I’m feeling like letting my heart speak today. It’s the holiday season, and Christmas always makes me a little melancholic.
I cannot believe how much my life has changed in two years. I went through things I didn’t know I’d ever have to go through, I suffered, I healed, I grew. And I am thankful, so thankful.
I am thankful for the pain, thankful for the struggles, thankful that not everything turned out the way I wanted them to. Nothing turned out the way I wanted them to, actually, and I’m grateful they did not.
Two years ago I was in college, I wanted to become a psychologist, I had a boyfriend who I was madly in love with; I had a plan, a life plan, and I was so convinced that my dream job and my dream guy were meant to be a part of it.
They were not.
I broke up with this guy eventually, and this event has been like a hurricane in my life. Everything crumbled, everything stumbled, my world split down the middle. I dropped out of school because I wasn’t able to get out of my bed anymore for weeks and failed my finals. I moved to another city, even another country for a couple of months. I was suffocating and I felt this urge to leave, it was like a matter of life or death.
I booked a flight from France where I live to Charleston, South Carolina, and a few months later, I left. I had never been there before, I didn’t know anyone there, my english was approximative, I had absolutely no plan. I just felt like it was the right place for me to find myself again. I rented a room in a complete stranger’s house, and a few months later, it was time to go. I packed my suitcases, my mom drove me to the airport, and I went on that plane.
It felt like freedom and it felt right.
The first weeks in Charleston were okay; the excitement of being in a new place was there and it was big enough to make me forget about the reasons why I moved there in the first place.
Then it hit me. I was alone in a country were I didn’t know anyone, and as the excitement started to fade, the pain was coming back even stronger than before; I was alone with myself now. No friends to cheer me up anymore, no familiar place to make me feel like home, no distraction like college or work. I was left with no other choice than to face my pain and the complete disaster that my life was at this moment.
I was crying every single night, unable to sleep, eating all day long like a physical thing could fill the whole that this love left in me, forcing myself to date guys when really didn’t want to date anyone, because “that’s how you move on”, right?
Until I met a guy who was just what I needed. It was not a big, passionate love like what I was used to, I couldn’t have handled that at that time. Instead, it was light, easy, no shaking knees, no big plans for a future together, nothing that hurt. Only sunset watching, wine and laughters; I had never felt so safe with anyone before. That’s when I started to heal.
I wish I could tell you that I got over my ex alone, but as much as the proud feminist in me hates to admit it, the truth is I got over my first love thanks to another guy.
A year and a half have passed by since this whole story happened, and looking back, it was exactly how things were supposed to happen. I was supposed to quit school, because I was not meant to be a psychologist and our educational system was not adapted to me anyway. I was not meant to spend the rest of my life with that guy, no matter how much I loved him, I know now that he was not the right person for me.
He actually came back a few months ago, saying he wanted me back, and apologised for everything he did to me. While I appreciated his apologies, I did not let him come back into my life; you’re allowed to miss the people who were bullets to you, but you’re not allowed to let them shoot you twice.
In case you are wondering, the guy I met that summer is now a good friend. I went back to France several weeks after I met him, and even though he has absolutely no idea of what I was going through nor that he helped me going through it, he will always have a special place in my heart for that.
I went through some hard times after that, ended up working in a plastic factory, living in a small, unhealthy flat infested with cockroaches, a part of my family turned their back on me and I lost some friends along the way.
But you know what? I have never felt so strong and free in my entire life. Shit happens, that’s life. But you gotta make the best out of it with what you have, as little as what you have might be.
I don’t know how to end this post, so I’m just gonna say this:
Wake up every morning with a burning rage to live, and never, ever settle. You are beautiful, you are strong, you are bold, you are smart. You’ve got fire in your soul, and no matter what happens, no one can take this away from you. I wish I had been aware of that sooner.