I remember before walking on stage to receive my degree I couldn’t wait to go back home. Everything at the university was a reminder of what I chose instead of fighting for my relationship. I know how stupid that sounds, but at the time I truly believed that if I had not gone away for college me and my high school sweetheart would still be together. I also believed that academic success was never going to make me happy.

Before I go on and you agree with everything I just said, it is not true. Happiness is not what society has conditioned you to believe. Happiness is not only an evolution it is unique for everyone.

So, back to my graduation, I did not enjoy it the way I thought I would have. Especially since right before going on stage I got a text from my ex wishing me a happy graduation. HOW. DID. HE. KNOW. I certainly didn’t tell him. So for the entire walk I thought about all the ways in which he could’ve found out. Most obvious: he looked it up on the college website. Whatever the case, it made me rethink “the happiest day of my life since getting my acceptance letter.”

My friends and family are all at my graduation wishing me well and I am just thinking about my ex. How fucking disappointing…

The only thing that made me happy was knowing that I was coming home. Coming home meant there’s a greater chance of bumping into him at the mall, or at a party, or at a bar. Coming home meant there was a chance he might want me back. Pathetic as fuck. 

Now, a year after graduating I can tell you that life really is a bitch. Life can be sarcastic and ironic, without considering your feelings for one second. However, I wouldn’t want it any other way. It toughened me up. I do not think that my ex and I are meant to be, like I desperately thought before. I don’t even think of him that way anymore. Instead, I think about him as an idea, not a person. He represents my past, my adolescence, my mistakes, my lessons learned, and finally, my first true love.

That last one sounds like I think he is “the one” because he was “true love,” but that’s not what I mean. He was a true love because in the moment I truly loved him, not because all my friends encouraged me to date him (my friends didn’t even know who he was), not because I had heard that he was a catch (he really was a catch), and definitely not because he was the most handsome (not to say he was less than handsome, just not the most handsome). I dated him because I loved who he was. I admired all of his attributes. And most of all, I loved that our conversations were always fast-paced and interesting.

While I take nothing away from his greatness, he is in my past. And you have no idea how long I’ve wanted to say that and actually mean it. I am happy now because of me. Every decision I make is for my benefit. Sounds selfish, but that’s fucking great too. I’m 24. This is the time to be selfish and really think about what kind of person you want to be, not what kind of wife or mother you want to be. (Disclaimer: if that’s all you, then DO YOU. I am just talking about my experience.) I was happy when I was with him, but now, I am happier.

“I used to walk in the shade

with my blues on parade

but now I’m not afraid it’s over.”


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