Finding love in heartache

There’s no better opportunity to connect with your loved ones than when you’re experiencing heartbreak.


Ansley Morris

Some of the moments that have been captured of me with my friends and family over these past couple of weeks.

Ansley Morris, Associate Editor

On April 7th, 2022, I had my heart absolutely ripped out of my chest. I was blindsided by a truth that no one, including myself, could’ve ever seen coming. I heard words I never thought I would hear come through the other side of the phone. My jaw hit the floor and it felt impossible to close it, my eyes immediately welled with tears.  Everything said on the other end of the line was completely blacked out from memory after that moment.

Now, I could continue to elaborate on how awful and heartbroken I felt after finding out I’d been getting cheated on, but that’s not the point of this story. As I walked to the bathroom after learning the truth to let myself break down, I ran into a couple of my friends who, without me even having to say a word, instantly rushed in to help.

After I calmed down and got the initial tears out, a group of at least ten of my friends gathered around me and just hugged me. This moment is what I choose to have stick with me from this day.

In the days following the breakup, I continued to notice the kindness and compassion in people that I otherwise hadn’t been acknowledging. I don’t know if it’s because everything else around me seemed so grim or if there was some part of me that just wanted to continue to see the good in people, but each of these moments of kindness, no matter how big or small, meant more to me than they would have a week earlier.

For example, simple compliments made my face light up; greetings in the hall made me feel more connected to those around me; and friends and family checking in truly gave me the impression that they cared, not just out of pity.

When you’re in a state where it’s so easy to feel and see the evil in the world, it’s important to acknowledge that you’re also the most susceptible to appreciating love and compassion. My community gathered around me in a time when I needed it most, and because of this, I noticed that I wasn’t previously doing all that I could to show that same compassion to others.

Over this past year, I isolated myself from the people I had around me. I was so focused on leaving high school and starting a new life in the year to come that I forgot to be grateful for what I had in front of me. I had friends that would be there for me in the way that they have since everything went down. All I needed to do was let them.

Call it last-minute senior class bonding or just genuine kindness from my peers, but I’ve had one of the best support systems I could’ve asked for the past couple of weeks and I couldn’t be more grateful for that.

It’s so easy to let heartbreaking instances turn you evil and cold out of anger and a need for revenge, and honestly, that’s what I was hellbent on for a while. But, that’s not who I am and I won’t let this experience turn me into something worse than myself.

There are always two options you get to choose from when instances like this happen. You can let the world turn you cold and try to get satisfaction by filling that void in you with the same behavior that put you there, or you can fill that hole with growth and love for yourself and others.

To quote Rihanna in her 2011 hit song, “We found love in a hopeless place.” That’s exactly how I’m feeling right now. While there are times when the heartbreak still hurts, it’s comforting to know that I still have so much love surrounding me. In the moments where I feel lost and hurt, reminding myself of this brings a kind of reassurance that lets me know I’ll be okay.

As my senior year and time on the Gauntlet staff are coming to a close, my one golden piece of wisdom to share with those to follow me is to truly be grateful for all the small instances of love you receive from those around you. Whether it’s someone holding a door open for you, a friend giving you a hug on a bad day, or even just a simple “Hey” in passing, don’t take it for granted. These moments can be the difference between a good and bad day for someone, and you never know who needs a little extra love.