#howimend: Artist Ophelia Mikkelson Shares Her Breakup Rituals

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By Kate Paguinto


Ophelia Mikkelson is an artist and designer from New Zealand. Drawn to the ideas of the home, the body, beauty and imperfection, Ophelia approaches all she creates with tactility and care. Ophelia lives on the Coromandel Peninsular with her husband, runs her online store and sends her makings all over the world.

We asked Ophelia some questions about heartbreak and she shared how keeping her heart open helped her heal.

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If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?

"Stand up for yourself and walk far, far away!"

What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?

"Luckily anytime I was hurting, my best friend Mary was surrogate boy friend. In fact 100% of the time when we were growing up she was my other half, my big spoon little spoon."

"I think surrounding yourself with true and strong friends who listen to you when you need to be listened to but also make you forget everything too, that’s who you need when you are going through heartache or any ache in life. Friends and dancing (like in your bedroom Beyoncé dancing) have been my greatest remedies!"

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What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?

"That love isn’t hard. Some people prove hard to be with but I have found that when it’s true, it is the most joyful, precious and freest thing in the world."

Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?

"Yes, now I think of it, but with zero interaction from all parties."

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What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?

"I always kept an open heart; I think that helped me, I never became cynical of men or felt failed by love. I always wanted to share my life and love with someone who wanted commitment and joy of it as much as I did."

What is your favorite song about heartbreak?

"I think there was a stage where I listened to Torn by Natalie Imbruglia a lot, but more notably Destiny’s Child Survivor and Independent Woman, of course!"

What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?

"Not movie (and not exclusively about heartbreak but), the TV series, The O.C. The O.C has seen me through my highs and lows of my life and heart. It is my saviour! And as it turns out, the love of my life my now husband, (is not in fact Seth Cohen) but is from Orange County! “Eureka Ryan”!!"

What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?

"At the moment I am working toward an exhibition in Auckland, New Zealand of my Woman drawings as well as making more socks and clothing for my online store."

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Kate Paguinto

Kate is a Content Strategist at Mend and co-owner of a small business called Dizzy Cactus. She likes puns, Wes Anderson, and the Oxford comma.

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