I was in a serious relationship for three and a half years. When he ended it one day out of the blue, I was shattered to say the least. The pain I felt was greater than any other, and like most people who have experienced this kind of heartbreak, I didn’t know how to move on. Sure, time heals all wounds. But time is a bitch. For the next three months I went to Hawaii for an internship but I wallowed secretly, wondering if I would ever meet anyone who made me feel anything again.
During these three months I changed more than I had ever imagined and started to become who I truly wanted to be. Without realizing it, that relationship had completely suffocated me and stopped me from growing into myself in so many ways. Slowly, I began to breathe. I relished in the complete freedom and transformation I was experiencing for the first time. Engulfing myself in the new me was my full time job. I was living a new life and although everything seemed perfect and I had little to nothing to complain about, the heartbreak was still there. Not every second of every day like it had once been, but in the corners of my soul. The loneliness was abundant as I watched all of my roommates Skype and talk about their boyfriend’s daily.
I’ve never been the type of girl who needs a guy to feel complete. But as a hopeless romantic, I can’t help but want someone to spend my days with. As I returned home from my liberating months away, time slowed down. My wanderlust needed more and being back at school gave me an entirely new feeling of suffocation. Wanting to fill my time and heart, I decided to throw myself back out there as a more reassured me even though I had no idea how the dating world really worked. Eventually, I met someone who sparked my interest.
It wasn’t an instant infatuation, just friendly conversation with someone who could actually keep up with my sarcastic wit. We started talking constantly and I realized that I was suppressing my feelings for him in fear of feeling pain again. I never wanted to be back in such a lost place where someone had the power to rip me apart at any moment. But that’s what this world is. You can’t hold yourself back from new places, new people or new starts because of your own fear. Life is about experiencing as much as you can and pain is a part of that experience. We are nothing without pain. It can make or break us and when it breaks us, we find a way to put our pieces back together, We come out differently, and in my experience, better for it.
Many of my insecurities in dating have to do with the fact that every man I’ve ever been with has ended up cheating on me or leaving me for another woman. I’m aware that I am a pretty or cute girl, but it is rare that I feel beautiful or wanted. When men treat you as second best, you start to feel that way no matter how hard you try not to. So as I started an adventure with a new man, I started to feel beautiful. I realized that I could feel alive and consumed with love once again. I still had love in me to give, it had been hiding, but he showed me how to feel again. He showed me that I am still worthy of love, still worthy of being adored and still able to have my soul awakened.
I am grateful for both of these men. To the heartbreaker who unknowingly released me and helped me become the person that’s been screaming to come out for years, I thank you. To the one who helped me feel again, even though it didn’t last, thank you for showing me that being unapologetically myself is the only way I should ever live and that even the broken can thrive in love again.