To the girl with the broken heart

*I wrote this years ago for myself when my boyfriend broke up with me after five years together. In my mind, I wrote this as someone who, I imagined, would be able to reach me in spite of the many barriers I put up around my heart. Recently, one of my best friends got dumped in the worst way possible by her girlfriend of seven years, and I thought maybe letting her read this can help her in some way. And I’m reposting this here just in case this finds its way to someone else who needs a hug.

I don’t see your tears. I’m not there whenever you shed them. I don’t hear the achingly deep breaths you take, thinking it could lessen the pain that made your heart its home. I’m not there whenever you feel safe enough to tuck away the smiles you work so hard on showing off to everyone around you.

It doesn’t matter though. I see right through it.

I see because I’ve felt it – the feeling of giving your all and receiving nothing in return, of trying your hardest but always ending up second best, of loving so much while hurting even more, of knowing you deserve better yet settling for what’s there.

I know what you’re going to say, that I couldn’t possibly know exactly what you’re feeling and that circumstances are different for every person. And that’s true. Our experiences may not be similar, our pain not of the same degree.

But the remedy is.

Whatever he’s done and whatever he’s made you feel, in the end, it can only hurt you as much as you allow it to, as much as you let it. It all comes down to choice – your choice… which, truth be told, makes healing that much harder.

Because sometimes we choose to hurt. Sometimes, we’d rather lock ourselves in a dark room that was once bright, with pain we are so familiar with, instead of using the key we hold in the palm of our hand to open the door and walk out – all because we have not the slightest clue of what’s beyond it. We’re afraid to let go because we think that, if we do, we won’t find anyone else to hold on to and, more importantly, there won’t be another person who will want to hold us too. We’re afraid to be alone so we choose to stay with someone who not only hurt us but make us hurt ourselves and we rationalize it by saying, “At least he makes me feel, and feeling something, even if it is pain, is better than not feeling anything at all.” And I get that. The presence of pain may seem less unbearable than the absence of happiness.

It’s not.

It only feels that way because we also have the tendency to entrust our happiness to anyone besides us. So much so that when that person walks out of our life, he takes our happiness along with him and leaves us with a whole lot of nothing. We know it, we do, but knowing isn’t enough to change anything. We still choose to depend on someone else than face the possibility of being on our own.

Because it would be easier, wouldn’t it? To have someone else make us happy rather than to actually make ourselves happy.

But we can, you know. Be happy with ourselves. Granted it may be quite lonesome at times, disheartening on some occasions. But you know what? It’s worth it. Do you know what it feels like to suddenly find yourself genuinely happy and content and realize that, for the first time since forever, it’s not because of some guy? What does it feel like to be the reason for our own happiness?

Fulfilling. Uplifting. Worth it.

What not a lot of people realize, and what I hope you will, is that there is only one kind of love, aside from the love of God, that will never disappoint and that will never hurt – self-love.

So, at this moment, make your choice. Think about what you’re going through, what you’ll continue to go through should you remain in the path you’re in and choose.

Choose what your heart deserves, not what your heart thinks it wants. Choose to stop putting your happiness in someone else’s hands. And if you already have, don’t be afraid to take it back. Maybe falling for the wrong person was never your choice. But moving on is. We can allow the pain to consume us or we can choose to acknowledge it.

Let it hurt, let it out, then let it go.

And when you’ve let it go, walk away.  And as you walk away, know in your heart that while you may be walking away from something good, you’re sure as hell walking toward something even better.

Advertisements

Dinner with the X

The other day, the ex-boyfriend sent me a text, asking me if I had plans that night. I said no, although I was sort of hoping I did because the most logical implication of that text wasn’t something I looked forward to.

When he said he wanted to have dinner with me, I considered lying to him and telling him I couldn’t make it, but three things stopped me. One, I figured if I bailed that night, he’d invite me again some other time and I’d have no choice but to go because, really, what kind friend would I be if I didn’t? Two, no matter how much of a douche he was during the last years of our relationship, he was and still is good to me so the least he deserves is my honesty. And three, I’m really really really trying to be a good person, and a good person doesn’t lie… especially in the smallest things like avoiding awkward situations with an ex.

