Two years ago today, my world came crashing down. To say I was devastated is an understatement. I was basically a shell of a human being for several months. It’s a little embarrassing to admit that a break up affected me in that way, but it’s the truth. 

While I’m not proud of that, I am proud that I came out on the other side. There were times I wasn’t sure I would.

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Before this past year, I completely tied my identity to other people, namely, whomever I was dating at the time. I didn’t ever think about what I really wanted because it was irrelevant. I just wanted to be with that person and build a life with them. I figured the rest would sort itself out, and I’d be happy. 

I was one of those, “I’ll be happy when . . .” types. You know, I‘ll be happy when I get married. I’ll be happy when I’m more settled into this career. I’ll be happy when I have children. I never stopped to think about what I actually wanted or why these things might make me happy. I just assumed that I was supposed to want those things and they made other people happy, so they’d make me happy, too, when they happened for me. 

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Except they didn’t. And I started thinking about whether or not I wanted them to. After ignoring myself for so long, there was suddenly no one to tell me what was supposed to make me happy. I was left with . . . well, me. It was up to me to decide. I felt lost. 

But I realized that if I wanted to be happy, I’d have to figure it out. So I started to live. I tried new things. I did what I felt like, when I felt like it. I stopped worrying so much about being rejected and started just being myself. And it was scary and confusing and hard. That may sound strange, but after 30ish years of not knowing who I was, figuring it out was tough. 

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Finally, I feel like I’m getting there. I’m comfortable with me. I know what my strengths are, and I’m getting more comfortable seeing my weaknesses. I know what’s important to me, what I want to pursue, and where I want to go in life. 

So is the marriage, kids, white picket fence thing in the cards for me? Probably not. That’s not to say I don’t want any of that, but my focus is different now. Those things may be important someday, but today, I’m focused on my career, being healthy so I can run as much as I like, and just living life. Do I want someone to share my life with? Sure. But do I need someone? Nope. Because I know that I’m 100% whole and happy all on my own. 

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If I hadn’t gone through that crushing time two years ago, I never would have gotten here. I never would have pursued the career I really wanted, never allowed myself to explore life in a city, never really figured out how to be myself. So even though it was excruciating, I’m so glad that I went through that so I could get to this. 


45 thoughts on “{happy}

  1. That e.e. cummings quote is one of my favorites. It’s so, so true.

    I’m so happy that you have gotten through to the other side! You have so many happy memories to make and adventures to take – this is only the beginning 🙂

  2. hhrunner says:

    ❤ i could write an entire post on how wonderful i think you are, however sometimes i think simple is best: you. are. incredible.

  3. robfiasco says:

    i’m right there with ya. with all my friends that are married and/or having babies, i feel like i should have a better grasp on what i want in life. but i don’t. and i’m okay with that. when it’s supposed to happen, it’ll happen.

  4. Amazing post girl! I’m so happy that you are happy :). I feel like our culture makes us feel like we need to strive of all of these things – whether it’s marriage and a family or the skiniest or fittest bodies – but ultimately it does come down to being happy!

  5. I love this post 🙂 The e. e. cummings quote is one of my favorites. I started my courageous journey of becoming me a few years ago also after the demise of my relationship, in my case, my marriage. I remember thinking I would not survive it. These days I think how silly to think my existence depended upon someone else/that relationship or that I could not get through it. The strength and insight I’ve gained have been worth, and because of, the heartache and pain. It’s good to see other people embracing what is instead of fighting for what “should” have been. Sorry for writing a book, this is a subject that I feel strongly about and could talk about at great lengths. Best of luck in your continued journey!

    • Never apologize for a long comment! I love hearing your perspective. It’s so heartening to know that others have had a similar experience–the growing up and being who we really are. Congratulations and good luck to you, too!


  6. Congratulations on your journey over the last 2 years. It is never fun to go through times of suffering, but they also often become times of great change in our lives. Great job fighting back to become the person you are today!

  7. Good job transitioning into a healthier way of how you define yourself! Break ups are tough, and it sounds like you are in a much healthier place today because of it. It sounds like this is a great place to be while you move forward:) Congrats!

  8. Hannah says:

    This is insanely scary. That is, scary for the simple fact that I could have sat down and written this exact same thing tonight. The past couple of days I was going through very similar internal dialogue with regard to the demise of my 7-year relationship 8 months ago. With the end of that relationship, I felt like so many things had died, my wishes for marriage and perhaps children and having a secure future with someone who “had my back” were suddenly and irrevocably stripped from me. But out of the ashes something amazing was re-born (reference to the phoenix in Harry Potter, hee hee…). As cheesy as it sounds, I was reborn. I re-discovered my love and passion for running and fitness and realized just what an unhealthy influence my ex was on me. I am also in the process of discovering for the first time in my mid-30s, what I really want in or from my life. It’s amazing how much I was living for someone else up until the break-up. Sadly while I was in the thick of it I never recognized how unhealthy it was. Anyway, sorry for the rant… all this is to say that your post really spoke to me tonight and hit home on so many levels it’s just bizarre. Thanks for helping me feel like I am not alone on my journey and in the place I find myself in life – a place I never would have anticipated that I would be in my mid-30s. I suppose the only difference is that I am not necessarily happy always. I am for the most part, but certain days, something catches me off guard and then gets caught up in my throat and suddenly I am breathing heavy to choke back the tears that start to form (I know, TMI)… those are the moments I know I have to go through… things are still a little raw, but I am getting there and getting stronger day by day.

    • Hannah, you SO are not alone! And I still have days that I’m not happy, too! That’s normal. But I’m so glad you’re getting to a place where you feel more comfortable with yourself. It’s a journey for all of us. And those teary moments? They remind you that you are human, that you still have soft spots that you need to care for. Be gentle with yourself–tears are ok!! Sending you a giant hug!


  9. Seriously reading this post was like reading my EXACT thoughts of how my last year and a half have been. I am still not as good with things as you are but I am working everyday to get there. Thanks for this post. I really needed to read something like this today. It’s like you read my mind! xoxo

    • It’s always a work in progress, Jane. But I can see so much how much happier you are than you were a year ago. You’ll get there!!! XO


  10. good for you! recently, my boyfriend of two and a half years decided to go study abroad doing semester at sea. I was so scared to be without him for the time that he would be gone (we’re really close), but I’ve found myself more. I know more things that I like, I’ve discovered new things that I like that I never thought I would (i.e. accounting), I’ve learned who I am. I’m looking forward to seeing him again, but I’m really happy I had a chance to take time and learn more about myself as an individual, there’s nothing more satisfying than learning about who you are.

    great post 🙂

  11. Megan @ Fiterature says:

    The “do not spoil what you have” quote was exactly what I needed to hear right now…thanks. Great post, darling. And I’m so glad you are learnt so much about who you really want to be. I kinda like this girl!

  12. i’m glad you wrote this, always nice to hear that the journey of self-discovery is taking other late-20 and 30-somethings a lot longer than they thought too! confusion- it’s not just for college kids anymore 😉

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