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Life, man. I know for sure I’m not the first to say it and I won’t be the last, but it moves quickly. When it comes to relationship, I can tell you one thing for certain: they’re hard! Now, that means ANY type, bottom line is that relating to people is a learned skill. Whether it be a friend, a neighbor, an aunt or uncle, grandparent, classmate, teacher or a significant other, these relationships are work, but they’re worth it.
A little under a year ago, I found myself stuck. I was not in the best mental space and I was allowing school and my relationships to really stress me out. Being in culinary school is no easy feat. People always fawn over and romanticize it, but if we’re being honest, lots of yelling, sweating crying, and finger cuts take place in the kitchen. On top of that, I had a MAJOR crush on a cutie in my class... but I was in a long distance relationship. I had never had feelings for another person while in my relationship... that is until this guy came along. I didn’t know what to do.
I had taken the train from my college to a nearby city for my sisters graduation. A little bit about me—my parents have been divorced for about 10 years and my relationship with my dad is definitely not the best. I was sitting with him, he talking AT me about something stupid. Phone in hand, my *then* boyfriend kept texting me. I had stress coming at me from all sides. “How do I make my dad shut the heck up?” “How do I confront my boyfriend and tell him I have strong feelings for someone else?” “What’s happening and WHY?”
So many questions, my mind was spiraling out of control. I felt that if my relationship had been strong enough, I would not be able to feel anything for another person, and I felt that the earth was shattering under my feet.
Two weeks later I tried to break up with my boyfriend over Skype. School was almost out for the summer and I could then be home with him but something just wasn’t right and I felt I needed an escape route. I had no intention of leaving him for this culinary cutie, but the mere fact that I could develop strong feelings for someone else made me feel insecure about what I had going in the relationship. Long story short, he wouldn’t let me.
Now when I say that, some of you may be thinking, “He wouldn’t LET you??” The truth is, he got into my head and told me that leaving him would be the biggest mistake ever, it would ruin me, he would never take me back when I realized it was the worst decision, blah blah blah. And the sad thing is, I was in such a weak and vulnerable state of confusion that I actually let myself believe him. So I stayed with him for four more months.
Towards the end of this four-month period, I had an epiphany. I’m a f*cking AMAZING woman and I don’t need him or anyone else to make me feel like I am anything less. Damn right, I left him. I’d be straight up lying if I said I didn’t want to run right back to him. But I resisted the urge because I had a newfound sense of self confidence and self love. I knew I was better than to let myself backslide like that.
That day was quite possibly one of the most heart-breaking, yet liberating days of my young life. And I haven’t looked back.
So yes, relationships are hard. But the one you have with yourself is sometimes the hardest, yet the most important one, so it better be a good one.
I’m a strong woman, I love me, and that is enough.