For me, it was the rejection, the fear, the paralyzing, terrifying feeling that maybe this was it, that maybe I would never have that feeling again.
This was my only chance, so I had to press for it, no matter how trapped it made me feel inside.
I remember the first time I felt it bubbling inside me, like a pressure cooker about to lose its lid.
It was too early for the relationship, I told myself, and the whole experience was too euphoric for me to believe I was feeling anything real.
Then, a few months later, in the solitude of two bodies huddled together in a silent room, dimly lit by a bedside lamp, I said for the first time in my life:
I just… I love you.
And I want you to know that no matter what, I always appreciate you as an important person in my life.
Girl, how naive I was.
What I should have said was, “Whatever happens, one day, I’ll understand how to appreciate the person you’ve always been in my life.”
A broken heart is a malicious chore.
There is no pain like this in the world.
It is universal and knows no race, class, ethnicity, or age.
A broken heart knows no bounds.
It’s that hole that looks like a meteor crashed into your soul and left nothing but a big black void that sucks up your entire universe.
The physicality of it was what I found most interesting about the experience and from time to time I would let myself sit in it.
Every second of every day, it just gnawed at me inside.
Feeling empty never weighed so much, felt so heavy, or took up so much space.
Heartbreak can leave someone bitter – even if it was obvious it was about to happen.
It was during the first relationship that I learned that falling in love could be both a blessing and a curse.
The vulnerability of it all, the volcanic explosion of emotions that can come on a weekly basis, the last drop of yourself you spill.
Love is a risk – it’s on the edge of a cliff and it’s brave enough to withstand the fall.
Relationships don’t come with instructions or manuals, but with life lessons and trust.
It seems that falling in love with someone who is wrong for you is one of the most painfully rewarding ways to learn to trust yourself and your intuition.
For a long, long time, I was blinded by the feeling of my heart smiling inside and out, that feeling where your whole world lights up when someone enters the room.
And then, slowly, as harsh realities seep into the fading world you’ve become involved in, you begin to see things and people for how and who they really are.
Questions start to creep in and facing them seems difficult to answer questions asked in a foreign language.
“But I just don’t understand.
What the hell does that mean?
That doesn’t make sense now.
I’ll deal with it again.”
But the truth is, we always have answers to the questions we ask ourselves in life – they are not always the answers we want to hear.
Our intuition can be our best friend or worst enemy.
It can destroy the happiness we once loved, but it can also grant you the freedom of happiness you never knew existed.
I wasn’t strong enough to trust my intuition when it told me that something about my relationship was wrong, that something wasn’t right.
For someone who never really lets fear get in the way, I was letting it get the better of me.
Over time, I learned that I wasn’t necessarily afraid of losing my ex—I was more afraid of losing the feeling of being in love.
I started pushing myself to want to be in my relationship.
There were things about it that still made me feel excited and still brought me comfort and smiles because honestly, I was still absolutely in love.
I mean, I had moved around the world to be and create a life with this person.
That counts as something, right?
There was too much noise in my head, too many justifications trying to save us from pursuit.
But over our years together, the conflicting feelings of not being able to stay forever and never being able to go out and live a life without him had me stuck.
There was a bigger chunk of everything I found through the simple question: “I can love this person, but is it right?”
And then one night my ex came home from work, sat on the same bed where I said I love you, and broke up with me.
A deafening silence took over and suddenly there was a brief moment of relief as if some weight had just been lifted.
It was time.
However, when the pain of rejection set in and the fear of being alone and never finding love again reared its desperate, self-deprecating head, I found myself sinking in efforts to get back into my relationship, even though I knew it was a sinking ship.
I was so afraid to swim to shore and let go – I was willing to go down with the ship.
It took a while for me to wade through the thickness of it all, the sludge of emotions that slows you down like mud, the “But why doesn’t he want me?” question that keeps hearts broken at night.
For a while, it didn’t make sense to me, emotionally.
I was so in love – we were so in love.
How could this happen?
But deep down I knew; I was just reluctant to accept.
Acceptance would mean moving on, giving up hope, and looking beyond the “what if?” And the “maybes” that make you think you can resurrect something that is long gone.
Ultimately, it’s completely possible to be absolutely in love with someone who is wrong for you.
What you had together may have been beautiful while it lasted, but it’s a beauty that inevitably withers like a flower and loses its luster.
That’s when your head must rule your heart.
You need to trust yourself, and sometimes that can be scarier than trusting strangers.
But you have to do it, and you have to ask yourself the questions you might not want to answer – the ones that might scare you and lead you down a new, unfamiliar path all alone.
But, the process of going through all this will help you to realize the strength that you have within you.
You are capable of making your life the best it can be.
You can be the healthiest, happiest version of yourself once you learn to trust who you are and what you feel.