot rely on inanimate objects for our comfort. 

“When you try to do a load of laundry and the setting you’re on is so weak that you have to do it like two more times. It’s only a few more dollars down the drain, but the disappointment is incalculable.”-Philip '24 

They disappoint us time after time. 

“Trying to put books back up on the shelves, and no matter how many times you put one back up, it keeps falling. Over and over again. And you think, ‘it’s happened seven times. Maybe this time it won’t.’ and you put up the book...one last time. You look at it. You make sure it’s not moving. It doesn’t move. You turn around. *BANG* it fell again." -Jessica '24  

Or we know we can rely on these objects, but they are inaccessible to us.  

"When you get out of bed to practice organ, but someone is already at your preferred organ." -Renata '23 

 I would like to have a moment of silence for our music majors. Never have I started a sentence with, “when you get out of bed to practice organ” nor will I ever have a preferred organ. I do not have your problems, but I admire you for facing them.  

When you are on your way to a lesson or music ensemble, and you realize you forgot your instrument and/or music.” -Kalie '25  

Another place we look for comfort is food, but even food can fall short.   

“When you go to make Kraft Mac and Cheese and the milk is a little sour, and then you have some really sketchy lunch when all you were looking for was nostalgia.”-Esther '23 

“When the menu says there’s egg rolls in Janzow and you’re excited all day, and you get one and you bite into it and it turns out it’s a tiny taco. Like it has the potential to make someone happy, but the moment has been compromised by the ultimate enemy: False advertising.” -Gwen '24 

 Even when we take away doors, food, and people, things can still go wrong.  

“When you finish your final layer of nail polish and then hit one of your nails and have to completely redo that entire nail with the multiple layers of color or when you straighten your hair, but the humidity is just high enough that your hair gets frizzy enough to be noticeable.”-Chloe '24 

Heartbreak. 

"When you forget which parking lot your car is in and you accidentally walk to the wrong one.”-Larissa '24  

After heartbreak.  

“Not waking up to the first alarm, coming back to a messy room, being late to class/work, not having the clothing article you want to wear be clean, being cold/sweaty in class, turning in an assignment late, when your clothes don’t fit right, forgetting a textbook, being gassy, not having someone to sit with in Janz, being thirsty, going to bed past midnight, missing chapel, dropping something in the hall, not spending time outside, not praying, feeling greasy/unclean or forgetting to brush your teeth.”-Caleb '24  

Life is life. It’s awkward, it’s sweaty, it’s upsetting, and sometimes, it even denies you access to your favorite organ. 

But also, you are you. And you have the potential to see the crappy Mac and Cheese, the damp clothes, and unreciprocated waves in the context of your whole life and say, "well heck. In this corner of the universe, I have my damp clothes, my crappy mac and cheese and my unreciprocated waves. It’s not always fun, but it’s mine.” 

My laptop has been kind of broken this week. On Wednesday morning, I had to study for an English midterm and I had no access to a laptop, so I woke up early and walked to Janzow to use those computers to study. This is not normal for me. In the mornings, I am a barely functioning shell of a human, so I usually get out of bed at 7:52 to make it to my 8 am.  

When I was forced out of my normal routine, i.e.,  I left my dorm before 7:59, I noticed things. There was a pleasant kind of stillness about everything. I saw people I didn’t normally see, or I saw the same people in a way I don’t normally see them. That minor inconvenience caused me to get a broader perspective on what my life is now, in this place. 

And when I did, I found that it wasn’t even that heartbreaking. 

Only a tiny bit.