I had originally written this immediately after the fact (October 2020), but somehow I lost it. I don’t remember where I wrote it, where I saved it, or much of what I wrote, but three months after the fact, I can say that instead of feeling upset, I’m happy.
Have you ever reflected on something that for a moment in your life
felt like everything, but months later was very insignificant?
It has been many years since I experienced any sort of romantic heartbreak. After my first one at 21, the thought made me sick to my stomach. Now, that doesn’t mean I haven’t dated or encountered interesting men since then, I just haven’t been in love.
I want to be very vulnerable with myself and you, as I share with you, a significant part of my 2020. This year had many firsts for me, as it did for many of us. But this year also taught me many important lessons. I won’t list them all, but this year I began to work from home, as I traveled around my home state for the first time, all while I was in my first significant relationship post-college. And of course, while in a worldwide pandemic. This year, like them all, was a very formative and important chapter in my book.
I met him with bright eyes and excitement, not excitement because of him, but because of life!
Let’s set the scene.
It’s mid-2019, and I am at my dream job in NYC while traveling the world with my friends and going out every other night to bars and flashy restaurants, just finally living my life for me. And for the second time in my life, I allowed myself to fall.
It’s interesting because I didn’t fall for him I fell for everything but him. Instead, I fell for the adventures and possibilities that I created of him in my head, but not the actual person. The actual person didn’t know how to treat me or themselves with love.
This is why reflection is so important!
Once I fell and learned who he actually was, I not only realized that he wasn’t the type of man that I wanted or deserved, but I realized that 25 is a turning point, and it’s time to invest even more in myself, my passions, and my happiness.
I realized that I wanted therapy. Therapy to unpack all of the luggage and baggage that I had stored in my attic of “It will sort itself out.” Yes, we are always in a constant work in progress, but at that moment, I realized that I wanted more out of life, out of myself, and out of love. If I didn’t leave I was settling. I refuse to settle for mediocrity.
I ended the relationship because I needed to put myself and my needs first. Once and for all, I was ready to stop dating broken men.
Now, this isn’t about him, but about Me.
I want to just say that I am incredibly proud of myself for ending the relationship when I did. It taught me a lot about who I am as an adult woman, and also that life is too precious and short to be unhappy. If you are not happy, it’s okay to put yourself first and leave.
That is always the right choice.
It taught me even more about boundaries and self-love. So many people stay in unhappy and unfulfilling relationships all because of the fear of not only being alone, but being alone with themselves.
Life is too short to be unhappy. Never forget that.
2020 has been incredibly strange but also so so beautiful. I’m proud of us all for how far we’ve come, but also for how well we’ve handled it.
I’ll be back next week with my yearly reflection.
I wish you all a lovely Christmas!
Gabriela A Tejada
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