Monèt Noelle Marshall

Artist. Worker. Human.

Let’s make new worlds and call them art.

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When the world is destroyed, someone must remake the world. I think you’d call that art.

-The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

I was dumped recently. (I promise this will not become a whiny, "him hurt me" post about my personal life. Just stay with me). It was tough. I was not expecting it. And I had not braced myself for it. I was kind of blindsided.

You see, I haven't gone through an official break up in 5 years. I say official because I have been in "situationships" that never officially started so they could never officially end. And I had not been broken up with in about 10 years. 

So here I am dealing with all these foreign emotions and thinking, "Wow! Is this what people go through all the time? This sucks. Why do we do this? And how do they get past it? And whose Netflix account am I going to use now?" All important questions and as I pondered them I came to a conclusion. I, Monet Noelle Marshall, do not want to fall into victimhood (He hurt me. He broke my heart. He did this. He did that.) and I want my break up to make me better.

So I thought about the people I had dated. How things began and how they ended. I let these memories simmer. Soon lots and lots of questions started to bubble to the surface: Looking back, what did they think of me? How did they remember our relationship? What advice would they give me? For a few days I became obsessed with these questions and the possibilities of their answers. 

So last night, I sat at my computer and created a survey titled, "Your Relationship with Monet Marshall". This 8-question survey asks: 

How would you define the relationship?

Were you satisfied with the relationship?

What attracted you to Monet?

What did you enjoy most about the relationship?

Why did the relationship end?

Can you provide further detail about the break up?

Overall, how would you describe Monet and the relationship you had with her?

What advice would you give Monet for her future relationships?

And at the very end, I wrote "Thank you so much for your participation in this survey. While Monet is interested in your responses for her own edification, she may use this survey in a future creative endeavor. She wants to honor and respect your privacy. Please check the boxes below that resonate with you." And the choices are "You can use my name and responses," "You can use my responses but change my name," "This is cool. I want to know what you do with this," and "This is brave. I want to know what you thought about our relationship too." (I also included "Please note that by submitting this survey you are giving Monet Marshall the express permission to use your responses without any expectation of compensation, at any time, whatsoever." Because I believe in protecting my art by any means necessary. And I dont believe in getting sued.)

And before I could lose the nerve, I crafted a message and sent it to 12 exes on Facebook, going all the way back to my very first "boyfriend" in 4th grade. 

I thought I would be scared. And I am. I could receive some really difficult feedback. Or, even worse, I could receive nothing at all. But either way I am pleased with my effort. Pleased with my ability and willingness to ask hard questions. To let people in and let them out. And, most importantly, pleased with my decision to break up with fear.

Cover Photo by Chris Charles

Background image by Flickr user SlimJim