Thank you to the boy who shattered my heart at sixteen. You were my first love. And it wasn’t puppy love, nor was it infatuation. It was real, honest to goodness “Notebook” type love. I would’ve followed you anywhere. I would’ve moved to your tiny, dead end town and loved you until I died. I would’ve settled down with you and never wanted or dreamed of anything different. You shattered my heart and I owe you everything now. Instead of settling down with you, I took off on my own. Instead of chasing you, I chased my dreams. I learned to guard and protect my heart in way that many people never learned to. And I learned to never settle for anything less than the fire I felt when I was with you. I owe you every heartache I was spared because of the lessons you taught me. I owe you my bachelor’s degree. I owe you my double major. I owe you my academic honors. I owe you every success I’ve achieved since the day you broke my heart.
Thank you for forcing me to chase my dreams, instead of you.
Thank you to the controlling, jealous boy who tried to break me. You questioned ever move I made. You learned everything about me, and then used it against me. You told me that no one would ever put up with my drive, my ambition, my flaws. You told me that I could never make it without you. If you hadn’t been so awful, I never would’ve left you and I never would’ve realized how strong I really am. I would’ve settled into a mediocre, good but not great kind of life with you, because I never would have had any reason to look for anything more. So thank you. Thank you for every unkind, manipulative, nasty word you said to me. You made me look deep into every part of my soul and remake myself from the inside out. You made me wrestle with every flaw and every insecurity only to make me come out the other end realizing how truly incredible I am. You made me strong. You made me tough. You made me impervious to negativity.
I owe you my toughness, my resolve, and my ability to walk away from anyone who even remotes invalidates me.
Thank you to the boy who never left his girlfriend. You were never good enough for me. Maybe you saw that. Maybe that’s why you kept me at arm’s length. If you had left her, I would have given you my everything. I would’ve devoted even more time and attention to you than I did. You saved me from heartache, regret and a waste of time. So thank you. I owe you my 4.0 in an eighteen-hour semester. I owe you my summer abroad. I owe you every incredible, crazy adventure I had in Europe trying to forget you, memories that I wouldn’t change for the world. I owe you the twenty law schools I applied to in every area of the country. Thank you for only leaving her when I was already done with you.
You truly had the best possible timing. I hope she has lived her best life since you as well.
Thank you to the boy who spread lies about me. You forced me to take a break from all men to figure out how to attract the opposite of you. I killed it this semester and it’s all because of you. I will owe you the incredible, talented, accomplished man I marry. I owe you all the self-respect I have now.
Thank you to the boy who didn’t text me back. I had so many things I needed to focus on at the end of this semester, and none of them were you. I owe you the oral argument I slayed, the twenty-five page paper I just killed and all of the high grades I will be receiving on my finals this semester. All of the time I would’ve spent having pointless, mundane conversations about your favorite band and my dislike of all vegetables was spent learning everything possible about the law. Thank you for not texting me back. You gave me back so much time.
And thank you to all the douchebags, players, one-night stands, frat boys, mama’s boys, liars, and patriarchal stereotypes in between.
I am an independent, self-aware, self-loving success and I couldn’t have done without all of you.