Puzzle Pieces

stargazing-FC-1024x509

“I’m dead inside.” – Michael Scott

Out of all the emotions I felt today, those three words accurately describe my current state of being.

I knew something was wrong. I could feel it all weekend. I came into Monday and even part of Tuesday reserved because of it (even though I pinky promised not to). I wasn’t myself, we weren’t ourselves, and we showed it.

It blows my mind that you based everything we built on two “off” days. That seems fair and logical… What about the twenty eight days that weren’t off? What about the days we would find ourselves almost in tears because we were laughing so hard. What about the days I would catch you smiling just because you were that happy? What about the days your heart told you that this was right?

See, I don’t know what bothers me more. I don’t know if you making your decision on two “off” days is more bothersome or the excuse that “you aren’t strong enough to leave him”. Well for starters, you seemed strong enough to cut me out of your life pretty quickly. My departure didn’t seem to bother you at all. Secondly, lets just call it what it is. I’m clearly not enough for you.

The fact of the matter is you made up your mind. It sucks. I cried driving home, I cried in the parking lot at the park, and I cried in the shower when I got home. My heart is empty and torn to pieces. You know how much you meant to me. I was so in love with you.

With that being said, I can live with your decision knowing that you made it by following your heart. Knowing that your heart told you that you would be more happy where you are than with me. Knowing that if you had to absolutely choose and that there were no consequences to your choice, you would pick where you are over me. Knowing that the feeling of being in the “right” place is where you are and not with me. Finally, knowing that your choice wasn’t made based on you being scared or not strong enough to make the change and live the life you so desperately deserve.

If you can live with that, I can live with that.

So here’s my advice to all the people out there that find themselves struggling with their identity or their relationship…

Its crazy to think how the loss of one person from your life can make such a huge impact on you. Some people never even realize they are unhappy, they have just convinced themselves over time that the way they are living is normal, that they are happy. The power of your mind is truly amazing because I believe that if you tell yourself something enough times, you actually start to believe it. In the end, we are in the drivers seat of our own lives and we are responsible for our own choices. I feel like all of us know this yet we are so quick to toss it aside when life puts us in an uncomfortable position. Most of us are so quick to change for that one person, or overlook this one quality, or ignore this red flag, but the truth is that each and every small part of ourselves that we give up or hide in order to satisfy that one person adds up over time. Fast forward five, maybe even ten years down the line. Every day within that time period that you found yourself giving up a small, insignificant at the time, possession of who you really are, ends up leaving you with nothing else to give. Regardless of how “in love” you are, you should never find yourself giving up pieces of yourself to make someone else happy. You should never want to find yourself, empty handed, with nothing left to give, alone, and scared of what comes next.

Don’t ignore the red flags. Follow your heart because time is the most precious and intangible thing we have on this crazy journey we call life. Sometimes truly and honestly assessing yourself will help you find what makes you happy. Sometimes immense heartbreak and pain help push us to the next step we need to be at in order to live the lives we should be living. The lives we deserve. Don’t wait for the moment you find yourself empty handed with nothing left to give. You know yourself better than anyone else. Don’t build your life around someone that doesn’t give you everything you need. Don’t build your life around someone that doesn’t appreciate you for everything you are and what you bring. Love comes and goes. Don’t be scared to change the scenery because you “love” them. Yes, it might be hard. You might face obstacles but time is the healer of everything. The decision to change may seem complicated but it all comes down to what makes you the most happy. Simple and plain. Follow your heart because when it’s all said and done, the person you’re meant to be with will be there helping you rebuild every piece you lost, helping you shed light on the pieces you never thought you would share again. They will be there holding you up, never asking you to change, but more importantly you will feel like you don’t have to change. You’ll feel free, you’ll feel true happiness, you’ll feel like you’re right were you’re supposed to be.

