Life is made up of a million little moments. Some don't matter at all and are forgotten almost immediately. Some are so wonderful that you'll remember them forever. Some hurt so much they will never be forgotten.
There are some things I don't ever want to forget. The way the ocean smells, the feeling of the sun, warm on your skin. The excitement of the first snow of winter. These are the little moments that fill my heart and make it overflow. However, there are more moments, closer and more specific memories that I hope to retain forever. Kind words from friends and inspirational comments from teachers. Memories of times I was particularly witty or clever. Memories of moments when I was happy and content with everything, relaxing with friends. Memories of a first love.
There are also some things I would like to forget, but probably never will. Things that have made me a stronger woman, yet broke me in the process. Memories of a father who didn't love his family enough to stop, of a father who hurt instead of loving. Memories of friends who tore me down when I needed them to be there, friends who didn't stick by my side when the going got tough. Memories of my first love falling out of love, and leaving.
Tyler and I went out for right around 22 months total. High School or not, I was head over heels. He was going to be “the one”. I was committed, even when I shouldn't have been, even as it became plain that things weren't going to work out as we had hoped. After a couple months, there came a point in the relationship when we both knew that it wasn't going to work.
When Tyler and I realized our differences were too great, that we didn't belong together, and that he just plain didn't love me, I felt broken. I had given him every part of me, let him into every chamber of my heart. I had trusted him, and he had ripped it all to pieces.
It hasn't been long. Six weeks ago, my heart broke in ways I didn't know were possible. Six weeks ago, after 22 months, I felt like my whole world was going to fall apart.
Piece by piece, I've started to put my heart back together again. I've eaten chocolate and listened to inspirational music all about being strong and independent. I've begun to learn how to love myself, even when I don't have some guy sitting there loving me back.
I read a quote once that I wish I had understood months ago. “Before you can be someones other half, you must first be whole on your own.” I don't think I've ever really figured out how to be complete within myself, and I'm sure that made my half of the relationship very draining for Tyler, just like at times it was very difficult to be Tyler's girlfriend. Neither of us were capable of being our own person. This is something I've enjoyed figuring out how to be, yet detested.
I've enjoyed meeting new people and building relationships. I've enjoyed getting to know old friends better. I'm figuring out who I am, on my own, without pressure or influence from anyone else.
Tomorrow might not be easy, and maybe not the next day either. Trusting people is hard, and I'm terrified my friends are going to abandon me. I'm fearful of letting people get too close, of caring too much, of letting anyone in enough to where they could hurt me.
But in time, I'll heal. In time I'll move one. Eventually I'll trust again. There will be more heartache in my life. I will have moments that break and build me.
But that's life. There are moments of joy and contentment, but also of pain and sadness. And the pain and sadness are what makes us grow stronger and shows us who we are as individuals. No one wants to have their heart broken, but sometimes it's for the better. No one would choose to walk a street of hurt, but that street makes you so much stronger when you turn the corner.
I will love again. Someday, a relationship will surprise me. Someday I'll have that special connection between a boy and a girl again. I'll be more cautious and it won't be without fear. But in time I'll find someone who makes me laugh more than I cry. Someone who gives me butterflies. Someone who understands that letting myself fall in love won't be easy, but is willing to love me anyways.
As difficult as this has been, I've learned a lot. I've discovered who I am and I've grown stronger. And as much as this has hurt, I don't regret any of it.