I don’t know how to be anything other than intense. All in. Too much. Too involved. I don’t know how to be an almost or anything in between. But there’s a price you pay when you can’t settle for the middle because when you’re so fixated on a certain kind of love you become so good at letting go, kissing people goodbye, holding someone’s hand only to unclasp your fingers, getting so dangerously close only to create a safer distance, catching yourself before you fall because you’re not so sure if they will catch you. And you don’t know how to half-love someone or have bits and pieces of their heart, You only know how to love with all your heart and want the same in return. So I got used to it all, you know — leaving, moving on, being on my own, searching for answers, walking my journey alone because as much as I want to hold someone’s hand as I climb the mountain and as much as I want to share the view with someone, I don’t know how to balance myself if I’m not the only one. I don’t know how to open the door if I have one foot out. So it doesn’t get to me anymore when people call me too dreamy, too romantic, too idealistic, or too much because there’s a price you pay when you don’t know how to settle, you spend a lot of time waiting, you spend a lot of time alone, you don’t always have a hand to hold, you don’t always have someone to call but for some reason, you wait it out, because you have faith that one of those days your too muchness will be just enough for the right person.
It’s not like all the other times where I took my word back and stuck around.
It’s not like all the other times when I said I’d leave but I knew I’d always come back and stay.
It’s not like all the other times when my heart still had more love and chances to dole out to you.
It’s for real this time.
Here I am, taking one last look at our favorite restaurant and our favorite bar, and all the nights I had to drink my pain away.
Here I am, standing in front of my favorite monument, taking one last look at the place that held my secrets and wiped away my tears.
Here I am, taking it all in so I can release it all out.
Here I am saying one final goodbye because I know this time there’s no looking back.
Here I am learning how to live without you again.
I don’t know if I’ll miss you and I don’t know if I’ll miss the place we once called home, but I know that at this moment, I miss myself more. I’ve locked the real me inside for so long. I was forced to become someone else to make you and everyone else here happy. But I’m finally done with it all.
I’m finding myself before I find you this time.
I’m choosing myself over you this time.
I don’t always understand the universe but I know that it has my back and it’s been giving me all the signs I need to move forward. The universe is not holding back this time. The universe is telling me that this is the end of this story. This is the end of our time together.
There’s no more room for me here in your heart or in your home. There’s no room for me here in this city or in this crowd.
It feels different this time.
Because here I am standing still at the place where it all started and I don’t feel a thing. Like it was all a bad dream and now it’s over. I look at the people around me running around like I once did — trying to find themselves or find someone to love and I remember that not too long ago, that was me. Not too long ago, I thought you were the answer but now I know that the answer will always be with me.
But here I am standing still, smiling, because I know this is the last time I’ll be here drenched in loneliness, anxiety and fear and I know this the last time I’ll think of you.
Here I am smiling, because I know that from this moment on, I won’t allow anyone to dictate my future for me. I won’t allow anyone to tell me how I should live my life. It’s all mine now. It’s all coming back to me.
A few days ago, I saw a psychic reading special in my neighborhood — given how much I love psychics, I didn’t need a special to tempt me to go in for a reading but it was a good enough reason for me to get one. I haven’t had a reading in a while.
She started by analyzing my character and telling me a few things about my family, my childhood and my career, all too familiar, nothing I haven’t heard before but this time, when it came to predicting my love life, she just paused, took a long heavy sigh and said “well my dear it looks like you don’t know how to feel anymore, why is that?”
At first, I wanted to tell her that if she’s a real psychic, she should know but I held back my sarcasm and just told her I don’t know. I make a living out of feeling too much and writing my feelings down. She was surprised and confused, held my palm closer and told me “You just don’t know how to feel anymore.” At that point, I knew I wasn’t going to change her mind and I was ready to get this reading over with before she tells me I need to heal my aura for $300 to remove any love blockages.
On my way back though, it hit me, was the psychic actually, right? Do I not know how to feel anymore? Or am I just afraid of my own feelings?
Her comment bothered me for a reason, there must be some truth to it because deep down I know, my heart is not the same anymore.
All I did for the past five years was learn how to let go, how to move on, how to start over, how to love myself, work on myself, be independent and be strong. Mending everything my heart once destroyed. Putting back together everything my feelings once shattered.
All my experiences haven’t been smooth or easy and every year has been more of a battlefield than a playground. This whole process of self-improvement and personal development and trying to fix what others broke is draining. Granted, it’s worth it but it takes everything you’ve got to fight back, to believe, to keep trying, to keep smiling or keep breathing.
Of course I don’t know how to feel anymore, of course I’m scared of my own feelings because of the time and effort it took to embrace standing alone, because of the battles I’ve fought to live a life that makes me happy, because of the energy I’ve used up to be somewhat resilient.
