About a month ago, I posted a blog about how I (so far) survived my breakup. After sharing and talking with so many inspirational people, I wanted to add a couple bullet points. All of this is really a matter of perspective: I can choose to dwell, get emotional, be lonely, or I can choose to learn, accept, and move forward in my life. And, I for one, am too busy to be dwelling on something that I can’t change.
(So, if you haven’t read the original blog, I would recommend you do that first).
8. So many people have been asking me, “Are you really sure you are OK and not in a state of denial?” Yes, I really am OK. You would think after dating someone for six years, especially the six years from age 17-23 that are so crucial to your development, I would be a mess. But, the truth of the matter is, when I look back on the relationship, I regret nothing. If I were to do it over, I would do everything the same. I was always loyal, never clingy. I did cute girlfriend-y things, like attempt to sew him pajama pants when he had nose surgery and made scrapbooks and wrote really nice, thoughtful anniversary cards. Despite my busy schedule, I found time to support him, such as traveling to Nebraska to sit in 30 degree weather while six inches of snow piled on my lap to watch him play his last football game. Yes, I had my flaws and yes, I had my moments, but in the end, I know that I could not have possibly done anything else.
Because I am an analytical thinker, I tend to take a long time to make decisions, because I want to make the most informed decision possible. Even picking out a restaurant can be a taxing restaurant, because I have to consider all factors involved: price, flavors, people, atmosphere, etc. So I have been trying to remind myself that some things in life cannot be controlled and cannot be perfect, so I just have to go with the flow and accept what happens.
From the people I have talked to, sometimes it takes people years to get over relationships and I think it is because they constantly go back and wonder, “What if I did this differently?” But, “what if” is exhausting. I think we all need to remember this—that life is not a series of fixated cues, but rather of fluid ties. Every experience we have allows us to learn and grow as people, especially in relationships. One of the things we always fought about was communication. So, now I know that, when I am in a new relationship, I will take those things with me.
9. Probably the most difficult thing for me to accept when we first broke up was how strong our relationship used to be (used to be is the key word). I remembered getting butterflies in my stomach every time I drove up to his house and I remembered how painfully I missed him when I went to Europe last summer. I remembered how he used to pull me closer whenever another guy looked at me and the one night I asked him to buy me a box of tampons and he bought me the biggest size possible (ok, I will stop with the corny stories). At first, I didn’t understand how we could have fallen out of those passionate feelings. I struggled, because it was evident that he had the ability to be everything that I needed and wanted—he was that before—but I had to accept that things had changed and, although he had that ability, he was making the choice to be something different.
But then, I had to (and keep having to) remind myself that we are the not the same people we were when we started dating. Yes, those moments existed and they were absolutely wonderful and charming. Then college graduation happened, the real world sunk in, families got involved, lifestyles, viewpoints, and goals started changing. We grew apart; he wanted to go into the oil and gas industry to make money and I wanted to save the environment. He wanted to start thinking about having children and I wanted to go back to school to get another degree. I had to realize that was the course our lives were taking and, while the six years we spent together can never be erased, we had fulfilled the purpose in each other’s life and it was time for something bigger and better. While I can cherish those memories, I have to remember those are in the past and things are different now, which is perfectly acceptable and absolutely part of what it means to be human. Although it may not be clear right at this moment, all of this means we are both destined for something bigger and better and I am ready to discover whatever that might be.