“It’s his loss” Is what they all said to me. My parents, friends, people I had only met once or twice in my life. “He’ll be chasing you once he realizes what he’s done.” Was another quote I’d heard three or four hundred times within the weeks that passed. After four and a half years of dating, an engagement and a wedding planned in the near months, my break up hit me like a ton of bricks. There was no rhyme or reason to the madness that surrounded the event that has forever changed the way I look at relationships and life in general. I was broken. I was engulfed in a smog that jaded the way I looked at everything. There was no way, I thought, he would leave me for another woman. I may not be the prettiest girl, but I’m funny, I’m smart, his parents loved me and I loved him so much my heart could have exploded. I thought he just needed time to think about what he wanted until I realized that what he wanted, wasn’t me. What he wanted was someone he worked with – Someone who is my opposite. I wouldn’t have believed anyone if they had told me, which is why fate had me see them in person. My heart stopped. I was speechless, emotionless. I never knew you could hurt so bad to point where you felt absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. I was motionless, emotionless. I stood there like an idiot watching them holding hands as they passed me. I wonder what she was thinking when she saw me standing there. Did she feel bad? Did he?
I told myself that since he moved on so quickly (or for lack of a better statement, had moved on while we were still planning our wedding) that I would find someone quickly, too. I went on hundreds of dates with morons that I wouldn’t have even looked twice at. It was a race. I NEEDED to find someone to throw in his face. Someone better looking, someone with a better job, someone who made make him cringe when he saw photos of us together. I wanted to hurt him like he hurt me. I wanted vengeance. But, date after date I just felt more and more miserable. It turns out that the only one I was hurting was myself. All I felt was the hole he had left in me grow bigger and bigger with every date I went on.
After the passing months I told people I had moved on. I was over it – “the past is the past” I said. I moved to a new city, started a new job, made new friends and tried to erase the memories we had made together. Everyone told me how strong I was, how they couldn’t even imagine being in a situation like that. I even had someone tell me that when she was going through her break up, she thought of me- because if I could make it through, she could, too. Day in and day out I would ask myself what I could have done to make him stay. To make him realize that no one would ever love him as much as I did. Looking back, I feel pathetic. I begged him to give me another chance. I BEGGED him to love me. Even after I had found out there was someone else, I was crawling back to him like a blind puppy. Strong? That’s not strong. I was petrified that if he didn’t love me, why would anyone else want to love me?
People thought I had moved on, but the truth is I was still right where I started. I thought about him every day, I still do. Only my closest friends and family know the toll it took on me. For everyone else I was this happy girl living life in a big city with a dream job – or at least that’s what my facebook would tell you. I was reading self help books and took a vacation by myself to try and find some peace of mind but the truth is, being in a foreign country alone only made me think about it more. I couldn’t find a remedy for my never-ending thoughts that tortured me 24 hours a day. I thought that I would have to live life in this state of mind forever, plagued with memories of how sweet he was on Sundays or the look on his face was he asked me to marry him or the time I grinded all his gears learning to drive a stick shift, and he didn’t even get angry. It’s funny that when you look back on something you miss, you only see the things that make you happy. Yet, when something is right in front of you, you tend to look at all the things that have gone wrong. Despite all of the horrible things he’s put me through, the good memories seem to be the only ones that stick.
It wasn’t until today, the eve before my 24th birthday that I sat in my car and breathed in so deep that I finally felt the cool winter air fill my lungs. It was the first time in a year and half that I took a breath and my heart didn’t ache. For the first time in as long as I could remember that I didn’t feel like I was insufficient. I didn’t feel that constant weight on my shoulders that I had felt for so long. It was the first time that I started to feel like the person I was before he left me. Fun-loving, smiley, upbeat and optimistic. It’s not because I met someone else, it’s not because someone smiled at me or told me I was pretty. It was because I finally realized that I was not the reason he left me. The reason was him.
There is no secret potion to get over someone. There is no mathematical equation- “It takes two years plus the amount of time you were dating” to finally move on. There is no conversation you will have that will make you feel better for more than 5 minutes. There is no man that will make you forget what happened to you. What is takes is time. It takes years and tears. It takes a deep breath. You’ll be ready when you’re ready and not a second sooner. All It takes is you.