It’s true that sometimes when you focus on one thing, you lose something else in return and in this case, I think I lost the appetite to feel deeply or get attached to my emotions. I think I forgot how to trust my heart. How to be vulnerable. To let myself go. To surrender to such powerful emotions. I’m always trying to hold back. Always having one foot out the door. Always ready to walk away.
But here’s what I know for sure, that maybe I don’t know how to feel right now, but when the time is right and my walls come crashing down one by one, I will begin to trust my heart blindly again. All the feelings will come rushing back home. All those pent-up emotions will safely resurface. All those fears will subside and following my heart will not be another recipe for disaster.
And even though right now I may not know how to feel, I can still feel that it’s all coming back to me soon. I think I’ve done my fair share of learning and healing. It’s all coming together because, at the end of the day, you cannot lose something that was once ingrained in you.
I hope you understand that you are capable of changing your life even if the odds are against you. I hope you know that there are people out there who are willing to help you and guide you until you make it on your own. I hope you know that the kind of happiness you’re looking for is not out of reach.
I hope you still remember what happiness looks like, what it feels like and what it means to you because life has a way of making you forget and life has a way of making you believe that you don’t deserve it. I hope you still have the courage to fight for that happiness and fight for that life. I hope you don’t make settling a habit just because it’s easier. I hope you don’t make pain a permanent friend just because it’s been with you for a while. I hope you understand that pain is there to make you grow instead of making you suffer.
I hope you know that you always have a choice.
I hope you don’t give up on your love story just because all your previous stories ended in heartbreak. I hope you still believe in the kind of love that softens your heart and makes you trust again. The kind of love that brings out the depths of your emotions, the beauty of your soul and the kindness of your heart. The kind of love that doesn’t remind you of everything that’s wrong with the world. I hope you find the kind of love that restores your faith in romance. The kind of love that stands by you and makes you feel at home.
And I hope you have the courage to leave the kind of love that poisons your heart. The kind of love that forces you to hide who you are or play games or question yourself. I hope you can still take your heart back from those who destroyed it.
I hope you know that you always have a choice.
But more than anything, I hope you never give up on yourself. Your dreams. Your happiness. Your ideas. Your feelings. Your voice. And I hope you know that they matter. Please don’t discount them. Please don’t forget them. Please don’t let your mistakes define you.
I hope you can forgive yourself. I hope you don’t forget your worth because of a few mistakes or a few people who couldn’t love you. I hope you read this and remember that you’re here to evolve. You’re here to learn. You’re not here to be perfect. You’re not here to do everything right.
I hope you know that you always have a choice.
And I hope that in the coldest of moments, you choose to show the world your warmth. And in the midst of all tragedies, you choose to show the world your faith.
And through it all, I hope you always choose yourself.
I know you’re tired. I know you’re ready to give up and throw in the towel because you’ve had enough. I know that sometimes even the most comforting words from the closest people don’t take the pain away. I know it’s been one hell of a ride and you’re ready to just drop everything and leave but I hope you don’t see this as the end. I hope you still have the fire inside of you that pushed you to start in the first place. To fight for your life. To fight for your happiness. To take the road less traveled. I hope you find that fire again that once fueled you to run and chase the life of your dreams. I hope you don’t get tired of trying and starting over because you’re one step closer to finding your treasure. Your journey doesn’t end with pain. Your journey ends with victory if you keep finding the strength to persevere.
I hope you remain hopeful. I hope you’re still brimming with excitement about your future and the glorious opportunities life still has in store for you. I hope you never stop trusting the universe. I hope you never lose faith in God. I hope you never stop believing that the best is yet to come.
I know you’re heartbroken. I know you keep building walls instead of bridges. I know you’re fine on your own and you don’t need anyone but I hope you never stop believing in love. I hope that the right smile still touches your heart and the right eyes still capture your soul. I hope you still believe people when they tell you they love you. I hope you know how lovable you really are. I hope your heart still beats when you get that text or that call. I hope you can still open up. I hope you didn’t let the wrong ones close you off from the right one. I hope you’re still looking for that magical connection.
And I hope you’re still looking for magic, period! I hope you know that life will never look like a fairytale and your timing will never perfectly align with your desires but I hope you know that this journey ends with victory. Your journey ends with joy. Maybe at times, it can be too chaotic, too dramatic or too difficult but it’s also too beautiful, too amazing and most of all, full of marvelous surprises. And I hope you still love surprises because the best moments in life will always be the ones that take us completely by surprise.
It’s crazy how life works sometimes. You get that one call or that one message you’ve been waiting for you and it doesn’t move you. You finally get the declaration of love that you once prayed for and it doesn’t fill your heart with joy. You get the apology you’ve been wanting to hear and it doesn’t soften your heart.
