When I was twenty, I met a boy. He showed me a world I didn’t know existed. A carefree and magical world in which anything was possible, and I was amazing. He was passionate, and caring, funny and spontaneous. I was heavy, he made me lighter… he made me what I thought I wanted, what I thought I needed to be. He was everything to me, my whole world, and everything outside of him was on pause, unimportant and trivial.
There came a day when the boy that I loved so, stopped loving me, and I was devastatingly heartbroken.
I spent months sleeping on my couch with a bottle of anything that numbed my mind, unable to sleep in the room that haunted me, I no longer felt safe or secure. My dreams were painful reminders of what I would never feel again, a face that I would never see again. Everything that I did was in preparation for the day that he would come back to me. I ran until I cried, I watched every show and movie he loved, I posted the typical seemingly happy pictures on social media, I re-read every Facebook and text message hoping to find the exact moment that I forced him to stop loving me.
I did everything I could in hopes that he would see the light and show up at my door. To this day, I am so thankful that he didn’t.
While I still love him more than I can begin to express, he forced me to do something that I couldn’t… Find myself.
The years we spent together were some of the best and worst of my life. I ran through money like it was water. I didn’t work – I didn’t have any idea of what to do with my life, career or otherwise… all I saw was my life with him. We were jealous, impatient, and possessive; we would say things to hurt one another and get some twisted sick satisfaction out of it, but also so much sadness and pain. The love we had was real, but it was a destructive, aching, and often an excruciating kind of love, full of our underlying dysfunction and self-doubt.
Being without him was a rude awakening, I spent the last little bit of my trust fund drowning my sorrows at the local bar, and eating more Krispy Kreme glazed donuts than I want to admit (ok… it was several dozens.) I was a shell of a person, unaware of how my own choices were impacting my life; which up to that I point I had put on a shelf, right beside my strength and confidence. I became weak, unable to walk away from this man that I loved so, but also hated.
So I started over, and began the journey to self-discovery and self-love.
As a little girl, I could always be found with a book in my hands. I would clutch them so tightly, just hoping and dreaming that the adventures and romantic stores that I love so much would someday find me. My mother would snuggle up beside me before bed as I would read, always stopping a few pages before the chapter would end. “Don’t you want to finish the chapter?” She would ask with laughter and frustration. Being stubborn, I would give her a simple “no” and close the book, pull the covers up to my eyes, and make a directional gaze from her to the door. Little did I know at twelve years old that the idea of finishing a chapter of a book would be so reminiscent of closing a chapter in your life, I would leave the characters suspended and unmoving in my mind, afraid of what the outcome might be.
One day I realized that you can live your whole life this way, never moving forward to see what lies on the next page. There are so many moments, memories, chapters of your life that are full of fun and happiness, and chapters of your life that are full of pain and sadness. As you wouldn’t keep re-reading the same chapter without finishing a book, you wouldn’t stay when you know it’s time to let go.
There is beauty in leaving pieces of your life being in every step that you take, every smile you can muster when you want to cry, every kind word you say when you feel unkind.
You may love someone, you may love him or her with every fiber of your being, but it may not be the stable and healthy type of love. You will learn. You will learn that what you want and what you need are two very different things.
You will learn to overcome your insecurities, to find someone who not only loves being with you, but someone who loves every detail that is you.
The type of love we had was overwhelming, it was too much for me, it made me ache in parts of my soul that I didn’t know existed. I will carry my love for him everywhere I go, and will always cherish what I learned, what he taught me, and what we taught one another. There will always be another love… my dear, there is a new chapter for you waiting to be written.