Two years ago I was so alone. I was the girl who put all of her faith, trust, and hope into someone who did not reciprocate any feelings at all – The girl who literally laid in our bed all day one day, barely lacking the energy to get up, waiting for him to just come in and talk, to say something, anything at all that would signal that everything was okay, or to at the very least give me a hint, just a clue as to what was wrong and why he had started acting so distant several weeks before. I was the girl who searched for the tiniest excuse to let it go, to throw all of my suspicions and hurt aside in case I would suddenly wake up one day to see him trying, to see that he had changed and that he had finally decided to open up and be honest and tell me: What unheard thoughts laid behind the cold eyes, the lack of emotion, the ceased embraces, and most of all – the silence? What was up with his late nights at work, his whispering into the phone in the pitch black bedroom, the unwillingness to help when I was in severe danger, and most of all: his belief that it was okay, that nothing was wrong, that this was normal – this pain that gnawed at the inside of my stomach, the weight on my heart, the spinning and debilitating confusion in my mind – it was okay, because I was still there by his side, spending hours each day retracing my tracks, playing our conversations in my mind over and over again just waiting for him to slip up so that I would finally receive an explanation, a solid reason to stop trying, a reason to lose all hope of things going back to the way they were… A reason to leave. Even worse was that I spent even more of my time exaggerating the good – the tiny, almost absent signs – in a constant effort to convince myself that the bad outweighed the good enough for me to leave.
If you find yourself looking for a reason to stay with a person, that itself is enough reason to leave that person.
You see, you cannot change anyone. Why would you want to do that anyway? Furthermore, you cannot expect as much as a fraction of the truth from someone who does not want to be truthful. Do not even try. It does not work. Instead, please save yourself the pain, the heart break, and most of all, the time – time that could be spent on smiling, on loving, and on feeling something instead of trying your hardest to convince yourself that you feel nothing. You are strong, you are capable and you do not need anyone but yourself and the ones who deeply care – the ones who see you in a way you never will unless you muster enough courage to learn to love the one thing you must vow to never lose – yourself. Seems easy right? No. When I try to explain this to people it sounds awful at first, but please just listen to my every word:
You feel stuck, you feel worthless, you feel that you must be going crazy, that there is valid reason as to why you feel a million arm lengths away from adequate, but let me tell you this: It all starts with setting a boundary. That is the first mountain to scale, the first act of bravery, the first tremendous leap of faith. That is the first step toward self-respect: the vital first piece of the puzzle of happiness and self-love that you must begin to piece back together. If you promised yourself that you would leave the second time, then go. Don’t just go – run, and don’t look back. Do not lie to yourself though; the next several days, weeks, or months will be hard. You might not know where to go, you will be afraid, and you will wake up in another bed in an empty room feeling like a hole has been ripped right through you. This will continue for days; you will feel empty, like someone sucked out half of what was you in the middle of a dream, and the remaining half of you will leave your body in the form of tears. But you are strong, you will get through it. As a matter of fact, you are almost there. The hard part is almost over; do not give up yet – you are doing so well, you will get through this.
Something that I wish I had taken solace in is the realization that it is okay to feel upset and it is okay to embrace sadness; that is what makes us human and it is what, in comparison, makes happiness so beautiful. Our emotions, whether it be grief so intense that it sends a shooting pain through our chest or a feeling of bliss so uplifting that we feel as if we’ve done nothing but smile our entire lives – that is what makes us human. We would never feel fulfilled without those experiences nor would we be capable of love, hope, dreams, or anything else that we hold dear. It is okay to feel sad. If you ever feel alone in doing so (which most of us do), then just remember that if we all feel that way, then we are all alone together, right?
Once the ocean of sorrow has begun to recede you wonder why you stuck around for that long and why you put yourself through it when you could have felt so much better so much sooner, but at the same time you are glad that you did, because you walked away stronger, wiser, and more aware of what you want and what you do and do not accept. Hold on to it; self-respect is the foundation onto which you can begin to build love – strong love and honest love, starting with deep and honest love for yourself. This is your chance to work on yourself, not for the sake of anyone else, but for yourself. It is time to do everything you have ever dreamed of; it is time to pick up that pen and begin to write a brand new chapter in your book of life. You are the author and you are given the chance to write one grand masterpiece, so write a good one. As tales of adventures and faraway places are woven out of your dreams, you will find yourself more and more in the wake of each new beautiful word. Go, and don’t look back; it will be the most thrilling, fulfilling, and freeing experience of your life, and that word I mentioned in the beginning: “Lonely” – you will begin to lose all sense of the word, because you will have found purpose – something that always existed within yourself – you just weren’t sure where to look.