The Museum of Broken Relationships | LA, USA

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Taking a break from my theme park articles with a post on one of social media’s then darlings: The Museum of Broken Relationships.

The video below made its rounds on the internet before and was shared one too many times on my feed – prompting me to realize that:

  1. Heartbreak sells.
  2. It sells because it’s universal. 

If you think about it, everyone has known heartache in one way or another. And for most people, at one point in time, they’ll wonder what to do with the remnants of a past relationship. Some choose to burn letters, while others keep them neatly tucked away in a box. 

The bottomline is, people tend to want a release from the items that once held lots of meaning. Fortunately, this museum offers exactly that.


One of the exhibit pieces I grew to love the most is the one by the museum’s entrance: multicolored paper cranes dangling from the ceiling. I’ll leave the story of the piece at the bottom for you to read. But before you move on (see what I did there?), I do hope you’d give the museum a visit yourself. I’ve got to say, a lot of the stories had buckets of emotion pouring out of them. Some angry, some sad, and others with a hint of endearment, as if writing the story was a final bid of goodbye – the last bit of closure they needed. 

And we all know how precious closure can be.

One Thousand Origami Cranes

We were 17 years old and we were in high school. We started off as friends, both of us having recently ended previous relationships. Then we started dating.

Everyone thought we were the perfect couple, best friends in love. We shared hobbies and interests.

As time passed, we started to realize that we weren’t made for each other. Our interests began to change, especially mine. I was no longer interested in playing video games and being with his friends all the time. He made no effort to share my love of photography and literature. One begins to feel unloved, unhappy.

I decided to end it. We were finished, but not done. We continued seeing one another for eight months. We fought almost all the time, but I loved him. We continued dating until September 2012, when he found a new girlfriend.

On August 2012 he began saying that he was working on my birthday present.

On Saturday, October 20, (my birthday was on the 23 of the month) he gave me my gift, one thousand paper cranes.

He confessed the great efforts made to complete them: all the sleepless nights, all the times he was on the verge of giving up. Why make such an effort when we were no longer dating?

But he told me he wanted to give me a wish, according to a Japanese legend. “Because if anyone deserves it all, it is you,” he used to say.

I know these cranes represent all his feelings about our relationship: all the love he had, all the blame for the mistakes made, all of it. Even the sadness he felt and all the resentment that was released.

When a story ends, it always hurts. But if you’re letting go, let go with love. I never counted the cranes. I know there are a thousand; I trust him.

I never hung them either although the legend says you have to in order for your wish to come true. I never did because somehow I know it is up to me to make my desires and dreams come true.

But I appreciate the contribution he made to my life, even in leaving me. Because it made me feel so empty, it forced me to fill the world with other things, with friends, with work, and [fueled] my love for photography, music and literature. As a result, I experienced an indescribable freedom.

Now I feel calmer; I feel I am a better person, and more independent.

I am still single and very happy; ready to love someone. Not to fill a void though, but because they truly are the right person to help me grow.

I only have one thing left to say:

Thank you, Alejandro, for every little thing, for every moment and for every crane. You are and always will be a part of my heart.

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