Emotional intelligence and being able to effectively navigate emotion in a healthy manner is something that is very important to me, especially so as I wander farther into this thing called, “adulthood”.
If you have followed my blog for some time now, you will see that I’ve chosen to be relatively transparent about various experiences, despite disapproval from some. Several family members and even a few friends here and there would advise me that I am, “sharing too much” or that I am, “allowing strangers into my business”.
Well, I’m a writer, so I kind-sorta have to share.
Choosing the opposite of their advice, I still persist in sharing personal experiences, trials and triumphs, because hell, we are all human and as much as we may focus on differences that separate us, we all go through the same thing at one point or another.
I have chosen not to act like these things don’t happen to me. Part of my personal healing process is talking (or writing, rather) things out. It allows me to break down experiences, reflect on opportunities for growth and determine things I just don’t want to deal with moving forward.
Perfection is not what I aspire to be or something that I am or ever have been. These experiences I choose to share are what make me human, what make me flawed, and what inspires me to be that much more in touch with emotional intelligence.
When I was in high school, I was convinced that I met the man I was to spend the rest of my life with. For this man, I sacrificed going to my dream school and spreading my wings in another state, instead I followed him to the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where he was able to chase his dreams of being a Husker football player. (Spoiler alert: it never happened). Despite committing myself to a University that I had absolutely no interest in attending, I was able to make the best of my situation; I was heavily involved on campus and met my best friend, Aryel. So I thought, this was just one of the many sacrifices I had to make in order to be with the man I loved for the rest of my life.
Like a true ride or die chick, right? No.. no? Okay, anyways.
With infidelity and emotional/verbal abuse at the forefront of the relationship, things between us didn’t work out. Ironically, I blamed myself. I believed that I was the one who wasn’t enough or did something wrong to make him cheat or to make him send text messages to my phone that said, “I am going to kill myself”.
Try having to call the police on someone you once loved because they are so intoxicated in a public space that they you don’t know if they are going to harm themselves, or others. Try watching officers then cuff and drag that person to their police car as you watch the flashing lights grow smaller in the distance.
Still I wondered, what did I do wrong?
After nearly 6 years in a relationship with the aforementioned individual and the last two years with him being extremely toxic; I was broken. After waves of depression, excessive alcohol consumption, and associating with the wrong crowds, I told myself I was done dating. Funny thing was, being that I was in a “relationship” since I was a sophomore in high school, I really didn’t know how to date. Being single and available was new to me… super duper new to me. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to be married. I wanted to have what my parents never did, a happily ever after.
At the time my only relationship goal was finding a forever someone, and this is where my second mistake was made.
I remember scrolling on his Instagram account and literally swooning over how handsome he was, while his physique peaked my interest I was hesitant, because he just looked like the type that was trouble. Handsome and he knew it. Ladies, trust me , those are one of the worst types of men.
Yet, I was feeling froggy.. so I jumped. After the initial jump, I’ve been falling ever since.
At a University sponsored step show for Greeks, I made the first move and sent him a photo of myself via Snapchat (totally rated “G” and cute guys, get your head out of the gutter). From there the rest is really history, as cliche as that sounds.
We quickly went from texting everyday (he was the first man to ever make sure that I woke up and went to sleep with a nice message from him), to spending a few hours together here and there, to making every Sunday our “day”, then Sunday’s turned to entire weekends spent together, and then the weekends spilled over into the work week and I was calling in sick to work more and more frequently, and after that hell why not just live together? For over a year now we have lived under the same roof and have two pit bulls which complete our little family.
Things moved fast, but it felt right. Most importantly, he was someone I wanted to be around just and considered one of my dearest friends. In my almost 23 years of life, I had never just wanted to be around someone. He could be playing video games or sleeping, but just being near him was intensely satisfying.
I was completely enamored by this being, and everything about him was perfect.
My heart was fearful of opening up again, but I did and for the most part, it went well. There were a few hiccups and arguments, but nothing that made me ever question what we had. I don’t remember when it happened, but I woke up next to him one day and knew this is the person I wanted to spend my forever with. I missed him before he left, I did whatever I could to see him smile, and gave him a part of me that no one had ever had the privilege of seeing before.
But like many things in my life, this little slice of what tasted like perfection, didn’t last forever. Being that he wasn’t a native to Nebraska, relocating or moving home was something that was always in the cards for him. I had it fixated in my mind that we would leave together, but family circumstances on his end did not permit this to happen.
On June 21st, the fairy tale which I was able to call my life for nearly two years, ends. He will travel more than 900 miles away and be gone. Our relationship over. Our family dismantled. That feeling of butterflies as he walked through the door.. gone.
I find myself back at square one. Back to wondering what’s wrong with me and most importantly, where the hell is my happy ending? Why did so many others around me have these seemingly effortless love stories that ended with marriage, babies, and houses? Why time and time again did I have to deal with hurt? Why couldn’t things just be easy for me?
What is wrong with me?
Deep down, I know there’s nothing wrong with me, but in those moments of hurt you can’t help, but to let out those gut-wrenching words between gasps of air and the tears streaming down your face. I am hurting and I refuse to hide this fact. But..
I will not spiral into depression again. I will not turn to alcohol and risky behaviors again to cope. I will not cling to the wrong crowds just because I want some attention.
Been there, done that. I will face every emotion head on. I may cry myself to sleep, but I will get up, go to to work, go to that pageant appearance and sign autographs for kids, and continue to strive towards excellence because at minimum, I owe it to myself.
Heartbreak is temporary, but emotional scars can last a lifetime if you don’t tend to them. Don’t bottle up emotions; instead I challenge you to be transparent about what you are going through and your experiences, because I promise you that your struggles and hurt are valid. Do not feel compelled to mask any of that in fear of being, “too much”.
You aren’t alone. You are worthy. You are enough.