 

 

An Honest Letter to My Ex…

An Honest Letter to My Ex…

 

I wrote this letter so many times in my head, over and over again, but now that it’s time to put it all down on paper (figuratively), I’m drawing a blank. There’s so much history between us. All the triumphs and tribulations, the intimate moments we shared, the emotions we portrayed. I have no idea where to start but I’ll give it my best shot.

I would first like to thank the Academy Awards for… sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself.

I want to thank you for everything. If I could go back, I wouldn’t change a thing. If you would have asked me that question two years ago, maybe even last year, my answer would have been the complete opposite. I would have changed everything just to feel the way you made me feel one more time. For the longest time, I didn’t understand, nor did I want to understand, what happened and why it happened. For all I knew, I just wanted to start over, a clean slate, a new and hopeful future. But there was one problem. You were in love, and it wasn’t with me…

The last year and a half in our relationship was by far our toughest year. With respect to you and what was once us, I won’t go into extreme detail but the best way I can describe it was that we were living two separate lives while together. During this time, I tried to pretend that everything was fine. I convinced myself that our love and our experience together would keep us strong through this rough patch. I refused to look beneath the surface at what was really going on. In the end, my approach killed me. It turned my world upside down. I had no idea that any human being could feel the emotional toll that my heart and my mind took on. I was numb, speechless, and in disbelief.

The day we officially ended things for the first time was a day I will never forget. Everything I remember is so vivid and in detail. I remember we had “the talk” and agreed that it was a “mutual” decision to end things. As you probably know, it wasn’t mutual from my end, not even close. While you spoke, I sat there and held my tears in to the best of my ability. I held in my urge to stand up and fight for what I wanted because in the end, we didn’t want the same things. I listened and accepted what you wanted because I truly cared for you and I just wanted you to be happy. I also remember saying goodbye to our fami… I mean, your family. I remember walking into your mom’s room and I just stood there with tears in my eyes. Without any words being said, her motherly instincts knew what had happened. She embraced me and we cried together. She told me that everything was going to work out and that she’ll see me again (as she tried to force a smile on her face). I always wondered how hard it was for her to see me in such pain but also to have to support your decision and your feelings… must have been tough. Anyways, after a long 15 minute embrace, I headed up stairs to see your brother. He was in his room laying on his bed, watching tennis. I didn’t really know what to say. I was half crying when I forced the words “hey man, I don’t know if I’ll see you again but have a great Freshman year at Michigan State, if you need anything, I’m here for you, always. I love you”. In all honesty, I think it threw him off. From his point of view, all he heard was a knock, his sister’s boyfriend, well ex-boyfriend, walk in with puffy red eyes and mumble these words to him. After a minute or so, I think it hit him what had happened. We still talk to this day. I love that kid like a brother. The final and hardest goodbye I have ever had to say, was to your father, Tom. He was cutting grass. Sweating while he wore his red bandanna. I walked out to the backyard, we made eye contact and he could tell something wasn’t right. I tried my hardest not to show him that I was crying. I just wanted to go up to him, say how much I respected and looked up to him and that he had a beautiful family. I wanted to keep it short and sweet. He stopped the lawn mower, walked up to me and asked what was going on. I broke down. I balled my eyes out. I told him that you and I broke up and that I really hope to be half the man he was when I grew up and that he was the biggest role model I ever had. As soon as he heard those words, tears rushed down his face. I went in for a “manly” handshake but he brushed it aside and give me the biggest and warmest hug as he whispered “I’ve been here before, you’ll get through this”. I’ve only seen your dad cry once in four years, that time being when we had to put Bella down because of her cancer. Your dad wasn’t one to get all sappy and show emotion like that. I was shocked, but it meant the world to me that he was that upset with me leaving. In retrospect, those specific goodbyes taught me that it all comes with taking the chance on love. That nothing is guaranteed. It made me stronger but it was also very difficult.

After that incident, a month or two passed and I was still heartbroken. I couldn’t eat, I didn’t want to be social, I wanted you back. I can’t count the hours I sat in my room, replaying every incident, analyzing every detail of our relationship as if it would change anything. You were my soulmate. I was absolutely convinced.

