It’s 4:47 am and I just finished packing my suitcase for a flight I’m about to take in a few hours. Looking back at what I’ve been through the past year, even in my most delusional state, I can’t help but smile.
Most of you know me as the girl who just gets up and goes, who gets off discovering and conquering the world’s most beautiful beaches, who has taught herself to navigate some of the most vibrant of cities, and someone who just craves for adventure.
While most of you know me as this girl,
I was not always this way.
You see, as cliché as it sounds, I guess my heart took a good beating to lead to me to the place I am now.
A year ago, I thought my world was over. I couldn’t sleep without having those haunting dreams; I couldn’t get out of bed for a fear of reality and what it would hold. I thought I wouldn’t get over him.
You see, when I love someone, it’s with that deep, passionate and all-consuming feeling everyone talks about in movies. I love with everything I have. I loved him more than anything I ever knew, more than I thought I was capable of. But I also knew he didn’t feel the exact same way. I accepted it because I thought to myself, ‘He loves me as much as he could’, and I made myself believe that was enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew how important I was to him – he made sure to show me.
But then things took a turn for the worst, brought about my selfishness, of course. I tried to reason with myself and with him. I tried to convince myself that it was okay, that I just felt too much, and that I was okay.
But then each time we said it was ‘over’, we found ourselves back in the same routine, in the same place. I did not give myself permission to let go. Then he disappeared… For good.
That left me with no choice. So I did what anyone with a saved up allowance, a beat up backpack and a need for something new would do – I ran.
I ran away – from all my problems, stresses and that situation that nearly broke me. I went to a place where no one knew me. I went up in the mountains alone with the hope of finding a renewed energy. I made friends with people I never thought I would and came back with a different take on life. And it was refreshing.
With every month that came after, I made it a point to go to a place I haven’t been before. May it be the province I frequent but never really explored, to off the beaten path, can only be accessed by riding three modes of transportation, destinations.
I was the beach bum, the mountaineer, the girl you would chase waterfalls with. I was the impulse traveler, if the tan I was sporting was close to fading, you’d see me at the nearest station, giddy with excitement as I bound the next bus that would bring me closer to a new adventure.
Today, over a year later, I’m glad to say it no longer hurts. I’m not saying that running from my old life solved any problems, but venturing out into this new one taught me how to live again and enjoy the life I’m living.
My broken heart was the catalyst I needed in finding my passion, in finding this new way of living and in learning to love myself.
What I learned this past year when it comes to relationships:
I learned that the first few days will always be the hardest and if he couldn’t give you what you deserved, leave.
When I accepted that fact along with the mindset that I knew he wasn’t coming back, I was happy, happier than I’ve ever been in life. My default was a smile, ready to take on the world with no limits in mind. I realized that love is a powerful thing and that I deserve to be someone’s most important thing in the world, someone’s favorite person, and there has to be someone that can love me back just the same.
He taught me what it’s like to be in love and that I am deserving of so much more than he would ever give me. He taught me never to settle for anything less than what I deserve.
You see, him breaking my heart was the best thing that ever happened to me.
When I ran away from everything, I thought I was being a coward. That I was hiding and sheltering myself from feelings. But I realized that it was me choosing myself. It was me extracting myself from situations that were toxic and wouldn’t bring me anything but pain.
What I learned this past year:
Breathe. We often get caught up with the hustle and bustle of what is our life that we forget to take everything in and just breathe. Take a moment to re-establish your balance and inner peace and grab a hold of that surge of power and energy you need to get through this. Because you can get through this.
Fill that void. Make time for yourself and occupy yourself with things you never really got to do but always wanted to. Take up a new hobby, learn a new sport, use all that pent up energy to something useful and productive.
Live outside your bubble. Discomfort is what brings about necessary changes. Live and revel in your discomfort and adapt the notion that you either don’t have to endure it for long, or you will get used to it and learn to tailor your life despite and inspite of that.
So choose yourself and allow yourself to be happy.
Hop on the next bus to god knows where, play the flight roulette game if you’re feeling extra adventurous, just go on a trip you’ve never been before. Venture out to the beach and lay underneath the palm trees with your sunglasses and earphones on, keeping the world out. Go find yourself in the town right beside yours and get your fill of its hidden alleys, discover what that city holds. Go retreat to the mountains, go on a hike, watch the sun rise above the sea of clouds and walk through this quiet place with your thoughts and truly connect with yourself.
For your own sanity, choose yourself. Take a chance on yourself, run away, and don’t be afraid to feel again. To feel happy.
These are the moments that make you feel everything and everything that is happening now is real.
You are so much more than your thoughts and worries.
So please, smile. You deserve to be happy.