Forget what hurt you, but never forget what it taught you.
I spent my early twenties with a guy for 4 years. We met at the age of 20 and by the time 24 rolled around it ended pretty intensely. He had lied, cheated, and only 6 months after we ended things, he married another woman and had a baby. It was one the most confusing, hurtful, and heartbreaking events of my life.
The crazy thing is, I knew we weren’t in love anymore. I could feel it when we moved together across the country from Nevada to Oklahoma. I think I was more upset at the betrayal, the lies, and the secrets he kept from me, then I was at the fact of the actual break up. To this day, he still has never admitted what he did or apologized to me. I didn’t even get to see his face when I found out all of this information; for that, I feel like I’ll always have a hatred for him, which is unfortunate, because sometimes, I just truly want to know how he’s doing. Are you happy?
If you know me, you know I am a huge believer in the power of the universe, the power of my higher self and intuition. That’s why I know this break up, and the problems that led him to cheating and lying, were actually my doing.
You see, we were totally different people, like parts of a jigsaw puzzle trying to force the pieces together constantly. I remember one time, he was so upset at me, telling me I was making him feel unwanted and neglected, making him feel so sad, and I remember not even caring that he felt that way. I remember, so clearly, him standing in the living room of our home, and in tears, he cried out “why are you making me feel this way?” And I didn’t care or even try to fix the problem in that moment. I straight up remember debating if I should end this now and leave, because I felt so out of touch with him. I never truly loved him like you’re supposed to love a partner, but I was too afraid to admit it to him, and myself. I was afraid to leave after everything we had built together — I felt like we were in to deep for me to even entertain the idea of leaving.
When I was going through this break up, my best friend Samira was my rock. I basically lived at her apartment. I remember telling her “this is my fault, I subconsciously called this upon myself. I pushed him away, and now he doesn’t love me anymore.” Everyone told me it wasn’t my fault, but I never believed it, and I know I can absolutely take 50% of the fall.
Yeah, I never cheated, lied, or betrayed him, but I don’t think I ever truly loved him the way he loved me. While I can now take that 4 years of our relationship and apply it to my life, all the lessons I’ve learned, I feel like I might of stolen those years from him. Like I said, I’d never been in a relationship before, so I thought the time we had together was how it was supposed to be, I didn’t realize how miserable I was. I thought I was supposed to want a house, kids, and marriage, even though I could feel deep down I didn’t want it — its like that meme where the little dog is sipping coffee and everything is on fire and the caption is “this is fine,” thats how I felt, in a sense.
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around it. We ended something so abruptly, and then, without missing a beat, he was was with someone else, married, and had a baby on the way. I can’t believe after ending something like we had, the way we did, that anyone would want that, or could handle it emotionally. Maybe its just because I don’t want it, so it’s hard for me to understand, but I feel like if I didn’t get all this time on my own to heal, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to grow into the person I am. While he had to spend the last 2 1/2 years trying to heal, with a new baby and wife, I spent the last 2 1/2 years alone, figuring myself out, and I am SO grateful for that.
This feeling I had when I realized I was free is indescribable. I could go for a drive without telling anyone where I was going. I could go out and fuck who I wanted. I could text whoever I wanted. I could state my opinion and not worry about offending my spouse. All of these little things that made me feel so free, made me into the person that I am.
I started to realize, being in that relationship, I had completely lost myself, and I stopped growing. I think I subconsciously knew this all along, and thats why I pushed him away…because I never would have left if he didn’t do this to me, I was a weak woman then; I felt purposeless and ashamed of who I was when I was with him, and he made me feel that way.
This doesn’t mean I wasn’t sad when it ended, and it doesn’t mean we didn’t have something meaningful. I think at one point, we did actually have something great, but its was never meant to last. After, I was definitely depressed. I was so lost. I had just spent 4 years with someone who suddenly wanted nothing to do with me, and was already with someone else.
Even though I pushed him away, the way things ended were hurtful and uncalled for on his part. In a way though, I’m happy he did all of those hurtful things. I needed him to do that. I never would have had the courage to leave, and I would have been miserable, and he would have too. If he hadn’t done this, made me feel so low, left me with nothing, I wouldn’t be out here chasing down my dream. When it ended, I was left alone, living in my parents basement, no home of my own, no pets, no kids and no boyfriend. He was left with a new home, a wife and a kid on the way, stuck somewhere in midwest America. Who won?
If you’ve read my blogs, I described my wanting to leave the country based off a feeling a encountered standing on the beach in Mexico. The feeling I had was overwhelming; like I didn’t know if I wanted to cry or laugh, or if I was happy or sad, but I just knew it felt right, and I wanted to feel that way all the time. I’ve been chasing that feeling ever since.
Everything does happen for a reason if you see the beauty in it. Times when I wanted to say no but felt it was right to say yes, and then I did say yes, and did it, has led me to right here right now in my apartment in Vietnam, where I am writing this post.
It took me 4 months of living out here to find that feeling I am talking about. I thought I would find it as soon as I stepped off the plane in Hanoi, Vietnam but instead, I found myself more lost than I was before.
I’m a good person and I attract good people. I attract the right opportunities because I believe in myself. Just recently when I traveled through mid-central Vietnam over TET holiday, I found that feeling again. Now, I know exactly what to do to make it a reality. Without even thinking twice, I quit my in person job and opened my online teaching schedule to I could live and work remotely.
These decisions I make seem very simple and “the obvious” but there also very scary. Like, did you read that? Quitting my job that guarantees me a paycheck for a job where I hope the classes get filled so I can earn a paycheck and travel? These scary decisions get easier and easier, which I am not sure if that’s just me going crazy, or me realizing thats the only way to get shit done.
I can’t even express into words how I have grown and the way I feel. I applaud myself and I am proud of myself for thinking bigger and finding the good in all the bad that happens. If I had stayed home and pursued a “normal” life, I would be miserable. I can’t imagine giving up everything I am learning, all the people I am meeting and the places I am seeing, for a traditional life. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.
Its funny for me to say this, but I am so happy I was cheated on. I am so happy my relationship ended badly, I never would have grown or realized my worth. I know what I want now in life, and in a man, and I know what I wont tolerate any longer.
I will always be my own person, have my own things, and lead my own life, and when I meet someone who wants to share that with me, I will happily welcome them when I am ready. However, I will always have the courage to leave when I know its not right, and I will never lead a life again where I feel like I am not growing.
Doing all this shit on my own is so amazing. I don’t even think about loving someone else anymore, because for the first time ever, I truly love myself, and nobody right now is good enough to deserve me. Maybe this sounds selfish, but I don’t want to share my experiences right now with anyone but me. When I was with my last boyfriend, I didn’t love myself, so I allowed him to treat me terribly. I didn’t stand up for myself, and I was okay with living for someone else; I was okay with living a life that he wanted, instead of having the courage to stand up for what I actually wanted.
For the first time in my entire life, I have found myself. I know exactly how I want to lead my life, and its such a freeing and unreal feeling knowing that no one else has a say in how I live, but me.