I Thought A Breakup Ruined My Life, It Actually Saved It

The end of a relationship pushed me to rediscover who I was.

I remember being told “I need to be alone right now” by a former romantic partner. Devastating isn’t the word. I almost wish he had just said that he was leaving in the coarsest way possible, instead of making it seem like he wanted to go use the bathroom by himself.

Breakups are rarely fun, and honestly, we hadn’t been dating for that long. But, it was long enough for me to see a future with this person. I thought about what our home would look like, and all of that mushy stuff that had so little to do with my actual future. That’s the thing though, I wasn’t thinking about myself. For some reason, imagining myself as a part of a unit was much easier than traversing through life by myself.

The breakup made me question my judgement and my faith. I was starting over again, and I didn’t want to.

Truthfully, there was no magical process that made it easier. I just put one foot in front of the other and decided to pour my energy back into myself. I indulged in my most wholesome interests, like painting, writing, and reading. It was difficult at times, sitting with myself, because I was bound to the idea that I wasn’t enough. The discovery was sad — I thought I had done the work. But, I was doing it in that moment, so it was fine.

Over the next few months, I kept exploring. Kept digging. Jammed Erykah Badu’s “Green Eyes,” and allowed myself to feel. I discovered my deepest secrets and silly idiosyncrasies, like the fact that reading before bed is best. I thought about the breakup less and less.

The process also showed me that I enjoy lentil soup, crackling fire pits, and extending grace to loved ones.

“I gave myself the love I sought in another, and I’m better because of it.”

Years have passed, and I realize how close I was to giving away my life to someone who didn’t even want it. But when the end of the relationship came, I was raw and I thought I wouldn’t be able to move on. I gave myself the love I sought in another, and I’m better because of it.

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