Best. Breakup. Ever.

I still remember it like yesterday.

I remember how chaotic our relationship had become in a few short months and my desperate attempts to try to save it. I wanted to make it work for so many reasons. Chief among them were my misguided belief that it was my duty to God, the belief that “love conquers all,” and the belief that I could fix him. Add to this that the man in question had been a dear friend for several years prior and one would understand my desperation.

The details of the event are a blur for the most part, but I certainly remember how I felt. I was positively gutted, raw with emotion. I cried so much that my eyes simply burned, unable to produce any more tears. It was nighttime, cold, and dark, the parking lot’s eerie silence bearing witness to the shouting match between us. When it was all over, all I could do was call my best friend, who was gracious enough to come to my aid and even enlist his parents to help get me home, a gesture that to this day I am deeply indebted to.

I could have let this break me. It nearly did. And yet, it didn’t.

That night, with a few glasses of red wine and meatballs (my comfort foods of choice), I made my first-ever vision board. As upset as I was, there was something in me that realized that my future was mine to make. That day, I decided to go to beauty school, which has since led me to a joyful, successful career in the industry. Every artist I put on that board I ended up seeing perform live in a two-year span. While painful, this awful day was the day I decided to live life on my own terms. As nightmarish as that night was, the next morning I set out to live my dreams.

Mind you, I still experienced other breakups along the way, with situationships in between and the unique difficulties therein. But rather than wallow in self-pity and beat myself up for not doing better or leaving sooner, I managed to pick myself after each one and be a bit more truer to myself each and every time. With each separation, I drew closer to God and to myself, becoming a little wiser each and every time. I also came to realize my true worth and have made the decision to never accept less than the very best of treatment from anyone who desires to have access to me, romantically or otherwise.

My love story is still being written, but not necessarily in pursuit of Prince Charming. When he shows up, I’m sure he’ll be most welcome. For now I am falling madly in love with myself and I must say: she’s quite the keeper.

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