Katelyn Bartels is a reader, a writer, and an avid watcher of The Office. She is currently attending Stephens College in Columbia, MO and majoring in Fashion Communication. Katelyn is Co-Director of Personal Relations and a writer for Stephens Life Magazine. She loves flowers, vanilla lattes, and her two younger sisters. We asked Katelyn some questions about heartbreak and she opened up about how self care helped her stay #onthemend.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
“You can’t fall in love with someone else, until you’ve fallen in love with yourself. You won’t be able to give all your love to another person if you haven’t learned how to give all your love to yourself first. You should NEVER have to change yourself for someone else. In fact, The One will make you feel MORE yourself. If you're even the slightest bit uncomfortable with any aspect of your relationship, you have all the power to change it or end it.”
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
“I am so much stronger than I give myself credit for. Also, I’m a lot better at giving advice than I am at taking it.”
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
“Take care of yourself. Your heart is broken, and broken things take time to heal. During or after a breakup, it’s really important to take care of yourself, even if it feels super extra. Cry it out, take a bit more time on your skincare/makeup routine, take a little longer shower, or cook a special meal. Just to do things, even if it only makes you feel the tiniest bit better. Talk to your best friend, talk to your mom, talk to your journal. Anything to get those thoughts and feelings out.”
Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?
“Over-thinking is something that always seems to kill me. I try to avoid the clichés like staying in bed for twelve hours, overeating chocolate chip ice cream, or listening to Taylor Swift’s Red album on repeat. None of those things really help, so I try to avoid them at all costs. Bottling it up is bad, but wallowing is worse.”
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
“Well, I’m only nineteen. I’m almost done with my first year of college, and I feel like I have a lot more to learn about love. But the most important thing I think I’ve learned is that love feels different every day. It might feel like an exaggerated rom-com one day. They might just feel like your best friend the next day. Love, romantic love especially, is more of a choice than an emotion. It’s up to you to decide if that’s something you want to prioritize in your life right now, and it’s okay if it’s not.”
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
“No way lol. I tried that once and trust me, it did not and will not work, no matter how hard he keeps trying.”
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
“I love love!! I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a hopeless romantic. I think that despite any pain anyone can endure, if happiness was felt at one time and a lesson was learned in the end, the heartbreak will always be worth it.”
What is your favorite song about heartbreak?
“I really like 'Explosions' by Ellie Goulding. She has said it’s about her dad, but I like the line that says, “I need to know that I can still make explosions.” I think it’s sad, but empowering. I’m also obsessed with 'Green Light' by Lorde. I think that is the best upbeat breakup song out there. I feel like it helps put you in the mindset that moving on is a good thing that you should want for yourself.”
What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?
“I like the movie Timer, it’s an independent film on Netflix. It’s not necessarily about heartbreak, but it will definitely make you think twice about the parameters society has set when it comes to falling in love.”
What projects are you currently working on and looking forward to most?
“I’m currently working on putting together a book! I've loved to write since I learned how, and I've loved to write poetry and prose since I was in middle school. In 2012, I started an online blog just to keep as a sort of journal. Since then, I've written over 200 pieces and published them on ktwoc.com. I've read several poetry books, and I've been inspired. On New Year’s Eve of this year, I made a resolution that I'd try to go through the actual publishing process and have at least one book printed of my work. I am in the process of selecting pieces to go into the book and I have asked some friends and family to do some illustrations for a few of the pieces. I'm excited to start the whole process!”