The Art of Letting Go & Moving On

When you’ve been swimming neck deep in a dangerous situation for so long, it’s hard to imagine ever finding your way out or discovering that the shoreline isn’t that far away. Just the notion of being free seems like an impossibility. But if you just keep swimming, you’ll find your way to where you need to be.

The past 6 years have been rather trying for me, but looking back, I can proudly say it was the learning experience that I so desperately needed, and by far, the biggest.

Like a lot of us at some point in our lives, I fell in love with someone who I never had a chance with. I thought for sure he was the one and all the signs pointed to him…at least, I thought they did. It’s crazy what illusions your mind will cook up. I never had the courage to tell him how I felt – the timing always felt wrong – so I painfully lived through all of his girlfriends until he became engaged last summer to a girl with the same birthday as mine. I felt like the universe was playing a cruel joke on me but I guess like Paramore says, “That’s what you get when you let your heart win.” You tend to drown out all your sense with the sound of its beating, telling you lies to get you through the day until one day your entire wonderland is overthrown and you’re left picking up the pieces of a mess you created.

It sounds pathetic now to some, but to me, I’m starting to understand the lessons I had to learn through all of this. I fell for that guy right when my last relationship was crumbling. I needed an escape from the verbal and emotional abuse I endured for 4 years and I’m starting to realize that I built up all of these far-fetched possibilities (you know – those things that could happen but probably won’t) in order to remind myself that there were still good things in store for me. When you feel defective, you start to imagine everything that could go wrong down the line but now I see that portraying my idea of love on a relationship unfeasible wasn’t such a good idea. I just got so caught up in a fantasy and while a part of me feels ashamed for even admitting that, it reminds me that I still believe in love after all I’ve been through.

It took me about a year to move on. I’m a pretty slow healer. I felt like I had lost everything. I had endured so much. It broke me and left me a shell of a person for longer than I’d like to admit. I was mad at the world, mad at God and most of all, mad at myself for allowing a little crush turn into something bigger without any reciprocation from his side. I went back and forth with myself, thinking that maybe I should have told him. Maybe I shouldn’t have. What would have been his response? Maybe it was better that I saved myself from the embarrassment. You can’t lose what you never had in the first place but the things we feel in our hearts can be as real as we want them to be until reality takes over and it’s time to let go and move on.

After a while, it all got old pretty fast. I finally realized that everything happened for a reason. He’s actually not the guy I thought he was and I’m better off without him. I unfollowed him on social media and when his wedding arrives, I won’t be crying like a baby over someone who probably never would have given me the time of day. I decided to live for me and concentrate more on my work while focusing on treating myself better.

Funnily enough, just as I wasn’t looking for a relationship, a friend from high school asked me out. We’ve been hanging out (or dating, I’m not exactly sure how all this works) for about 2 months and all seems to be going quite well. He’s incredibly sweet and I feel at home whenever we’re together. We’re taking things slow – which is such a relief considering I’m not used to guys being so courteous with me – so I’m not on edge every single minute like I usually am around guys. So many expectations come with dating, especially ones that I cannot fulfill as freely as others, but with him, I can just be myself and that’s a really good feeling. Is this how it’s supposed to be? Who knew! Sometimes the person you’ve always needed has been right in front of your face the entire time.

The best things find you when you’re not looking for them. Stop searching for a sign. Put a little more faith in the universe. It all happens exactly how it should when the timing is right. But the most important factor is learning to let go and move on. You won’t find happiness if you’re constantly dwelling on what you’ve lost and how you’ve failed. Failure is a part of life but the best part is, you get just as many victories in return.