How Heartbreak Changed My Life: Part 1
**The following blog series is told in brief from my perspective, and only my perspective. Any names that may be used have been changed. **
This story begins in heartbreak. I was in a relationship for about 4 years. I loved this man y’all. We were supposed to travel the world, get married, and have squishy brown babies. We talked about the future. We helped each other with our businesses. We were gonna be the next (insert powerful Black couple here.) One day he asked if we could talk. At the end of that conversation, I was packing everything I had in trash bags and stuffing them into my car. If you asked me then, I would have said that it was was a sudden breakup. But the truth is, a steady decline had been happening before that day. Things started to feel different. There was a lot less laughter, and the good morning kisses had all but stopped. This was happening at a particularly difficult time in life. I was having family issues, medical problems, and was in a perpetual state of always having more month than money. So when the man I loved was over it, over us, I didn’t know what to think. Talk about feeling kicked when you’re already down. To be honest, I couldn’t have been the best girlfriend. I was ALWAYS stressed. I really did love him deeply, but maybe it wasn’t expressed in a way that he could receive. All of my “stuff” could have been too much, or I could have been slowing his life plans down. Either way, it was over and I was crushed. Like, cry over a pint of ice cream, play Another Star and Peachtree Blues over and over, sleep every chance I got, not talking to anyone, type crushed. Yep, I looked like some teenage girl from a romantic comedy. Here I was, really trying to love someone, and this is what happened. But, I put on a front like I was okay. I even tried talking to him a few times post breakup. It was always strange for me, but my intention was to be there for him. I emailed him once stating that I was willing to keep communication open and that I loved him. He didn’t say it back. He said we should let our communication flow naturally. (Did I get “ghosted” and didn’t know? Yikes.) I never told him about an opportunity that was presented to me while we were still together. A friend told me about an opportunity to live and teach in Cameroon and South Africa. I was excited about the possibility but didn’t consider it because I was supposed to travel the world, get married, and have squishy babies. After we broke up, this opportunity reappeared and I thought about it. A lot. I asked every friend for advice. This was an chance to jump out there and do something different. Plus, what did I have to lose? I decided to apply. There were interviews and waiting and paperwork and waiting and follow up and, you guessed it, waiting. But I was accepted. I told my parents, and let’s just say that they weren’t as excited as I. I think all they heard was “I…..move….Africa”. I decided that this was going to happen. I needed a change in my life. As one does, I made an announcement on Facebook and received lots of congratulations. My ex reached out to me wanting to meet for dinner before I departed the country. I was initially hesitant to accept. Nerves, I suppose. But I agreed to meet. I must have put on 15 different things and styled my curls at least 8 different ways before selecting anything. Of course my hair wasn’t cooperating and nothing looked right. If this was the last time we were going to see each other, I (a.k.a. my ego) wanted him to remember me. I wasn’t about to be heartbroken AND raggedy. I honestly don’t remember a lot of what was said, or even I spoke much at all during dinner. I do remember it being calm and polite; no discussion of issues or memories. The last hug goodbye was tough. The last time I saw him was on Peachtree St. wishing me well on my impending adventure.
I had been in Cameroon a couple of weeks getting settled in. I finally got a phone and decided to log into my social media to check in with people. After answering messages on Facebook, I scrolled through Instagram. I came across a photo from my ex and went to his page. One photo particularly stood out. There was a photo of a woman’s legs with the caption: her. Her? Who was this? Those weren’t my legs! At this point, we’d been apart a few months. Had he moved on already? I was confused how he could empty me out of his heart and fill it up with someone else so quickly. But like Common said “It don’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine.” Maybe it was that “love at first sight” thing that people talk about. But I had questions. Who was she? Where did they meet? Was she around when we were together? Was she prettier? Did I do something wrong? What did she have that I didn’t? My mind went through so many twists and turns.
I must have stewed over that for a few days before really checking myself. Why was I stressing about someone who obviously wasn’t thinking about me? I thought that maybe I should have told him that I loved him more often, or worked harder, or dressed up more. I could have done all those things and the outcome could have been exactly the same. For some reason, this was supposed to end and I had to swallow that pill. That was a nasty pill. There are cases when things end and you won’t get the answers you are seeking. Honestly, seeking answers could do more damage than what’s been done. How many of you have ever thought back on a past relationship or situation and realized that you actually dodged a bullet? What if you held on to something or someone who’s time simply had expired? How many of you HAVE held onto someone or something when your gut/intuition/obvious sign to you to release that? You cannot make someone love you or force a situation to change. So, I made the choice to let it go. It was still frustrating, but necessary for me in order to move on. After all, I was about to embark on the most interesting year of my life to date.
Part 2 coming soon...
Sexy people rock.