April… surprisingly enough, one of my least favorite months. I love the springtime, the blooming of flowers, I love Easter and all of the vibrant colors filling my dull New Yorker closet; but April hasn’t felt as bright these past few years of my early adult life.
In April 2022, I got out of a very unhealthy and long-term relationship. While it would be easiest for me to blame all of the terrible aspects of that relationship on him, there was guilt to be shared on both sides. I was a young college girl who had erratic tendencies and he was a classic ‘Disney College Program’ boy. If you are familiar with that term, you might as well have heard this story already. If you haven’t, they’re the equivalent to the one straight boy in your high school’s drama club. He had no prior experience with a strong-willed and confident girl like myself who challenged his patience every day. The most ironic part of all of this is that we dated for 3 years and we broke up 3 times (he broke up with me every time, because I’m far too stubborn and determined to ever end something even when it is long past due)… and I cannot make this up. I went back and found the receipts if you want the proof. He broke up with me on April 19th… Three. Years. In a row. Yep! I’ve strongly considered writing a book titled “April 19th,” but I’m not sure I’m petty enough to expose this poor man and all the things he probably didn’t even realize he did to me in that big of a spotlight… although I would most definitely have a #1 Best Seller on my hands and if you read the book you would probably agree that he semi-deserves it. I no longer harbor any ill will towards him and wish him the best - I’d even consider giving him a 10% cut of the profits ;).
Now that I’ve bored you with the negativity of my previous years, I feel it is my obligation to inspire you with the positivity of my current year and remind whoever is choosing to spend their time reading my little blog, change is good. Good things come from lack of comfort and vulnerability. In fact, oftentimes great things! That may mean fully committing and throwing yourself into something because it’s out of your comfort zone OR sometimes that means accepting loss and deciding it’s time to move on… The key is differentiating the two and knowing the right time to make your move. In my situation, it was option 2. Often, I commit too hard to things before it has developed into what it truly is - especially in my past relationships. I see things as I’d like to see them! It’s a blessing and a curse, but when it comes to my taste in men … it was definitely a fucking curse. (Pardon some of my language. I genuinely couldn’t come up with a better word to represent my thoughts here).
After 3 years of fighting for someone I thought I had a forever with, breaking up with them seemed like a total waste of 3 years… Unfortunately, for someone like me, it took a true slap in the face for me to finally let go. Once I let go and accepted the situation for what it truly was, I realized it wasn’t a waste of time at all. As much as I can’t stand that man and where we left things, I found closure in the growth that came from getting NO CLOSURE. I grew in that relationship more than the girl crying on the bathroom floor night and night again could have ever imagined. And you know what? I’m grateful for it. F0r ALL of it. Those 3 years taught me to love and rely on myself more than any man ever could. And now I’ve met a man who texts me back every damn time and reassures me that this April will be different. I know that’s a fact - because I know what the signs are and I’ve learned to trust my gut after ignoring it for so long. On top of the growth in my love life, once I began choosing myself and focusing on my own personal priorities, all aspects of my life started improving. I finally made the big move to New York City (something I wasn’t sure I would’ve followed through with in my previous relationship), I graduated college, my friendships deepened exponentially and I booked a dream job to work on a cruise ship. All of this being said, I’m not here to brag about how perfect my life is, because that is far from the truth. But if you needed to hear it like I did - prioritize yourself and everything else will begin to fall into place like you never knew it could!!
As a young girl who grew up in Orlando, FL - basically Disney World - and was enamored by each and every one of the princesses, I had a very skewed vision of what love meant and unrealistic expectations of what I was looking for. I was more or less brought up to believe my priority in life was finding a man, making him happy and looking fabulous while doing it. Luckily, I’m a very determined and ambitious young woman who had far greater plans for myself than just that, but I definitely prioritized love more than I needed to. I didn’t know the right love would find me… so I searched in some not-so-great places. I got myself into bad situations with men who used trusting, vulnerable and naive like myself in return for not knowing how to properly love them. So, thank you Disney for not giving me any realistic examples of what a true love looks like… because as much as I want love, I’m sure as hell not giving my voice up for it! (There was definitely a time as a child that I thrived to be like Ariel, but that ship has sailed - no pun intended).
I have to let you in on something else all of these experiences taught me...
Men do not realize what they have until they lose it… read that again and focus on the final few words. “Until they lose it.”
Every time I chased a man then ignored him for 24 hours and followed up with an apologetic novel the next morning that he probably didn’t even read, it didn’t do anything… but terrify him and then push him further away. I promise. The times when I did cut off communication (for longer than a few days), and did my own thing, offering a GLIMPSE of genuinely moving on, they came running back… every time. The sad, yet ultimately bright, side of this is when they did come back, I realized I didn’t need that relationship in my life anymore and have now had the space to understand what wasn’t working and why I was so enamored by these men in the first place. In short, I began seeing the real version of these men and not the one I had created for them in my head. It took me countless “crash and burns” that led me to understanding even the SLIGHTEST bit of what any of this means. Might I also add, there are loads of women in my life who shared this lesson with me before I learned it for myself, and I owe so much of who I am today to all of them for trying to protect me. One more takeaway… life will keep repeating lessons until you’ve learned them. I don’t think I need to explain that one. There was just a time I really needed to hear that - so that’s a little more wisdom for your day!!
With all of the insight and wisdom I have gained from this past year, I’ve given myself authority to change the way I view April moving forward. April 2023 has been a month of exploration and self appreciation, after years of turmoil and heartbreak. I’ve made it a mission to do something for myself everyday - whether that be something that furthers my career, my relationships, something that I genuinely enjoy doing in every day life, even something as simple as giving my nails a fresh coat of paint. I’m blessed to be in a work scenario where it is very easy to do the things I love each and every day, but I think if everyone made an effort to do the same thing for themselves this month (or any month) we could create such a more positive environment around us. Moral of the story: you have far more power and control over your life than you give yourself credit for… I hope this attempt at a blog was a healthy reminder of that and gives you an excuse to get out of that toxic relationship, friendship, situationship or even job that has been holding you back from your full potential.
Tis the season, babes xo