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05 July 2014

Can broken hearts really lead to brighter futures?

I have on occasion eluded to a relationship of mine, an engagement, that was broken some years ago. And, well this blog post is not about all the gory details of that. Dredging up those wounds from the past would not only be stupid, but it would be harmful to myself and my loved ones.

What can I say is: I was a ditzy 18 year old who had always been told I was "mature for my age", I had been swept off my feet by a strapping 23yr old man who doted over me. I thought we were in love. Before we knew it, we were engaged to be married. We set the wedding date as April 17th 2010, and starting planning.
Plans were coming along well for the wedding as well as for our home after, but in February 2010 certain things happened and my world fell apart. I would like to imagine that the world of my ex fell apart as much as my world did, but within 18 months he was married to someone else. So maybe he wasn't as torn up as I was.

It is the hardest thing I have ever had to do, rebuilding my life and figure out who I was after that!
I had it all planned out, "the white picket fence and a yellow rose garden", the whole housewife scene with a loving husband.
But now everything changed. I had a heart that felt destroyed. I had been challenged that without him I would be nothing. I had to heal the wounds at the same time that I had to figure out now what I was going to do with my life and get a move on with making it happen!

As loving as my family and friends were, this was not something they could do for me.

I can say my life hit a wobbly for the whole of 2010. I try to remember 2010 and it was all just a blur. I remember sitting on my bed and crying for days. It has been said that a break-up is a mini-death, you grieve the same way. I never understood it, until it happened to me.
At the same time however I remember thinking that I will prove everyone wrong, everyone who said I will be nothing without a man in my life. I went out the day we broke up and that was said and I started my own business! That was the first good thing that came from that break-up.
The break-up was more than 4 years ago now! I still am saddened when I think of it, but at the same time I am thankful that it happened. Because there are so many things in my life that would never have happened if that relationship had stayed!

  • I was able to start my own business, and within 2 years of doing that business, I was able to buy my very own car - in cash!
  • I had the opportunity to find a job, work for 6 months and then quit because I didn't like working for a boss.
  • I bought myself a camera, and discovered I can take amazing photos! That led to yet another of my own self-started businesses. 
  • I found new friends, ones that I would never have discovered if I was in a relationship. Friends that I have enjoyed spending time with, that I know now are friends I will cherish for the rest of my life.
  • I discovered my passion for music (although I the only thing I play is a cd...) and have attended 4 concerts! All of music he hated, I might add, and I had never attended any concerts in my life before 19.
  • I visited family members I had never really known before and started amazing relationships with them.
  • I discovered that I am good at hiding pain! After a month or so I gave the outside world the brave face, but inside I was still dying until about a year later.
  • My goals changed, I realized just how un-ready I was to settle down. A wanderlust grew in me and is now a burning desire to travel the world!
  • The realization hit that I can volunteer and help others.
  • And I certainly realized that I am not yet ready to be a housewife (in case you don't know, I'm not domestic!)
  • I learnt to build websites
  • I have explored places he never wanted me to explore (for safety or just being a control freak), and me life has been enriched and I came out of those amazing places a better person.
  • And, I started yet another business, this time doing Proposals. Because once the pain healed, I realized I'm still a "romantic" at heart.

  I can say that the break-up made me grow up!

I also learnt that all is not as it seems when it comes to relationships. People lie, people are imperfect, people will hurt you. But you can forgive them and move on. By "moving on" I don't mean getting a new man in my life, rather I mean I was able to heal the wounds and find a new direction in my life. I was able to grow a backbone (although I always had one, but infatuation had hidden it for a time) and stand up for what I want and what I believe in. And by forgiving, I don't mean going back to that person, I mean forgiving him for the pain he caused me. In fact, if I had to see him today, I would probably thank him, for our break-up developed the woman I now am.

I am not sadistic, and I didn't enjoy the pain, but I am a different, better, stronger woman now than the little girl I was before.  I wont quickly get into a relationship again though, because I don't want to go through that pain again.
 This is why I say "I'm happy single", because its better than being unhappy and stuck in a miserable relationship or sitting alone in the cold and the dark with a broken heart. And I am certainly not looking for a man in my life.
I will also always bear my experiences in mind when I see young people getting into relationships, I will never tell teenagers that they are "mature beyond their age" or encourage  young romance - because that is what many well meaning friends and family tried to do to me, and I know how that turned out.

People tell me that no-one should say that their past made them who they are now. But that's just stupid, you build your life around past experiences. If the past never made you who you are today, then every day you would still not have learnt to open the glass doors instead of walk into them, every day you would still not be able to walk properly, you may not even be able to read! Because we learn from our pasts and we allow that to build us up, we don't make the same mistakes again, we become stronger, life teaches us that you cant walk through glass doors, that if you fall - you must get up. And so we learn to smile and say "there's a silver lining to every cloud - even if I cant see the silver lining yet!"