It’s an age-old phrase, and also a catchy pop song: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” In my 20 short years, I haven’t gone through too many life-changing, painful things, but that’s not to say I haven’t had any.
Whenever I come home and visit with my family and friends, I truly feel how I have changed and grown as a person. But a lingering question has been at the back of my mind: did my heartbreak make me stronger? Or rather, did it make me a better person?
We learn from experience, this is something I have realized over time. After being broken up with, I felt a change within myself. I viewed love and relationships differently. I viewed myself differently. I felt myself become more cynical and less hopeful. I had an overdramatic moment where I felt I would never find true love and that I would die alone, but now that moment has passed. I remembered sitting and talking with a friend, and she said because I had been with someone for so many years, I didn’t know who I was when I wasn’t in a relationship. I wanted to know who that person was, I wanted to know myself when I was alone.
It’s scary to look into yourself to try and figure out who you are, especially in such a vulnerable time. While I felt hurt and cynical, I knew deep inside that I did believe in love, even if I hadn’t found it for real yet. I acknowledged fully that while I was mad at the other person, I was not faultless in our breakup. I had to face the ugly parts of myself head on, because I knew if I wanted to move forward, I didn’t want to carry those parts with me.
I knew wanted my next relationship to be healthier and more beneficial, and to do that I would have to try and grow out of my bad habits when it came to being someone’s girlfriend. More than that however, I knew that I could practice this with my platonic relationships. How could I be a better friend, a better daughter, a better acquaintance?
These were not easy questions to answer, and I’m still figuring them out day by day. I always try to be kind, understanding, and friendly, but it doesn’t always come easy. I can acknowledge my flaws; after all, being aware is the first step to changing. I’m not perfect, and I don’t want to be. I just want to be better than I used to be.
Self-improvement for the sake of my relationship with myself is very important to me. I don’t want to be a good person in order to be a good girlfriend, I just want to be a good person, and have that practice fall into my relationships naturally, whether romantic or platonic. I’m trying my best, and that’s all I can try to do.