That 1 Thing No One Tells You About Truly Learning A Lesson

I’m going to go out on a whim here and say that 77.6% of any lesson a girl in her 20’s learns stems from a bad experience with a boy. I use the term boy and girl loosely because after said experience, I think a girl finally transform into a woman (butterfly) in a theoretic way (I’m looking at you science freaks) and for a male to teach this girl a “lesson”, he has to still be a boy because a man, or any mature human being, doesn’t purposely hurt people. Yes, I sound like a bitter bitch, but bear with me because I think I’m on to something.

As mentioned, my experience all stems from a boy, let’s call him Jim. Jim and I started “dating” when I was 24 years old. At first I was determined not to let anything serious stem from it, but of course fate had a different idea. Being young professionals, well he was 30 (hi daddy issues), we saw each other when we could. It wasn’t often, but it was often enough for me to develop real feelings for him. I told him, being an honest fool, and he said he felt the same. We had fun. He understood me, and to put it frankly- the sex was amazing, so I let myself fall.

I think I realized I loved him pretty quickly. I denied it, of course, but most of my thoughts were consumed by him from very early on. The real doosey with this is we were never officially together. Yes, I met his family and we were exclusive, but as far as “titles” go, we never had one. We were us, and I was content with that for a while. As time went on, I felt more and more for him so I started to need more. I needed to see him more, feel more, be shown he cared more. I just needed more. Unfortunately, Jim wasn’t able to give me that. At this point, I loved him so much that I put my needs to the back just so I could stay with him. This leads me to my first “lesson“ learned. It’s okay to put someone else’s needs before yours, so long as their doing the same. He was not. He was selfish, which resulted in my lesson learned.

Now, let’s fast forward 1.5 years, long story short he cheated on me. With a girl, again using the term loosely, who knew I existed yet choose to engage with him anyway. This is where lesson two comes in. Real women, and men, do not engage in acts that are going to hurt other people. Karma is a sneaky sneaky bitch, my friends, and the world will deliver you to hell in a handbag (hopefully Chanel) regardless, so why mess with karma, too? ANWAY, in conclusion he destroyed me, absolutely broke my heart. The weird thing? I knew it all along. I knew he was going to hurt me from the second I met him, and I didn’t care. I just wanted him in any possible way I could have him. The biggest lesson I learned from this was I was never going to let it happen to me again. I was going to catch the signs early and be smarter with my next guy. I swore it to myself.

After we finally ended it, I was lost. I wasn’t sure how I was going to meet someone who just got me like he did. Do you know that cliché quote that says, “Imagine meeting someone who understood even the darkest parts of your soul.” ? Well that was him for me. I started to talk to other people but I saw him in everyone. Any time a new guy did something that even remotely set off a memory, I wanted to run and hide because it reminded me of Jim, and like I said, I’d be damned if I was going to be destroyed again.

It wasn’t until I was about to go on my first date with a new guy that I realize the biggest lesson of all. Sometimes shitty things happen to us and we just have to let them happen and move on. If we take everything as a “lesson” learned, we’ll end up being too scared to try new things and experience different scenarios. Would I ever give Jim another chance? Probably not, like the great philosopher, Taylor Swift, says “just because you’re clean don’t mean you don’t miss it”. But I won’t walk around with a chip on my shoulder or think that I have to “learn” from everything that has happened to me. Sometimes we just have to allow ourselves to feel.

I don’t know what will happen with the new guy I’m seeing tonight. It could be a horrible time, it could be the best time. Regardless of what happens, I’m going to just let it play out like any other thing in my life. I’m confident enough in myself that I know I’ll be able to find another “Jim” who will be worth my time. If he does something that reminds me of Jim, maybe I’ll politely bring it to his attention, depending on the scenario, maybe I’ll just ignore it.

But I won’t run for the hills and self-destruct like a damn lunatic. And if I’m wrong, and he is Jim pt. 2, then I’ll just laugh (after I cry into a pillow for a month and eat my weight in candy) and know I’ll survive it just like I did before. That, my friends, is the only lesson you’ll ever need in life. You will survive it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark


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