So I agreed. We had dinner. We talked. I insisted on paying for my share of the bill but he wouldn’t have it. He paid. We left separately.

Now that it’s over, I’m glad I decided to go.

The conversation we had that night was the most honest one we’ve ever had, or I’ve ever had with him. I was able to sit there, look him in the eyes, and tell him why I chose to be distant.

In the past year or so, I’ve made very little effort to keep in touch with him, and it’s not because I harbor ill feelings toward him or I want to pretend like he never existed. Our relationship ended amicably and on friendly terms. There’s no bitterness on my part, just a lot of growing up.

But I guess in growing up, in truly growing up, this irrational need to have him as a constant in my life, as a means of elevating my self-worth, as an irreplaceable key to my happiness gradually disappeared like sand in a my hand. It sounds horribly selfish but life is so much better now because I choose me. I pick me to be the constant in my life, the means of elevating my self-worth and the irreplaceable key to my happiness.

At one point during dinner, he told me he got upset with me when I didn’t invite him to my graduation ceremony. He invited me to his last year.

“Because when you graduated, we were still close. We’re not close anymore,” I said.

“Who’s fault is that?” he asked playfully.

“Mine,” I said. “But it’s not a fault. It’s a choice.”

To the guy who once carelessly held my heart in his hands

“At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life.” – That is your tweet dated February 5, which I only read now, which also inspired me to write this post. Now, it doesn’t have my name on it but I’m pretty sure you were referring to me. I have my reasons for thinking such and they’re all pretty convincing. So here is my reply to both that tweet and the messages you sent me:

Those were five good years we had. It wasn’t the best relationship, we would still be together right now if it was, but it was better than what most people our age have had and I’m grateful. Even the way we parted ways was considered admirable by some.

Right after we broke up, I promised to myself that we wouldn’t fall under the same fate as most ex-couples who drift away from each other or, worse, hate each other. We were, after all, much better at the friendship part of the relationship than the actual relationship part of the relationship. People who didn’t know us often thought we were simply friends instead of a couple and I always took it as a good thing. I didn’t hate you for breaking up with me, and you didn’t hate me for refusing to get back together with you when you wanted to so I really did think we’d be the exception.

That is until I realized how extremely hard it was to be so close to you and to not treat you as if we were still together, and to not expect you to treat me the same way. I never told you this but I’m telling you now (if ever you do end up reading this, which I highly doubt, so I’m basically just saying this for special effects): I don’t regret our relationship, I regret our relationship after our relationship. It was like we weren’t together anymore but we might as well be but we chose not to because, well, I don’t really know why.

I still gave you my heart when you couldn’t give me even just thirty minutes of your time.

Sometimes, I wish you were man enough to tell me off, to just slap me in the face with the truth and tell me to quit acting like we were still together. It would’ve hurt like a ton of bricks falling on my pinky toe, but in hindsight, that still would’ve been better than you simply accepting everything I gave without bothering to give anything back.

I eventually learned though. I am forever proud of myself for realizing how in deep shit I was and for actually doing something about it. I took the remaining shreds of dignity I had left and walked away.

And after awhile, my dignity and my heart became all whole again. I’m happy, and I don’t mean just my mood. I am happy.

Then you decide to come back and ask for the friendship that, sadly, started to disappear the same day our relationship did, that completely ended when took me for granted. You demand time and attention that, frankly, I’m in no mood to give… time and attention that you really don’t deserve. And you have no right whatsoever to make me feel bad about feeling this way.

I agree with your tweet, though, that people can stay in your heart without staying in your life. And I have my own theory on why. It’s because sometimes, people like you only realize who the people in your heart are when they aren’t in your life anymore. I do hope we could revive the kind of friendship we once had. But trying to hurry it up would just put a damper on things, don’t you think?

So to the guy who once carelessly held my heart in his hands, I don’t hate you. I don’t even dislike you. I just, you know, love me. I love me enough to put my feelings, responsibilities, priorities and dreams first before you, which is how it really should be.

I hope you understand. After all, you did the same thing to me not too long ago.

I used to think about you a lot

I used to think about you a lot.

