I still get a bad taste in my mouth every time I remember my first heartbreak. It wasn’t heartbreak in the traditional sense of a failed relationship, but one that never took off no matter how hard I tried. I kept fighting and losing till I eventually was covered in scars.
You hear a lot about the pain, but nothing quite prepares you for it. The pang in your chest, the lingering cracks in your heart that never quite go away, and the realisation that all your effort and time, have come to nothing.
With Valentine’s Day just freshly past, the gist of love and being lovelorn or even worse – served heartbreak on a platter, now euphemistically referred to as being “served breakfast” by the ever emotionally sensitive internet community has been a hot topic of debate.
Riding hard on this wave is a now-trendy song, “breakfast na national cake”, heavily implying that heartbreak is normalcy and that we are all sure to get some serving of it very soon.
The lyrics are below (translation is in brackets if you’re not fluent in Nigerian pidgin):
“Breakfast na national cake (Heartbreak is a general occurrence)
E go touch everybody (Everyone will experience it)
E don touch my guy (My friend has gotten their heart broken)
I dey wait for my own o” (I’m waiting for my own heartbreak)
At first glance and even after a couple of listens, this is often the kind of song that you might dismiss as harmless fun, but the fun is never really so innocuous. I hate to be that guy who ruins the fun that everyone is having, but someone has to do it right?
Heartbreak is gut-wrenching. It’s easy to think of it as amusing if you’ve not had the experience but losing a relationship with someone you love(d) is not funny. It doesn’t matter the length or depth of the relationship. All forms of heartbreak feel like a rejection of some kind.
A very personal kind of rejection.
This person to whom we have opened ourselves decides that they no longer want the relationship for whatever reason. They tell you “it’s not you, it’s me” but even if that is true and they are the problem, it honestly does not hurt any less.
Still, the internet being what it is warps everything and even heartbreak becomes a thing to laugh about. Sincerely, I’m not some stiff without any sense of humour, but I do think there’s a lot on the line when we wholeheartedly chant to ourselves that “breakfast na national cake”.
We often underestimate how much our perception of life goes ahead to define how we behave and relate with everyone around us.
You meet someone new and you hit it off. You think you like them enough to make a relationship out of the chemistry you have, and you begin to build something. However, all around you, is all this talk of breakfast. In your head, you’re continuously humming the lyrics “e don touch my guy, I dey wait for my own o”.
In this way, we become always afraid. You never want to completely put yourself out there because of that continuous hyperawareness that you might be “served”. No one wants to be served breakfast, so we continuously only perch at the table. We never let ourselves slip entirely into the experience of being loved and in love.
I think that love is a full-course meal, served all day, all the time.
There’s going to be heartbreak in there sometimes, but if you let yourself believe that this is all that there is to it, you eventually miss out on a lot. Imagine someone so afraid of getting into an accident that they decide to never go outside. Granted, they may remain relatively safe for a while (assuming that the accident doesn’t find them at home), but is that any way to live?
Of course, this doesn’t invalidate the need to be careful when building relationships. Building a lasting relationship requires self-awareness and maturity, but I suppose that’s a conversation for another day.
The takeaway is that we should never be afraid to let love in. To open up our hearts to another person, and let them light us up. Love will always imply some level of vulnerability. This is something that we should accept if we are to experience any type of love that is genuine.
Breakfast may be a national cake, but only those who open up themselves to being served will experience a type of love that is worth having.