I guess I'm a bit of a late bloomer. I was seeing someone as more-than-a-friend for the first time in my life earlier this year and recently we decided to end things. I experienced so much joy and pain; I thought about some things for the first time in my life; I let my emotional side dominate my logical tendencies. This was a period of immense personal growth and definitely a trying time.
They say "it happens when you least expect it". This is so true. You can never find love by looking for it, it finds you. It's something so rare and precious that trying to look for it you'll only trick yourself into getting something that's not the real thing, but maybe just satisfies your horniness/loneliness temporarily (ah yes - this is why most people from dating apps are like that).
Maybe because this was my first time truly falling for someone and I was very naive, I opened up very easily and maybe too fast for her. There were gonna be a lot of challenges for us to make this work - being transparent and open about what my parents and friends thought of her and other things about my life only made the situation seem more doomed. I had solutions to these problems, but I think just because of how time-limited we were (I'm moving away to start working in the fall and travelling this summer) and how much investment we would have to put (especially so early on), there was just no way for this to work out.
I'm very grateful to my support network for letting me fail. They let me become vulnerable and invested, even when they saw signs that this wasn't going to last. This was the best way I could practice and learn, instead of thinking about different outcomes and wondering what if I cared more? I acted as the truest version of myself, and I regret nothing. Heartbreak is how you know it was something worth fighting for. Be vulnerable, be authentic, be committed.
The first few days after calling it off were quite painful. I totally lost my appetite. I would wake up with a feeling that my heart was turned inside out. I was very emotionally sensitive - I would tear up listening to Joji or honestly any love song. I finally understood what heartbreak was and just how deep it could go. I called my friends and talked to my parents everyday, sometimes multiple times a day, just about how hurt I felt. I was very demotivated to do anything and tasks just started piling up. I tried to carry on with my life - going to the gym, cooking, eating and trying to sleep at regular times, but it was tough. Intrusive thoughts would always wander into my mind and I couldn't help but think about if things had ended up differently.
Looking back, I have a lot to be thankful for from this experience. I learned a lot about myself - my preferences, my insecurities (which I'm letting go a lot of), my bad habits (which I am working on changing), my boundaries and my attractive qualities (dang!). I got to live out a lot of hypotheticals in my head and realized the biggest thing about this whole thing is that you just need to own up to who you are and totally just do you! For the first time in my life I felt deeply cared for by someone outside my family and came around to realizing that I am worthy of love. Both during the time we were together and after, I felt a strong drive for self-improvement - both as a responsibility to her as well as myself. This experience has only further inspired in me more ideas on how I can grow.
Right now, we're trying to be just friends. It's tough to go back - maybe it's better to go to strangers first then build the friendship part back up. It's hard to separate your appreciation of someone from your dependence on them, especially when you were something for each other. I honestly believe she's has been a great friend before we got more involved and going back to just that would be the best way to settle this. In some ways, I just have to stop caring so much about her, but it's hard if you know about what the other person has got going on in their life and just want to try to help.
"If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it."
- Steve Jobs