I found an old journal of mine in my closet which dates from February 2003 to August 2005. Do you know what can happen in that time period? Apparently a lot of heartbreak and angst.
In 2003, I was 19 years old. I had my first serious boyfriend at that age. Apparently he broke my heart. I remember it well because I saw him out on a date with another girl, and I ended up punching him in the face.
In the two years following this boyfriend, I apparently fell in love, or at least fell in like, more times than I have fingers on two hands. I realize that, back then, I did not exactly know what love is, and at this point in my life I am sure that love has an ever-evolving definition, but I really did not have a clue back then.
Reading those entries made me realize quite a few things about myself:
1. I used to fall in love far too easily. Which in turn meant my heart was broken easily.
My poor heart; I really let it take a beating.
Silly me. I mean – picture me mooning over a guy after two or three ‘dates’ [not this kind of date] claiming “he is the one.” Looking back, I really don’t believe that you can possibly know that after such a short time. Love-at-first-sight seems so sweet, but my own experiences have taught me that at an initial meeting or on a first date, you will never learn all the things you need to know about someone to determine whether they are “the one”. Sure, you can develop physical attraction, and if it turns out that a guy is a great conversationalist as well, so much the better! But let’s wait a few weeks and see if he has a girlfriend you did not previously know about, or actually lives in his mom’s basement at age 27, or goes a-wall from the relationship the first time things get a bit hard. Yes, all of those things happened. Which leads me to…..
2. I gave WAY, WAY, and again, WAY too many second chances to guys who continually hurt me and broke my heart. I dumped and took back and was dumped by and was taken back by a particular few guys TOO MANY TIMES! In this time period, I apparently could not decide who I liked, didn’t like, loved, or hated, etc.
I don’t want to be stuck in a cycle like that ever again. I am at a point in my life where I recognize and have determined that the past needs to stay in the past. Sure, even girls have “the one that got away”, but honestly, I have written evidence to myself that that “one”, and I have had a few if my journal is any indication, was not that great of a guy, treated me poorly, and did not consider my feelings in his dealings with me. It is much better for those relationships to stay in the past, even if I get along with those people today.
3. I am so much more mature than I was then. “Of course,” you say. “You are older.” One short year ago, I was not more mature than the me who wrote in that journal. It has taken this last year of looking into my own heart, looking at my own behavior, and really working hard at becoming comfortable with and accepting of myself to become more mature than that girl.
While this is a christian based-model, and I don’t practice religion, I think the point this model makes is applicable to my message here.
4. The number one thing I realized was that I now know that the only person who needs to validate me is me.
It is all about how you treat yourself.
A guy will love me or not, but it will not make or break me. I will have a date or not, but in the event I do not, I can spend time doing other, more productive things than lamenting my single-hood. I can spend time with my son, friends, or family, crochet, take photographs, exercise, or do any other activity that makes me feel good! A guy will find me attractive or he won’t, but it does not matter as much as it once did, because I am fully comfortable in my skin, really love my own body and accept it for what it is, and really accept myself for who I am.