When deciding on the content I share within this blog, sometimes it is difficult for me to make the judgment call as to what I disclose regarding my relationships. It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand I created Twenty-Everything as a platform to share my journey and experiences as twenty-something figuring it all out, and for me at this point in my life that also involves dating. However, on the other hand, when things don’t go well in a current relationship, do I leave it alone or share it with my readers? How much do I expose?
The thing is…I promised myself that Twenty-Everything would be my safe place. I designed it to be a space in which I can be open and honest about who I am and what I am going through. It is my place to chronicle the triumphs, the tribulations, the breakthroughs, and the lessons learned. A place where I can be authentically and unapologetically me.
If I didn’t share about the breakups as well, I wouldn’t be staying true to the promise I made.
So, scratch that.
The story goes like this: after over two and half years of being single, I met somebody. I’ve dated since my last serious relationship, but nothing significant. During that time I hadn’t been emotionally ready, able to fully commit, and hadn’t even wanted to call any guy my boyfriend- but this was different. There were butterflies, and excitement, and hope, and feelings. So many feelings. The feelings were scary and amazing at the same time. He and I were open and honest in our communication, which felt wonderful and healthy. We discussed that a relationship was something we both wanted to pursue. I thought- wow, so this is what people mean when they say that when you meet the right person, you will just know.
So, we put a title on it. I was happy. I felt confident in the decision. I put faith in my feelings, my relationship, and in trying something new.
Too soon, my relationship was deteriorating in front of my very eyes. He wasn’t calling. He wasn’t texting. He was cancelling dates. Most importantly, he was breaking promises that he had made to me. All of a sudden, where so much fulfillment had been before, I was left wanting. My needs weren’t being met. My boundaries weren’t being respected. My feelings weren’t being taken care of. And I was no longer happy.
So, scratch that.
The disbelief then follows. And anger. And sadness. And shame. Did I do something wrong? How did this happen?
I say it to myself all of the time: even the best laid plans, set with the best intentions, will go awry.
The truth is, I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t rush it. I was careful in my consideration of each step. I was open about my feelings. He and I made these decisions together, as partners and equals. I am not responsible for the fact that he wasn’t able to give what he originally thought he could to our relationship, and I respect him for admitting that. The truth of it is, simply, that we had to call it quits. And that feels a lot like failure.
Faced with this, I have two options. I can wallow in self-pity, or I can grow from it.
I choose growth. I choose to learn. I choose to let this empower me, not to drown me. I refuse to let this feed into my insecurities. I embrace it for what it was, an adventure. I was brave. So, so brave. I said yes to a new experience. I said yes to taking a leap of faith. I said yes to daring greatly.
I am incredibly proud that I let myself be vulnerable. I showed up emotionally. I was open, and honest, and did my best to set my fears aside. I embraced the possibility of something new with an unknown ending. I didn’t let the hurt from past relationships contaminate my new one. I trusted. I practiced patience. Most significantly, I allowed my heart to open up again. That is monumental for me.
This is progress. This is me living life to fullest. This is me taking chances, embracing the vulnerability, and sharing it all along the way. This is me developing into the woman I am meant to become.
For that, I am grateful beyond measure.
A heartfelt thank you to all of my friends and family that support me, day in and day out, and to my readers for allowing me to be just a little more fearless with every post I create. I couldn’t do it without you.
*Top photo via Pinterest