It took me a while to publish this post. I spent a lot of time staring at the earlier drafts and with time, it was slowly forgotten. It has actually been 4 months since the break up. I am still single but have gone through many realizations.
What you are about to read is my last draft of my reflections on the first month. I left it as is so the emotions are quite fresh
with a sprinkle of bitterness.
The most important thing I learned from these four months of being single is this: In order to move on, I needed to forgive (him) to forget (and move on with my life).
Everyone has their own way of coping with heartache. For some, it’s engaging in intimacy with the first male in sight. For others, it’s crying and eating uncontrollably or maybe shopping ’til you’re so broke there are new scratch marks on your credit card (ahem). All these, I’ve
sadly either done or contemplated on doing these past few weeks.
So imagine my surprise on New Year’s Eve, after scrolling through what felt like an eternity’s worth of New Year’s greetings on Facebook, that it finally hit me what I needed to do to pick myself up. If I had to describe it, it was like finally realizing that your grade went up and you’ve been wearing glasses with the wrong prescription this whole time. You take them off and think, “So this is why I’ve been getting all those headaches.”
The answer was always there with me, from the very beginning. I was feeling helpless, trying everything to move on as quickly as possible but lo and behold, I subconsciously already knew what the answer was.
A long, long time ago (10
and now going 11 years to be exact), I met the love of my life on a study tour in a foreign country. It was the perfect cliché: live in foreign country for a few weeks, fall for one of your classmates, have an awesome love-filled summer fling. I was 14 back then; young and naive, I ate up every word he ever said to me because I thought, “this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.”
And of course, it didn’t work out. We tried but life happened and we went our separate ways… only to find each other again 8 years later, working at our respective internships that just happened to be in the same building, only a few floors away from each other. The next two years, well, you already know that part.
What most people don’t know about me is that the first break up ruined me. I was angry and upset… I felt betrayed. I thought we had something but later found out that I was replaced in only a matter of months. What kind of angsty teenager would I be if I didn’t get angry and try to seek revenge (which totally backfired and blew up in my face, btw)? Needless to say, I stayed mad for many years and only found peace when I finally met him again, years later, face-to-face, and told him of the years I suffered in silence and how much hurt he’d caused me all this time.
All of that, just because I didn’t tell him the truth to begin with. I honestly never said that I wanted him back, that I wanted to work things out and that I still loved him. I let the anger and hate grow inside of me, eventually tainting my outlook on love. He ruined me for everybody else.
So here I am in a very similar situation, the second time around. I am heartbroken by the same person 10 years later. I dragged my feet in the mud, ate my heart out, got very desperate… because I was angry again. But this time, I wasn’t mad at him. I was mad at myself for allowing this to happen again for a second time. Did I not learn from the first time I got my heart broken? I thought I was smarter than that. I beat myself up over this for weeks.
So on that faithful night, after scrolling through all those heartfelt New Year’s greetings and year-end reviews, it dawned on to me that I was at the cusp of making the same mistake again. Being mad at him a second time wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I’m a grown woman for God’s sake!
I needed to forgive him, for all his mistakes and shortcomings, for all those times when he made me believe in something that was either a lie from the beginning or something that simply slipped his mind. And I needed to forgive myself, because I’m not perfect and sometimes love makes us have renewed faith in the ones that had hurt us in the past. That’s another thing I learned as well: don’t ever be sorry for loving someone wholeheartedly. My relationship with him (back in 2006 and our recent time together) made me in to the person that I am today so to be sorry for that would be foolish.
I’ve learned so much about myself by getting back together with my first love. It was far from the perfect love story but who’s keeping score anyway?