Meanwhile, while I was in agony, you were enjoying your senior year in Ann Arbor. You had five awesome roommates, classes with a full workload, and Michigan Football Saturdays to help distract the pain of what had happened. You learned to move on much quicker than I did. It was depressing to see how quick you had moved on.

Five months passed. I entered a rebound relationship with a girl. She was the perfect distraction for me at that time. Honestly speaking, she was truly a great girl. She was sweet, funny, and knew what it took to be in a relationship. Unfortunately for her, I was in no state to provide her with what she needed at that time. I always had one foot in the present and one in the past. I knew it wasn’t fair to her so I had to end it. Coincidentally, at that same time, you re-entered my life.

The time we spent together after the break up was fun but different. Things didn’t quite feel the same because we were growing, but growing apart. I was still in the “I want you back” phase but you still needed time so I was just merely your “friend”. During this time, I tore down all my guards that I spent five months to build after we broke up. I was vulnerable but it all seemed necessary in order to win you back.

The following week, I remember I was getting ready to go out to Sharky’s with a couple of my friends. You texted me late at night and told me to come over. I obliged. We laid on the couch, watching a movie as you dozed in and out of sleep. After much convincing, we went up stairs so I could tuck you in. I remember pulling the covers up so you stayed warm and as I went to leave, you grabbed my hand and told me to lay down with you until you fell asleep. I couldn’t say no, so I took my jacket off and laid by your side. As you fell asleep, I had this feeling in my stomach, a feeling that this would be the last time I would see you for good. After you fell asleep, I got up from your bed, walked towards the door, and looked back. I couldn’t shake this feeling. I tried to deny it over and over again but it wasn’t going anywhere. I walked back to you. I bent over and kissed your forehead for what seemed like an eternity. I left the room and what soon proved to be, your life for good.

Present day, you’re engaged. I haven’t witnessed myself but my friends and your mom told me when it happened. I was speechless, again. But I was happy even though I envisioned that scene so much during our fours years together. I thought I would be the one kneeling, asking you to spend the rest of your life with me. Obviously it didn’t happen that way, but it was for the better. I am happy for you. I really am. When you really love someone, I know how well you can treat them and how good of a partner you really are. I know you’ll be a great partner to him. You’ll be an amazing mother too. I’ve always admired that quality in you the most.

Clearly, we didn’t have a fairy tale ending, and that’s okay. I learned so much more because of it. You taught me how to love myself. You taught me how to recognize what I deserve and that was something I struggled with while I was with you and shortly after. I let you destroy my self confidence only for me to have to learn how to rebuild it into something bigger and stronger. I think the most important thing you taught me was how to be happy with myself so then I can be happy with someone else. That I think, took the longest to learn. It’s a continual process..even to this day. As time continued to pass, I’m not going to lie, the last two years was a constant wave of emotion. Some days I hated you, others I missed you and had to hold off urges to contact you. I always wondered how you were doing but knew that you were happy because if I learned anything, you would never settle for something that didn’t make you happy. I respected that. As much as I hated it, I couldn’t deny that it was the right way to live. I often questioned if I would find someone that would make me feel the way you did. For the longest time, I never thought it was possible. I shied away at the possibility of a relationship with someone. I was distant, closed, fists tight and guards up. I accepted the fact of being alone forever. With time being the cure for most things, I started releasing that tension. I went on dates, even got into a small relationship with someone. I wasn’t completely happy with her. I settled and I knew it. I think the old me would have tried to stay in it and work it out but I learned to let go and move on. You taught me that.

About a month ago, when I least expected it, as they always say happens, I met a girl. She is beautiful, funny, intelligent, and caring. I know you don’t care but it’s exciting to me. I’m not going to sit here and tell you she’s the one or that it’s going to work out, but for the first time, she’s given me hope. To be honest, I don’t know if she feels the same way about me. I would like to think so but if she doesn’t, so be it. But for this specific purpose, she’s shown me that you weren’t my soulmate. That you and I were meant to be together for the sole purpose of improving each other for the next important person in our lives. If it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. It’s a part of life. I’ll learn and move on. Only time will tell but I’m excited at the prospect.