Before we were together.While we were together. After we were together.

I used to think about you a lot,

Until that’s all you have become –

Thoughts.

And thoughts aren’t like dreams, not the real ones.

Thoughts go away, disappear,

Then they are no more.

I used to think about you a lot.

Now, not so much.

And soon, not anymore.

From the dusty notebook #4: No longer for your convenience

November 23, 2011

It’s not really hoping for things to get better.

It’s more of hoping for things to be different.

I remember writing this. This was months after the relationship ended and we wanted to be the couple that remained best friends even after breaking up. It was nice. The only problem was we had moments when we acted like we were still together. I remember feeling happy during those moments, then feeling strangely empty after the moments passed.

On the day I wrote this, we had an argument after having one of those moments. I was rather pissed at you for forgetting to show up when we planned to have lunch together and you demanded why I was like that when you thought things were so good between us.

It wasn’t good between us.

It was convenient. For you, mostly.

And I’m never going to degrade myself like that anymore.

My Friend, the Stargazer

Extraordinary (adj.) – beyond what is usual or ordinary; exceptional in character; the perfect word for someone who isn’t perfect but might as well be

She is beautiful and free-spirited. She’s amazingly exquisite yet endearingly clumsy at the same time. She loves with her whole heart and lives with her whole soul. True enough, everyone loves her… except one.

One isn’t really a significant number. In most cases, more is always better. In terms of people, however, it can be quite tricky. You see, people can’t really choose who to make their hearts beat. All I know is that for each person, there is only one. It’s normal though to mistake someone for being that one.

She surely has.

If you can look into her heart, you will see a tiny hole right in the middle. But tiny as it may be, it seems as though it controls everything in her, forcing her to cry when she’s all out of tears, making her feel extremely lonely when she’s surrounded by people, pushing her to her breaking point when she’s much stronger than that and compelling her to look at just one star every night.

A stargazer.

Stargazer (n.) – a person who gazes at stars; a daydreamer; the perfect word for someone who isn’t perfect but might as well be, yet fails to realize it

At first, I never really understood why she looks at just one when they all look alike. It’s nothing special nor does it stand out. Truth be told, she’s really just staring at a different star each night.

But then it hit me. Just one. She gazes at the star as though she’s reaching out for him with her pleading eyes.

And when I look into the Stargazer’s eyes filled with longing and pain, I feel like I have this responsibility to tell her the awful truth about the stars. Often I wonder what it is with stars that make people wish upon them. Yes, stars do seem pretty from afar. But when you get too close, you’ll burn.

And anything that burns you is never a good thing, yes?

So please, Stargazer, bear this in mind about that pretty little star- it’s simply one of those things that are better when looking at instead of being with. Rather than gazing and waiting on the night sky for that very ordinary and predictable star, look around you.

Feel. Appreciate. And love.

There are more stars here, you know. And I promise you, they don’t burn.

From the dusty notebook #3: Alone but not lonely

I wrote this when I was 18, on the day my ex-boyfriend and I broke up after being together for three years. Of all the things I’ve written so far, this is one of the few I pat myself in the back for. It’s not because the writing style is excellent because it’s not. I’m proud of this mostly because I was able to feel this way and have these thoughts after having my heart broken.

Sometimes, having someone makes you forget how you were completely fine when it was just you. In reality though, the most important thing that we need to always remember is our capability to be content and happy on our own.

Maybe that’s why even the strongest relationships fall apart, because their focus is entirely on how good a couple they should be instead of how good a person they could be.

Make no mistake. We will always have someone, whether he be family, a friend, a lover or a stranger. I am a person who believes that there will never come a time when we will be truly alone. But that doesn’t mean the one we have at this exact moment will be the same person standing next to us ten years from now.

As painful as it may be, losing someone helps us in ways that would take a long time to fully understand. We have to accept the fact that it is better to lose someone than to lose ourselves completely. Letting go is the hardest decision we will ever have to do in our lives. But although the hardest, it is what we’ll be the most proud of ourselves for.

The people we have now come and go. We, on the other hand, are stuck with ourselves and what we become from now until the end of our lives.