It’s the year 2004 and I am sobbing in my room while watching “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” The reason? My ultimate crush, who asked me for kilig “be my prom date” ideas, did ask someone else out and it wasn’t me.
Fast forward to 2008 where my first foray in dating (we watched “Iron Man” on our first date, it has been that long!) ended up in more tears and a disbelief in myself that stayed on for a really long time because he was verbally abusive and unkind. Seven years later, I am once again sobbing on my birthday because the beautiful, menacing boy dumped me on my birthday.
Those were the days wherein I would ferociously write in my journal without a care in the world. My 16-year-old self was determined to get her fairytale. In the chaos of life, there are days when I have forgotten or at least tucked away that 16-year-old in the back of my mind.
Up until two years ago, I was pretty unlucky in love. I was never the first choice and I have had my fair share of jerks. I would constantly console myself with ice cream, One Tree Hill, and of course, crying to my baby brother, Carl.
Life has made me forget how she fought to keep her optimism and her belief that on the other side of all the pain, there was an answered prayer or pixie dust waiting. She was often rejected and yet, she kept going. I missed her a lot in the past year but I promised myself I would treat her more kindly and carry her closer than all the other mess I have been in the past 10 years.
My husband and I had quite a long drive one night and he had early 00s music blaring in the background and all of a sudden, without warning, the memories of my past life started flooding in. It felt like a movie because suddenly the memories of me crying and praying and just getting disappointed with my life came rushing in. And it took me a minute to return to reality.
I was in Los Angeles with the husband I prayed to God about when I was seven (after watching Devon Sawa on “Casper!” My husband does look like him!) and yet, nobody can deny the many years of heartache I endured.
The moments do not hurt me anymore but instead, I say hello to them like an old friend. Pretty much like the Gabby and Sharon McDonald’s TV commercial, it’s like saying to a friend who has taught you so much.
That’s when I realized that while I hated heartbreak while I was in it, I don’t necessarily regret them or wish them to have been erased from my history. Last night, I was living the reality of what I have always believed – everything is essential, the good, and the bad, to your story.
You may be in a season where you are unattached or recovering from a heartache. And though it may seem like the season will never end, it will and you will be better for it.
Enjoy the moments of uncertainty. The moments where your heart is half-broken and half-hopeful. These moments may hurt you in the moment but their purpose is to develop you. The heart is extremely resilient and we grow through the moments that break us.
Looking back now—on all those moments that I had my heart broken and was devastated, I just look at them with trepidation. I did not go through them but I needed the lessons they brought with them. It has made me a completely different person and that makes me grateful. I have chosen to let each rejection mold me and make me who I am. It has made me more empathetic and kinder to myself and others (at least I try to be).
So inasmuch as you would like to take the easy way out—don’t. We go through things to learn from them and until we learn the lesson, we do not move to the next level.
I am sorry for your pain but trust me when I say that it does get better.
Do not run away from your pain—embrace it as a season, do not fester in it but allow yourself to feel the pain and choose to grow. Everything in our lives is essential to a greater purpose we may or may not see.
Be strong enough to see you through this season because it is worth it. You are worth it.