1. It completely shattered me
Feeling completely broken is not something I would wish upon anybody. But ultimately it’s an opportunity to rebuild. Rebuild bigger and better. It turns out that all of that “you’ll come out stronger on the other side” bullshit is true.
2. I saw my relationship from the outside
I finally saw what other people saw. The illusion I had created, the fantasy of this all-encompassing love, was just that. A fantasy. The things my friends and family never said to me during the relationship didn’t even need to be said. I saw what they had seen all along. And what I saw was settling.
3. It made me feel like the most loved person in the world
So it turns out this one person, whom I had loved so intensely for four years, doesn’t really love me back. Big whoop. The entire experience proved that I have so many people in my life who do love me. It’s unfair actually, how many people love me.
As I re-read that, it sounds ridiculous. But the actions and words of my family and friends over the past few months have made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world. Being able to cry shamelessly in your best friend’s arms is really a sign of unconditional love. And though I only had that experience with one friend, I know there are others who would have held me just as tight.
4. It gave me time to focus on those relationships that WILL last forever
Most of my closest friends have been around for a long time. That tells me that I’m capable of keeping a healthy, loving, long-term relationship. Even if it’s only platonic, it’s more than my ex can say. Seeing the relationships he had with his friends should have told me something about what to expect in our relationship. Oh well. Live and learn.
The last few months have given me some amazing experiences with my friends that I will never forget. And none of them had anything to do with my ex. I was never telling myself “I can be happy without him,” I just was. There’s something magical about dancing all night with your best friends. And I’m addicted to it.
5. It demanded a strength and self-awareness I didn’t know I had
Obviously those first few hours, those first few days, after discovering my personal life wasn’t going to play out the way I thought it was, were the worst I’ve ever experienced. I felt like I was watching someone else feel everything I was feeling. I couldn’t control my thoughts, my feelings, or my actions.
But then one day I woke up and it wasn’t the first thing I thought of. And I made a decision that life would be better. I was capable of making that decision and sticking to it. All of a sudden I could look at the situation rationally. And I knew what was best for me. I knew my own worth, and knew that this person who hurt me so badly clearly didn’t see my worth.
Of course, I can’t take the credit for this. It all goes back to my amazing support system of friends and family. If people tell you something enough times you will start to believe it. And what I believe is that I’m awesome.
6. I learned how I need to be loved
Every person loves and feels love differently. And there was always something missing for me. My ex was never capable of loving me the way that I need to be loved. He loved me. I knew that and everyone who knew us knew that, but it was the little things that he just couldn’t seem to provide.
I always told myself that it was a matter of maturity, that one day he would step up to the plate. When you find yourself making excuses for someone else’s actions, actions that they don’t even think need excuses, there is a problem. Any argument or confrontation resulted in me feeling as though I wasn’t allowed to feel that way. I was just being crazy.
I will never let anyone tell me my feelings aren’t justified again.
7. It freed me
When I walk down the street now, I’m not wondering why I haven’t heard from this person. I’m not thinking that they must never be thinking of me because I’m always the one that has to make plans. I’m not restraining myself from calling them because they make me feel bad when I want to spend time with them.
When I walk down the street now, I’m smiling because I can feel the sun on my skin. I’m laughing, thinking about the crazy things my friends and I did the night before. I’m feeling so happy to be alive, to have everything I have in my life, and like my life starts now.