When I was 21, I got my heart broken for the first time. I got the phone call that he was driving to my house (two hours away from where he was taking summer classes) to see me so we could talk. I knew what that meant, even though I had yet to experience it. I had the anxious thoughts going through my mind, the sweaty palms, my heart racing out of fear for what was about to go down.
I had a family party that day so I had a great deal of hiding what was actually going on inside me to do. But it couldn’t wait. We probably already waited too long, which is why it hurt so bad once it was actually done. That night, he picked me up and we went far away from my house, where my dad was always in full protective mode, to get it over with. It was painful—probably some of the worst pain I’ve ever felt. I grieved the nearly two-year loss for a while, as many do post break-up. I was so hurt that he could give up what we had. It’s been seven years since that day, and although we haven’t spoken, I hope he knows that I’m thankful that he did it.
A year later, my best friend decided our friendship had run its course. She felt like we both weren’t moving forward at the same pace and we had trouble connecting like we used to. At the time, I felt abandoned, as our friendship was starting to dissolve way before the expiration date. I had just gone through a breakup and was looking to party every weekend, while she was in a new relationship and wanted to settle down. It was bound to happen sooner or later. It wasn’t a romance, but the pain of losing her felt all too familiar, as we spent more time together than most do with their significant others. Despite how difficult it was to hear that she didn’t want to be friends anymore, I know it was just as hard for her to say. Though it took me some time to grasp the loss, I understand now why she needed to break away.
I lost several close friends within that time period. There usually wasn’t even a fight that led up to our separation—it was just time. I’ve come to realize that there doesn’t always have to be a reason for people to move on, it just happens as we grow. The friendships you developed in college, where your only focus is finding the energy to go to random parties during the week and still make it to your 8:30 a.m. class the following morning, slowly dissipate over time. You start to form different interests and make new friends in your respective careers, and you naturally start to lose each other in the wind. The relationships you had when you were young and your days were consumed of cuddling and nose kisses oftentimes eventually lose their spark, not because your feelings weren’t genuine, but simply because that wasn’t the ending to your love story.
Although it’s still difficult whenever a Facebook memory appears on my feed of the time I spent with numerous ex-boyfriends and former besties, I cherish those moments but don’t regret going our separate ways. I understand that we all grow and evolve in different ways, and the story you have written for yourself is not what typically unfolds. At 21, I thought that my boyfriend would always be there and the best friends I had would be by my side at our wedding. Since those breakups, I have had a chance to find out what I truly deserve in a partner and have a girl squad that would make Taylor Swift jealous. But it was those hardships that got me to the life I have today, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.