A tale of love, heartbreak, and love again… because as much as you think it will NOT happen, you WILL get to love again…
I was in my late 20’s and all things were in play around me: a great job, good friends and a boyfriend I was pretty obsessed with. At the time, he was what I thought was the perfect guy for me. He wasn’t perfect by any means but I was convinced he was perfect for me (nice family, handsome in my eyes and overall good on paper). The signs were there of course… signs that he WAS NOT for me. But as we all know, LOVE blinds us… and I was completely enamored by him! People who know me, know that I love hard. That goes for family, friends and especially the “significant other”. I believe that you should love that way, don’t half-ass it – Love with everything that you are & give your all. As my boss would say, “there’s no such thing as being half pregnant.” You either are or aren’t so love the same way. But I get it… loving that way means you set yourself up to be broken. And I don’t just mean heartbroken, I mean soul broken, spirit broken… Just fractured.
Over The Years
We did all the fun stuff couples do: we traveled, did dinners, went dancing and spent time with family (more with his family than with my own, which should’ve been the first sign, but again I was blindly in love). Everything for him always came first so needless to say I put myself and my family second. I adore my family so saying this is so ridiculous to me now… but the things I did for THAT love were unlike the me I know now, the me that I am. Overall, I thought that we had a solid relationship. I wrote the movie in my head of our future: marriage, babies, house, and getting old together. He was it and there was no one in my mind that would or COULD ever replace him.
Planning Our Tomorrow
After we lived together for a few years, he proposed. We had been dating for 5 years at that point so it seemed about right (maybe a bit too long, but I was ok).
We began planning an elaborate destination wedding complete with a bridal party, welcome bags and “sand between our toes” vows. I planned for close to a year. Save the dates were hanging on loved one’s refrigerators and the wedding dress was already picked out with the first alteration done. My vision for our day was clear in my head, the color scheme, the peonies flowers I wanted everywhere, down to the luggage tag souvenirs they’d receive upon their departure. This was going to be the first big chapter in our storybook… you know that chapter that changes the whole story for you. That day would be it. However, he had other plans. Three months before the day we were supposed to walk down that sandy Isle… it all changed.
We both got out of bed that morning and I could see he wasn’t himself… “Are you ok? Did you sleep well?” His response: “Not really.” I shrugged my shoulders and got ready for work. That afternoon I called him from the office to check on him and talk wedding details. We had just received our invitations (fun stuff… or so I thought). The conversation went a little something like this: “Hey, how are you feeling now?” Him: “I’m ok…” Me: “Ok good, so I was thinking we should send the invites out next month.” He responds, “I can’t do it.” I say, “you can’t what?” *he repeats in a mumble* “I can’t do it.” I respond, “what?! Send the invites? fine I’ll do it.” He says, “no, I can’t marry you?” WHAT?! What do you mean? My heart plummets… You know that feeling you get when you hit the peak of the roller-coaster and it slowly moves over the top of the hill and begins to rush down? Yup, just like that. I ask again, “what are you saying? You don’t love me?” (Yes, I went straight to that question). He responds, “I love you.. I just CAN’T marry you.” Everything said after that moment is a complete blur, even to this day. Everything changed, we shared a home and overnight he was no longer a part of us. I had to inform our families that there would no longer be a wedding, and more than that, when asked why.. I had no answer.. picking up the pieces that come from a break up can be daunting and navigating your way through this new found “freedom” can be extremely hard.
I’m Not Who I Used To Be
Why you ask? Because I’ve been hurt! Hurt in a way I would never wish on my worst enemy… and YET, I’m so happy that it happened to me. More than most, I know the pain of surviving. Surviving what became one of the most life-defining moments of my life. Talk about putting things in perspective. Reevaluating who I was and who I now wanted to be? Who I was now going to be without HIM? For close to 6 years, I dedicated my dreams, hopes and wants around someone who promised that he felt the same way and wanted the same things. The word devastated was an understatement.
The Mourning Period
I named it that because when you lose a relationship you weren’t ready to let go, you now mourn the loss of this person in your life. In a way, it almost feels worse because in your mind you know they didn’t leave this earth… They’re still here. Instead, they just don’t want to be with you. You question yourself, your worth, your being. What did you do… or didn’t do? Are you not pretty enough? Sexy enough? Smart enough? What if I didn’t give him a hard time about going out with his friends? What if I didn’t act crazy about the way his eyes wondered at the restaurant? What if I didn’t give him a hard time for not throwing out the garbage after asking him 3 times? You question it all. You relive the moments in your relationship hoping you will find the epiphany that will give you the answer or solace you need to move on. I cried a lot over those years… some days more than others. My family cried with me. My pain was so evident. I’ll never forget the times my mom just pushed my hair back, soaked in my tears, or the dark moments when I just wanted to disappear. However, as hard as those moments were, they led me into my today. Knowing that I would do it all again. Would I have believed you back then if you told me that I would feel this way 10 years later? NO! I’d more than likely curse you out! But the fact is, I would do it all over. Not that I believe you should go through a heartbreak, or even that everyone is destined to experience the pain of a breakup, but it’s part of my story.
The story of your life can be rewritten by you many times over, but believe that GOD has his own plan…
While it took me close to two years to feel comfortable enough with the fact that being alone was ok, it was an amazing opportunity for self-discovery. Even though I spent a good amount of this time being sad, so many amazing things happened as well. I rebuilt relationships with my family, I excelled in my career, and I made and kept some amazing friends that I know I would have never met if I was with him. The truth is… I wasn’t myself with him. Some of it was his fault while some of it was mine. I lost myself being with him but it took being with him for my true self to come out after the experience. The friends I made helped me recognize how pretty f-ing cool I am. They showed me that I have so much to give and he wasn’t the only one deserving of my love. Can you imagine the liberation of meeting yourself again and saying, “Hi nice to meet you, let’s do this again!” This thing called life.
Then Came HIM
So now it’s two years later and I’m in a space of joy and happiness… completely self-funded. No one else is giving me this euphoria but myself. I’m living single life to its fullest: vacations, silly dates, dinners with friends, and many nights of drunken fun! But also, I did dinners and movies alone. Have you done that before? Had a nice dinner at a restaurant alone? It’s weird for one second but it’s pretty f-ing cool! No small talk, no forced convo – just relishing in your own company. Try it! Ok, I digress… lol.
Not many months after finding this inner peace of being a party of one, I met him. The man who was planted in my life expectantly. The person that was the complete opposite of what I thought I wanted on paper… Yet, he met all the human needs that I craved. You know the song, “I didn’t know I was starving until I tasted you”. That was him. The crazy guy I now call my husband. Amazing timing GOD, really? Is what I thought!
I fought it… I fought falling for him (if you read my “Blended Family blog post” you’ll read for all the reasons why). However, I’m glad I didn’t fight him harder than I did and that he saw in us, what I couldn’t. Because if he didn’t, I would have missed out on the best partner in life.
He compliments me in ways the outside world can’t appreciate. He understands and accepts me in ways that others never could. He went half on raising a family with me and despite all of our trials and tribulations, he has never left my side.
Don’t Give Up
I share this post in an effort to give hope to those who may have lost it in themselves and in love… For those that think they don’t deserve better or won’t find better. I challenge you to keep your heart open to all the wonderful things you can’t see just yet, but that are already in the plans!
Until next time,