A Year Since You

You can learn a lot about a person in 730 days. Their favorite color, what they are passionate about, what makes their eyes light up with happiness, their highs and their lows. But, you learn even more about yourself in the 365 days after them. You learn what makes you happy, what you are passionate about, and what make your eyes light up with joy. My grandmother always said, “You cannot have the mountain tops without the valleys.” Sometimes you need to hit a low, usually starting with day one, before you get to your high.

A year since you and I have learned more about myself than I ever thought was possible. I am no longer the young and naïve Sophomore in high school you fell in love with. Now, I am so much more than that girl you used to know. Starting my freshman year in college, I have accomplished more in my life than imaginable and it is all thanks to you for leaving. For that, I thank you.

A year since you I learned that it is okay to cry…

Let it out. Be hurt. Be sad. Be angry. It is more than okay to have feelings. It is okay to have mascara stained sheets. You are not crazy or obsessive, nor are you lost without him. This is normal and it is to be expected. One day, you will not cry. You will not wake up thinking about him. Hell, one day you will not think about him at all. You might think you forgot how to laugh, give it time. Watch a funny movie with your girlfriends, drink a glass of wine, or a bottle. You will laugh. You will laugh so hard your eyes water and your stomach hurts and you will wonder why you ever thought you would never be happy again.

A year since you and I love myself again…

Not in the way I once did, but in a better, healthier way. I found that I do not have to be perfect to be extraordinary. The things he did not like about me, someone will love. I love that my laugh can be heard from miles away, I love that my socks never match, and I love that my hair is always a mess, even if those are the things he could not stand about me. Stay away from people who make you feel like you are hard to love. You are a lot of things, great things, being hard to love is not one of them. Once you love yourself, loving someone else does not seem so scary. Stand tall. Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. You are a whirlwind of life and you should never feel less than that. Know your worth, know what you believe in, know your values.

A year since you and I know what real happiness is.

If you would have asked me a year and a half into our relationship what happiness was, I would not have been able to give you any less than a bullshit answer. I would have repeated something that a boy, who took away my happiness, told me about my happiness. Happiness is whatever I want it to be, whether it be a rainy day watching Ferris Beuller and drinking hot chocolate, Friday nights with my closest friend, or a Sunday morning at church. That is the thing about happiness, it is ever-changing. My happiness comes from a rainy day, an 80’s movie, and a good book, and if that seems horrible to you, that is okay! Not a single person gets to decide what should make you happy or not, only you get to decide that. Find what makes you happy, really happy. Do some soul searching, spend some time alone watching a cotton candy sunset or two. Figure out what your hobbies are. Spend some time reading or drawing or writing in a little coffee shop. Most importantly, do not let people be the source of your happiness. 

People come and go, do not also let your happiness come and go with them.

A year since you and I have stopped settling…

“Keep your head, heels, and standards high” reads the note my little sister wrote me that hangs on my desk. Wise words from a thirteen year old who is just starting to realize that lowering your standards ends in heartache and disaster. He is not the only person I will love nor is he the only person who will love me. Whatever you want should be obtainable. It is okay to want a fairy tale. After being in a relationship where I was constantly sacrificing, settling, and compromising I learned you do not have to do that. I want a man to open car doors for me, write me love letters, sing with me on late night drives, understands that my love for God will always come before him, and loves that my love for chocolate milk will not falter. If  I am not getting my needs fulfilled in a relationship, I can leave. That may be a simple idea, that you can just leave, but to me it is everything. I never had that option, and I will never lose that option again. The second you start to settle is the second you let his happiness be more important than your own. Yet he is not thinking the same thing. So put yourself first, it is more than okay.

A year since you and I am strong…

I no longer look for him around town when I know that he is home from college over Thanksgiving break. I no longer cry when our song comes on, in fact I can listen to the entirety of it without wanting to call him. I can park in the spot we were in the last time he told me he loved me in the downtown parking garage. I am none of the awful things he called me. I can stand with my head held high in a room full of people and be okay. Most importantly, I am my own person. I have a name, a story, a life. I am no longer “your girlfriend.” I am more than that. I am accomplishing everything he told me I could not.

A year since you and I have forgiven…

Not only have I forgiven him, but I forgave myself. I have learned in the past 365 days that it was not my fault. I cannot blame myself for his infidelity. There is nothing more I could have done for him to have stayed. I played over the events in that last year trying to find where it went wrong. What was the exact point I failed at being enough for him? The thing is, there was no point. Things do not work out, people make mistakes, in this case the mistake said more about him than it ever will about me. I will admit, this was the hardest lesson to learn. As much as I hated him, I hated myself even more. I was always criticizing and second guessing myself. Once I stopped blaming myself for the downward spiral that was our relationship, I found myself being able to forgive him. It was not easy. It took a lot of courage, prayers, and soul searching. But it happened, I could not tell you when, but one day I heard his name and I no longer felt love or hatred like I once did. Instead, I felt nothing. I let it go. I forgave.

It has been a year since you. 52 weeks since you last said you loved me. 365 days since I hit rock bottom. In this past year I have transformed into the confident, empowering young woman I am today. I learned how to live in a world you were no longer in and it is a beautiful one. I once thought I would love you forever but that is not the case.

The times that I loved you have now passed…

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One thought on “A Year Since You

  1. I know that you don’t know me but this is so powerful and relieving to read. It brought me to tears and helped me out a little bit, so thank you, this is really awesome.

    Like

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