In the end, I’m happy. I know we are complete strangers now, which is a bit ironic since we use to be inseparable, but I thought you should know. I’ve learned to come to terms with everything and it’s refreshing. It’s the first time I am living without you… it’s new but necessary. I wish the best for you, I really do.

Sincerely,

Your Ex.

 

 

Behind the real love story of Jim and Pam…

Behind the real love story of Jim and Pam…

 

If you’re a fan of The Office, Jim and Pam’s relationship is considered, at the minimum, a life goal. If you’re not a fan or haven’t seen the show, I bet you’ve seen the meme’s or the BuzzFeed articles on why they are one of the greatest sitcom relationships of all time. Now, the reason I bring this up is because I am a great fan of The Office but I also came to a realization today driving into work.

Side Note: For those still clueless, imagine pursuing a girl for 4 years, a love at first sight type, and within those 4 years, you become best friends. Then imagine getting the chance to date, marry, and have a beautiful family with your best friend. Picture the moment of proposing, standing at the alter, discovering you’re having a child with the one person you know you can’t live without… This is the life of Jim and Pam. 

Side Note on a Side Note: The most beautiful part of their relationship isn’t the triumphs they shared together but their willingness and desire to work through hard times instead of just giving up. Their ability to stand together, hand in hand, through thick and thin, loyal, loving, and  honest, is what, in my opinion, makes them great. 

Before I dig deeper into my realization, let me set the premise for you. I am not perfect, by any means. I make mistakes and I have flaws. With these flaws, I have strengths. I may not look like John Krasinski, but my loyalty makes up for it. I will always be honest and upfront, and I will care for you unconditionally. I will give you my coat if you get cold and I will make soup for you if you’re sick. I will always open the door for you and flowers is a must, and not just on special occasions. Lastly and most importantly, I will always fight for you as long as you do the same.

Now that I’ve set up my online dating profile, I can continue with my point.

Jim and Pam aren’t perfect human beings, but they’re perfect for each other. So many people desire what Jim and Pam have but very few, and I mean very few, are willing to earn it. How The Office portrayed their relationship was perfect. They didn’t just highlight the highs of their relationship, but they showed their lows. So low in fact there was a stretch of episodes that had the viewers questioning if they would stay together. Spoiler Alert: They never faltered. They both knew what went into making a successful relationship and they both were willing to put in the work. Most people, and this is applicable to not just relationships, know what they want but aren’t willing to put in the work to make it possible. Everyone wants the highs but no one wants to stick around when it’s low.

The next time you find yourself wanting a “Jim and Pam” relationship, first ask yourself if you’re honestly “Jim” or “Pam”, and not literally. Ask yourself if you are you ready to work for something, to earn something, to create something beautiful. As a hopeless romantic, I believe that you have one shot to find that one true person you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with. Why settle? Work for it but still respect yourself and know what you deserve. If you’re Pam looking for her Jim, make sure you’re willing to be Pam if he is truly Jim, and vice versa. Relationships are a two way street. Our generation is so embarrassing when it comes to sustaining relationships and upholding the “happily ever after”. It’s time to change that, it’s time for us to be the 90 year old couple holding hands walking down the side walk in the “Relationship Goal” memes (to the couples that have mastered the art of Jim and Pam, thank you for giving some of us hope. Please pass on your knowledge and keep doing what you do best).

Before I sign off, I leave you with this… In my opinion, one scene in the entire nine seasons of The Office, perfectly depicts their relationship and the baseline for any relationship. Grab a box of tissue and watch it. Trust me. 

Season 9 – Episode 22 – A.A.R.M. Fast forward to 32:55.

Youtube clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmZVLXf6oOI

You’re welcome.