I guess this is what happens when you’ve been the one who’s always extending your love to those who didn’t deserve it. When you’ve waited long enough for people who never showed up on time. When you’ve been the one who tried to mend and fix everything only to have the other person break it. I guess this is what happens when your heart has had enough. I guess this is what happens when you remember that you deserve the same kind of love you’re always giving.
I guess this is what happens when you realize that time changes everything. Distance gives you the closure you need. Self-love reminds you of your worth. I guess this is what happens when you realize that you still know how to walk away, you still know how to detach, you still know that there are better people out there for you. People who want to offer you a solid kind of love that doesn’t leave you wondering. People who inspire you to become better because they have unwavering faith in you and your abilities. People who want to take care of you. There are people out there who can see your worth right away. They don’t need constant reminders. They don’t need to explore to know for sure. They don’t need to lose you first to appreciate you. There are people out there who are ready to surprise you and redefine everything you thought you knew about love.
And I guess when you meet these people, that one message doesn’t mean anything anymore. That one call is better left unanswered. That person belongs to your past, not your future. Their reality no longer belongs to you. You belong to the ones who don’t make you suffer. You belong to the ones who don’t keep you waiting. You belong to the ones who inspire to love deeper and laugh harder. You belong to the ones who enhance the most beautiful parts of your soul instead of forcing you to hide them.
Self-love is not easy. It’s not something you can master overnight. It’s not something you can practice in a year or two. It’s an ongoing process. It’s a constant test. It’s a constant battle that you may not always win but you have to remember that self-love is the only weapon you need to win at life because life will always put you in situations where you have to use it and use it wisely.
Self-love means depriving yourself of the things you love and the temptations along the way because you don’t want to lose yourself. It means learning how to walk away from the people who don’t appreciate you even if they’re all you need and think about. It means being brave enough to say no when everything inside you screams yes. It means choosing to walk alone instead of being around the wrong crowd.
Self-love means setting boundaries and having difficult conversations and ending friendships and relationships that are not serving you well. It means suffering alone for a little while to find long-term happiness. It means making difficult decisions and guarding your heart and protecting yourself from those trying to hurt you.
Sometimes self-love goes against everything you’re feeling and everything you’re thinking. Sometimes self-love means ignoring what people think of you and learning how to believe in yourself without anyone supporting you. Sometimes it means having to be your own cheerleader. Sometimes it means having to do the very thing that you hate to do because no one said self-love was easy. No one said that you won’t have days where it’s easier to throw your pride out the window and just cave into the instant gratification. No one told you that it’s actually harder to be your best friend than your worst enemy.
But being your worst enemy will only cause you pain and disappointment. It will put you in situations that you’re going to regret. It will draw people who don’t appreciate you closer to you. It will make people take you for granted and slowly it will make you believe that you’re not worthy of love and respect. You’ll start believing that you’re not good enough. You’ll start living expecting people to treat you like you don’t matter. You’ll start being okay with not liking who you are and waiting for people to validate you in order to feel better about yourself.
So no one said self-love will be easy, but once you get it, once you nail it, once you truly master the art of self-love, you’ll realize that it was all worth it. You’ll realize that no one has the power to make you doubt yourself and no one has the power to make you question your worth because you have the most important shield, you have the strongest protection…you know who you are and what you deserve and you won’t allow yourself to settle again.
You won’t allow yourself to let anyone dictate or define how you see yourself or how you feel about yourself because sometimes that’s the only way to truly thrive in life.
Trust me when I say the wrong kind of love is overrated. Wanting someone you can’t have. Missing someone who wasn’t really yours. It’s all in your head. Fighting for someone’s attention when they’re so easily distracted by anything other than you. Trust me, you don’t want someone who can’t see you or see your worth. You don’t want someone who doesn’t want to spend time with you. You don’t want someone who keeps making excuses as to why you can’t be together instead of finding reasons to make it work. You don’t want someone who makes you feel like getting to know you is heavy or frustrating. You don’t want someone who makes you feel like you’re so hard to be with. You don’t want someone who can’t communicate the truth to you when you need it most. You don’t want someone with a weak heart who can’t handle all of you because darling, you’re not for the faint of heart.
Trust me, it’s overrated.
Once you take them off that pedestal and put yourself back on there, you’ll realize that you should have knocked them down a long time ago. Because it’s overrated. Their love is nothing but a waste of time. It will never match yours and they will never bring out the best in you. It’s pointless. Wanting someone who suppresses the most beautiful and vulnerable parts of you. Talking to someone who forces you to bite your tongue and curb your deepest emotions. Running a mile for someone who wouldn’t even walk an inch for you.
You don’t need that and you also don’t need closure. Your closure is knowing your worth and taking back all the love you’ve given to the wrong ones and pouring it on the one who truly deserves your love because that’s when you’ll know it’s right, when you pour your love on someone and it doesn’t leave you feeling empty.