Life, in itself, has many starts and finishes. Whether it be your first birthday, learning how to ride a bike, finishing high school, losing friends, gaining friends, beinginning a career, buying a house, etc. We are constantly opening and closing many chapters of our lives, but for me, I never thought closing my last chapter and starting my new one would be this difficult.
In December 2016, I got engaged at 23 and was overjoyed at the thought of getting married. I began planning a wedding and we had set a date for September 29, 2018 in Colorado. I found a dress, asked my bridesmaids to be in my wedding, and sent out invitations to over 150 people. Little did I know, life had a different plan for me. In June 2018, my ex-fiancé was concerned about some issues we had been having throughout our relationship and he communicated those concerns with me. For a week, we attempted to figure out what to do with the concerns he had. We contacted therapists, completed some pages in a pre-marital work book, and communicated how we could manage the concerns. During that week, I found myself practically begging him to marry me. I realized what I had been doing and quickly reminded myself that I didn’t deserve a relationship in which I would have to beg someone to meet me down the isle. You see, I’ve always known my value and what I bring to the table in a relationship. I remembered all of the people who my entire life have voiced my value and I reminded myself how much I deserved the same energy from a spouse.
I ended up cancelling the wedding, by way of text message, to as many people as possible. The message read “Trae and I have decided to call off the wedding. I apologize to all our friends and family for the short notice. Please do not try to call me and ask me questions about it because I’m not ready to talk to anyone right now. Once again, I’m sorry.” I was utterly embarrassed and ashamed for what happened. My way of coping with emotional events in my life is to do it all alone. I didn’t answer any calls from my family or from my friends. I just wanted to be left alone.
After cancelling the wedding, we decided to stay together and attempt to work on our relationship. Despite the concerns from my friends and family as well as the lingering concerns in my own heart, I chose to stick it out because I had already made a verbal commitment to that person and I was terrified of having to start over. We lived together for several months before the anxiety and loneliness I felt in the relationship began to physically effect me. I had frequent head aches, constant nausea, non-stop chest pain, and I was having extreme GI issues, not to mention my depression worsened. I realized that I may be able to handle many things mentally, but the fact that my body was reacting to the anxiety was concerning. In November 2018, I chose to listen to my body and ended the nearly 3 year relationship with someone I truly valued in my life.
After the relationship ended, I continued to reside in our home because I was on the lease and I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life. I soon realized I needed to get out of Oklahoma and start yet another chapter somewhere new. Now I’m not saying 25 is old by any means, but there aren’t many people my age who are not married or who have no children. I often would become saddened by the fact that I would not be getting those things in the way I had planned and I could possibly end up like Tina Fey in “Baby Mama”. One day I decided to change my view on my life and began thinking about my friends who are my age. I thought about those friends who have children and are married or even divorced. I realized there was a strong possibility that while I had been envying their life, they were also envying mine. It was then that I valued the new start I had been given and decided to be selfish with the direction I wanted my life to go in.
In January 2019, I moved my entire life as I had known it to Denver Colorado to be near family and the beauty that is the Rocky Mountains. With no job, little income, and bills to pay I took a chance on happiness. This happiness has not included the things I thought I wanted such as children, marriage, or a relationship, but is centered around solitude for the betterment of myself.
I’m writing this because it’s another story. Another way to relate to the many individuals who have ended relationships, broken engagements, and separated from spouses. I’m writing this because our lives all end up different and there is nothing wrong with the way your story is being written.
Each chapter is a lesson and this one taught me to always take care of myself first, make sure you never settle, question everything, and to remember happiness is the center of a good life. If you’re in a relationship that leaves any doubts, concerns, red flags, or steals your happiness LEAVE. If you’re doing anything that steals your happiness for that matter CHANGE IT. Every single one of us deserves happiness in the life we are given.
As for me, I’m still struggling, but I’m happy in the midst of my new life in Denver. I’m spending more time with my dogs, seeing family daily, and taking care of my mental health for once in my life. I love this chapter the most because I have no idea where it is taking me and I honestly don’t care. The truth is, we aren’t supposed to know how our story ends or have it all planned out because we would miss the beauty of the chapters. You don’t only read the beginning and the end of a book do you? I urge you that no matter where your life is or where it goes make sure happiness is always involved. While it may feel like the end of your life, it’s truly just the end of a chapter.