12 In-Depth Lessons I've Learned Because Of My Break Up

I’m Slowly Learning That Letting Go Doesn’t Happen All At Once

I used to think that I would feel the exact moment I was able to let you go. That it would shake the earth’s core and rumble the ground beneath my feet. That I would wake up feeling lighter — a new version of myself without our past weighing me down.

I used to think letting go would happen all at once. That it would be loud. It would be obvious and apparent. That I would know the exact second it happened. I would feel a release, a shock, anything that signaled this was it.

I waited a long time for this moment; I was so eager for this part of my life to be over. But, ironically, or maybe intentionally, time felt like it moved slower. The seconds felt eternal. The days felt like years. I was swimming through molasses.

I wanted to let go quickly, like ripping a band-aid off, but I couldn’t figure out how. I couldn’t uncover the secret to feeling this sudden, soothing reprieve.

I peeled myself out of bed day by day, I wiped the corners of my eyes and brushed my hair. I went through the motions. But mostly, I waited. And in waiting for this monumental celebration to strike me like lightning, I realized that this moment was never going to come. Because while we wish we could tangibly let go of the dead weight swinging from our hips and dancing in our minds, this is not reality.

It was unfair of me to assume I could overlook the amount of work that would go into the process of letting go. A process meant for healing and growth; patience and resiliency. A process I initially resented, but have learned over time to be grateful for.

Because even through the sadness, even through the frustration, even through the longing of being past this very point in time, I was learning to live without you. I woke up day by day and my life went on; my world did not stop just because you were no longer in it.

I re-learned things about myself. Things I loved to do and experience, things that seemed insignificant in your eyes and I regretfully believed you for so long. I learned how to comfort myself. How to be okay being alone. I learned how you were not right for me in so many ways. How I deserved greater and better.

In waiting for the single moment of letting you go, I ignored all the small, but significant ways I already had. How I shed your darkness. How I stopped questioning why I was not enough. How you were no longer the center of my universe; I was.

Letting go doesn’t mean, one day, you wake up feeling back to yourself 100%. It doesn’t take an exact number of days, weeks or months. It is not a predetermined checklist that you can finally mark as “complete”.

Letting go is not defined by one moment. It’s a collection of tiny, unnoticed milestones where you rebuild the person you are. It’s quiet and unassuming; it’s not a celebration that warrants attention. It’s learning to be okay even when you don’t feel okay. Learning to indulge in self-love and be patient with the steps you’ve made, no matter how big or small.

Maybe, it doesn’t happen all at once. Maybe, it will be longer than you want or expect. But, maybe, just maybe, you’ve already let go, you just didn’t realize it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Let us live in a world where breaking and growing are the same.

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