As mentioned in a previous post, I am going to divulge the details from my past, well since graduating high school, up until this point. This June marks my 4th anniversary as an Ohio U alum, and therefore I feel the need to look back on all of my Junes, beginning with June 2002- when I graduated from my alma mater, Hampton High School. *My last June series post was awhile ago, so here’s that post, Your Whole Life is About to Change…(June 2006).
June 2006 (Back in Pittsburgh): Other than the uncontrollable tears and the song, Smile by Steven Tyler and Chris Botti that ironically played (causing many more tears), I cannot remember the ride from Athens back to Pittsburgh (my parents’s house). I’m pretty sure that I called it an early night and tried by best to sleep admist the tears and pain. The day I’d dreaded had finally come when I officially had to say goodbye to OU. (Enter heartbreak.) Between you and me, I really don’t think I could ever go back and relive that time in my life. I may sound like a hyprocrite saying that because on my previous post about appreciating the people and moments in your past that caused you pain. I still stand by the idea whole-heartedly. That time in my life was full of the most painful, heart-wrenching days for me. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t feel, not even the pain that I was experiencing. I was numb. I couldn’t feel a thing. This is the worst kind of pain, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
To best describe the way I was feeling (or not ‘feeling’) at that time, let me share this scene from New Moon with you. I was Bella. For all of you, like me, that can list the Twilight Saga as a guilty pleasure, you can most likely remember this scene. And if, like me, you have ever battled loss, heartbreak, depression, and/or anxiety, then I’m certain that this scene resonates with you. (Note: The song in the scene is called Possibility by Lyyke Li.)
Watching/reading New Moon, especially this scene, brings about a rush of contradicting emotions for me, as it reminds me of that time in my life, and more importantly that I survived those dark days. As Bella says, ‘‘…but in a way I’m glad the pain is my only reminder that he was real….that you all were.” Thinking about my days in Athens and the friends I made was bittersweet. I missed them so much! To be honest, I thought I’d never see most of them again. Having lost most of my friendships from high school, I couldn’t get past the thought that the same would happen with my college friends- especially since they were in other cities, some far, far away. Fortunately, I was wrong. If I could go back to those days then I would make sure that ‘I’ knew that everything was going to be okay and ensure ‘me’ that the people who really mattered would always be in my life- in some way.
It’s important for me to open up about this struggle for many reasons, one being my own personal benefit. Afterall, we cannot fully move on until we accept the past for what it was and everything that it meant to us. In addition, I feel a need to open up about my battle with heartbreak, anxiety, and depression to help those who have worn these same shoes and feel like they’re alone. You’re not. And if you’re currently experiencing any of these struggles then- 1) close your eyes; 2) take a deep breath; and 3) tell yourself that this is only temporary and it shall pass. You can and you will get through this.
I’ve been there and I never thought I’d get passed it. But 4 years later (gasp!) I cannot look back on those days and smile, knowing that they are now and distant memory. A memory that I’ll cherish because it makes me realize that I’m stronger that I think. I still have rough moments, days, even weeks, but now I can remind myself that it will pass. As I shared above, tell yourself that this will soon pass, that it’s all temporary.
Back to heartbreak and what I know about it. The saying goes that time heals all wounds, and that’s true. But time doesn’t always go as quickly as we’d like it to, and therefore, the pain of a broken heart lingers longer than one would prefer. This quote is one that reminds me of that: I’ve learned that you can get through things that hurt. Nothing will kill you. Nothing. People are unbelievable. We have such resilience. (Jennifer Aniston)
In a way it still pains me to discuss the heartbreak I experienced, simply because I’m not completely over it (him) yet. I hate admitting that, but it’s true. I say this for the same reasons I mention above: to help myself and others who share this experience with me. If opening up about my past stumbles and falls can help someone else, then in a way I feel like the pain was again worth it. Call me selfless if you will, but it’s more that we learn from others and their experiences each and every day so I’m honored if I’m the person someone is able to learn from.
I hope you can follow me on this next thought. I had it a few days ago but wasn’t exactly sure how to put it into words. Let me give it a try. If you read yesterday’s post then you know my thoughts on first love, and really any love for the matter. Well keep that in mind as well as my points on how we grow from painful occurences and learn from others. Are you still with me? If so, here’s my thought, and in hopes that it can make sense I’m going to make it as personal to me as I possibly can.
This boy…let’s call him Casey…has played a huge role in my personal growth and character development- ironically without him even knowing it. Sure he broke my heart, unintentionally and honestly, without even knowing it. However, he also did a lot more than that. He showed me that I am capable of loving and being loved. Even with all of the time that has passed I still think of him (more than I should) and my reason is this. Through loving someone, you learn to love yourself more. Before meeting him and even while knowing him, I didn’t love myself. And because of personal struggles, I didn’t think I deserved to be loved. Simply put, he proved me wrong. I will not let myself forget, nor can I, someone who gave me so much life. Someone that showed me that I do indeed have a place in this big world. I will never forget the person that caused me so much pain, and the person that helped me realize that I can overcome it.
While I still ponder if I am still in love with him or if I’m just a victim of first love syndrome, I’ll say that it’s hard not having him in my life because of the impact that he has on me. While I truly thank him for everything that he has allowed me to become, I cannot contain the feeling that our story isn’t over. Why can’t he see the person I’ve become?
June 2006 was four years ago. I haven’t seen that boy in four years. I graduated college four years ago! That seems so long but when I think about everything I’ve been through (and everywhere I’ve lived) since then, it seems longer. I’m still me, but gosh am I a different and much better version of me.
As I sit here in my Starbucks in Chicago and revisit that time in my life, I feel…numb. Numb in a good way though. I cannot say it enough, I really am grateful to have experienced that low point in my life. It reminds me that I don’t want to be there every again, but if that does happen, then I learned that I have the capacity to overcome it. We all do.
She was sad, though. But it was a hopeful kind of sad. The kind of sad that just takes time. (Perks of Being a Wallflower– I recommend reading this novel.)
The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain. (Jennifer Aniston)
Song of the Moment: If You’re Not the One- Piano Version (original by Daniel Bedingfield)
Song of the Past: Vienna- The Fray (I used to listen to this over and over again during the summer of 2006.)
*The title of this post is a paraphrased line from New Moon (Twilight Saga) by Stephanie Meyer.