This time last year, I knew that my long term relationship would come to an end. Not because of problems that he was creating, or any kind of question of his loyalty, but because I couldn’t give him what he wanted anymore.
I was a different person.
I had met him when I was 17; I was so young and really different from the woman I am today. I grew a lot during that relationship and grew into the woman I see myself as today. I think I had far bigger goals than I’d started with, I had so many things I wanted to see and do, but I couldn’t see myself doing them with him. He wasn’t in my future. I didn’t picture him stood by my side in five years time.
It was difficult to grasp that someone who had been in my life for (almost) five years, would no longer be in it. I thought he would be my happy ending, I thought he would be the rest of my life. He wasn’t though. He brought things into my life that I never would have imagined and made me appreciate myself in a way I never could. I decided to finish the relationship between us on good terms. I just didn’t love him anymore. It was unfair on him, and it was unfair on me.
I spent a few months working on my studies and bettering myself as a human being. I thought about how my life had changed over four years with this person. He wanted to stay friends, and I tried hard to accept that but I couldn’t. No matter how much you wanted to stay friends with someone who you loved, you can’t. How do you create room for someone else in your heart if there is someone still there? How do I move on and start a chapter two if I can’t put a full stop on the final sentence of chapter one? I never attempted to contact him because I wanted to open my heart and make way for what I could finally feel.
People thought I would fall apart, and I did a few times. He had been my person for so long. He had been the person I texted when I woke up and when I went to sleep. All of a sudden, I didn’t have that. I didn’t have that person by my side who could fight my wars with me, be my partner in crime and the only person who knew what I was really like. I didn’t stay sad though over it. I took on the life of being single, I felt released from something that I had no longer wanted in my life. I had a few months of enjoying being by myself and having no worries. I could leave my phone upstairs and spend time with my family. I really enjoyed having some time to myself. I had not had that for four years.
I no longer had to say things I was unsure about or spend nights thinking about what I was going to do.
My future was mine to own, now.
And, I don’t write this post with any bad feelings against this man, because he was a part of my life. However, we just weren’t meant to be anymore. I write this post with the intention that breaking up doesn’t mean the end of your world. It may feel like you have ripped out your own heart, and his. It may be the hardest thing you ever do, because you know you are breaking their heart. You know that you will forever be their first break up, and the person who they felt betrayed them. They may hate you because how could you break up with them if you love them?
How could you leave them?
You might always be the evil ex. The one who ended it on grounds that they didn’t think were acceptable, or even right. That you should have stayed and tried to fix it.
My heart felt small and hurt, but I didn’t wallow in my own self pity. I took months to build myself up as a new person, and discover sides of me that I didn’t even know existed. I created blog posts I hadn’t even imagined, and I stopped shoving my beliefs to the side because of someone who had seemed embarrassed by my outright desire to speak against things I hated. I changed my blog name to actually accept that feminism was a part of me. It was something that I was passionate about, and I stopped being scared to call myself a feminist.
I found myself smiling for once in a while, and I learned what it was like to deal with your own emotions. I started to love myself, rather than waiting for someone to love me. I stopped being scared of new adventures and admitting what I felt. I’ve realised that time is short, and that we should say what we mean and what we want. Life won’t wait for you, people won’t wait for you. Opportunities come around once in a while, and you have to take them whilst they are there.
I learned that I am smart enough to take on the challenges I have always wanted to take on, and I stopped being held back by the fear of what someone else would think.
I spent a long time wondering if I had done the right thing, but then I met someone who gave me this feeling I hadn’t had for a long time. I felt perfect when I was with him. I felt happy again. I believed that I had ended that chapter in my life so he could become a new character in my novel. I had made space for this new and exciting person who entered my life.
The months of doubt, the months of feeling the evil villain, no longer mattered, because he was in my life now. I could finally give my affection to someone that I had wanted to give it to. And, it was exciting because it was new and it was different.
One year on, and I am in a different situation than I even imagined. My life is made of people who support me, dreams I am finally allowing myself to follow and constantly pushing myself to be a better person. Ending a long term relationship may be the hardest thing you ever do, but it is not the end of your journey or yourself as a person. Life holds more people, more events, more dreams and more challenges.
You just have to let yourself be free, and find them.