There is approximately two weeks left before two thousand and ten closes on us and the year twenty eleven begins. I can't even begin to describe how quickly this year has come and gone, nor how wonderfully exhilarating it has been. I think everyone grows a little ever year, and I think that's what makes New Year's so special. So much has changed in the past twelve months. The memories of how my year started (from New Year's Eve to January 1st itself) still remain vivid in my mind; I may not think about it, but sometimes I reflect upon and marvel at how things can turn out for the better, happier.
I remember how fun it was to have spent New Years with my then-boyfriend along with his friends and their girlfriends. But I also remember how toxic it quickly became, from the first couple breaking up a few weeks later, to them blaming the other girls, to my then-boyfriend and I arguing like there was no tomorrow, to the second couple breaking up two weeks after (a domino effect), to my then-boyfriend and I trying to hard not to let external circumstances hinder our steady relationship, to a lot of tears on my end and then-boyfriend's frustration (and his tears, too) thanks to all the ridiculous, unnecessary drama caused by external sources, and finally, to us reaching the breaking point and, well, breaking up. Sounds complicated? It was. And it was also something that happened totally out of the blue - it really gutted me. As much as it surprised everyone else, I think it surprised me the most. We did try to work things out again but I suppose sometimes love isn't enough. At that time I didn't understand it. I've always been a hopeless romantic; I never really understood why or how people can come to a conclusion that love can't bring people through the toughest of times. Or how things can change overnight. Nevertheless, I've always known that love takes a lot of work. It's not just airy fairy, love-sick butterflies; rather, it is commitment, understanding, patience, and sacrifice, all bound together by love. For love. Because of love.
I always thought we had that. And I'm sure we did throughout most of our relationship. Whenever we argued, I never had a doubt that we would resolve it because we loved each other very much. We agreed that both of us would give and take when it comes to certain things. I know he tried, and I know I tried. I gave our relationship my all, and he certainly did, too. But we each had our own shortcomings. I could sit here and list out everything what each of us did to wrong each other, but of what good would that be? Still, at that time, I could not imagine ever forgiving his friends for what they did (despite my trying to be the bigger person by apologising even though I didn't feel I needed to--at all.) nor could I forget how he let himself get manipulated by those immature guys he called friends. And I guess he hated the fact that I pushed him too hard on certain things as well. But, like I said, I'd love to blame either one of us but I truly believe that all this happened because we were two people who just weren't right for each other, trying to force each other into our mould. We should've seen it coming from the very beginning of our relationship, but because we were blinded by love, we fought through it. We had a happy relationship, and we constantly spoke of our future together, but in the end, love just wasn't enough. We were very different people and wanted different things. I understand now.
What I learned from this wasn't that birds of a feather flock together or that opposites attract, because I believe whole-heartedly that it can be either (or even both). Personally though, I think relationships will only work if both parties have the same fundamental values. It's so important to have a solid foundation to build a relationship on, and I believe it is these values that build that foundation, whatever those values may be. It could be faith, it could be what each wants out of life or a relationship, or anything of the sort--to each his own.
It's been almost a year since it all began, so it's easy to say all these things now because I've already triumphed over the heartbreak and had ample time to reflect, but let me just say, it wasn't easy. Yes, I bounced back from it quicker than others (I really don't believe in moping around over a guy for too long a time. Also, Friends and How I Met Your Mother marathons help a lot), but my gosh, the tears and the pain during the process... it never felt so real, so raw. Plus, there was a lot of hatred for what they did. I may be over it now but I still believe respect has to be earned. I used to ask my sister and best friends (who were all superbly supportive) whether I'd ever get over the unbearable pain of the break up, and they'd reply, "give it time... one day you'll wake up and it won't hurt anymore." And they were right. One day, you'll wake up to a world full of sunshine, and you'll realise how healing has stealthily crept up on you. And on that day you will realise that, my goodness, you've been released from the dead weight, and that's reason to celebrate. Because life in front of you is so beautiful, and any thing and every thing is possible.
I wondered for a while, about how you just know when you've fallen in love. But how do you know when you've fallen out of love? I don't think there's an on and off switch for love, so how do you know when you've finally stopped loving someone? When you're nursing a broken heart, it doesn't mean you're still in love with the person, right? You're just dealing with the aftermath. Maybe. I don't know for sure. Some people say, it takes half the time of your relationship to get over the person, while others say one week for every month you were together, or 10, 000 drinks, however long that takes (oh, the things you learn on How I Met Your Mother! Hee.). Personally, I don't think you can put a time on it. That said, I did give myself a maximum of one month to mourn, and promised to pick myself back up after that. I remember crying for three days straight, stopped for the next couple of days, then started again once or twice, then stopped again. The very last time I cried about it was three weeks after the break up. No loud sobs; just soft tears. Sad tears, but healing tears. I never cried about it again after that. And the pain finally went away after another month or so.
So, how do you know when you've fallen out of love? I think love ends when you stop feeling for that someone. You can still care for him/her, but you just don't have those deep feelings you once had. I wish I could be more specific than that, but I think everyone has their own experiences and signs that are sometimes ineffable.
While I can't ever imagine dating someone like him again, I don't regret that relationship one bit. It was lovely at that time, at that age, but it eventually ran its course. I don't regret the pain it caused either, because I gained so much out of it. My very wise bestie told me that if she had to go through the pain of her previous relationship all over again (and hers was ten times worse than mine), she'd do it because it was that experience that led her to this new, happier one. She couldn't have arrived at this point in her life without first crossing the previous road block. I agree. After the very difficult first quarter of my year 2010, life just went uphill after that. It was my overture. I've never been this content, this happy before. I got rid of all the toxic things (and people) in my life, and I couldn't have asked for a better bunch of besties--I love them all. Studying in Australia has been an amazing blessing (thanks to God and my darling family), and so has falling in love with a wonderful new guy. I know I keep saying this, but I'm constantly being reminded of how true it is: God is faithful.
While I felt like there was never a need to talk about this here, I believe it's healthy to share the stories that have helped shape who we've become. We learn, and we grow--and what better way to do so than through learning from experience? Exhilarating!
Happy weekend, sweethearts! ♥
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