How To Find Yourself After Leaving A Bad Relationship

How To Find Yourself After Leaving A Bad Relationship

We are whole human beings and we always were before we met that person.
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Recently, I left a two year relationship with a guy that seemed like my whole world only a year ago. But like great things do, it began to fall apart.

Some of it because we lacked communication, some of it because we suffered from things that we couldn’t save each other from. We stopped being there for each other because we couldn’t be there for ourselves. We stopped caring because we were so involved with our own issues. Yet, we were too desperate to let go of something that was crumbling. Eventually, I ended things a lot later than I should have. While I know in my heart that leaving the broken relationship was for the best of both of us, I still can’t help but to feel lost in a way.

I’ve left relationships before. I’ve left awful relationships that make you question everything about who you are and who you’ve been. I’ve picked up the pieces of my ego that cracked throughout months of hating myself after losing the person I dedicated a chunk of my life to. And in those moments, I had to rebuild myself.

When we go into relationships, we have it in our minds that we are combining with that person. We complete each other as if we’re a puzzle piece searching for our other half. We forget that we were already whole and that another being is just someone we interact with for a fragment of the time we’ve spent on this planet. That we are more than our relationship.

In these months following my breakup, I find myself looking in the mirror wondering if I can return to how I used to be before the relationship. Right now, I see a person who bleached their black hair blond and cut it above their shoulders, like cutting off my hair is somehow similar to cutting away marble of a statue. Maybe cutting my hair will help me find what’s missing in me?

I think about all the people I used to be and all the people I want to be and I wonder which one is it. Who am I?

I think about who I was just before the relationship. I was healthy. I was fit. But I was sad, too. I wasn’t really healthy because I could only afford ramen and I was fit because I walked everywhere since I couldn’t afford public transit.

I think about the person I was just after leaving my bad high school relationship and how I found myself then. I was a lost, lonely person in a big city starting college in a major I didn’t feel talented in. I didn’t make an effort to reinvent myself. I slowly grew into the changes as I became aware of them.

I think about the person I was the summer I went Europe. I’ve been trying to be them again for years. I was someone who bleached my bangs blonde because I wanted to prove I was daring, but instead parts of my hair fell out because I didn’t know applying heat to bleach damages your hair. I also aspired to be a hippy and told everyone I didn’t want to go to college because I’d rather be nomadic. It’s funny now how much I hate moving.

I think about the person I was in elementary school. Someone who stayed out past dark and caught fireflies in my hands. I’d have about fifty crawling on one hand. I’d let them all go. I didn’t want to keep them in a jar because I knew they’d die the next day.

I look back at all of the people I used to be and ask myself who am I now? How do I find myself after leaving a relationship that I felt defined me for years. How do I figure out my future when I no longer know what it holds? I think one thing I’ve found in the past is that you can’t find yourself through who you used to be because that person is no more. We are like crustaceans molting. We’ve grown out of our past selves. We’ve left behind the shell of who we used to be and now we’re growing into a bigger and stronger person. Our old us still can be found inside but we need to explore how we’ve changed. Some people find themselves by meeting new people, or trying new things, but most importantly, it takes time, so much time. It can be scary. It can be sad. It can be exciting and happy and beautiful because when you finally realize who you are, even if it’s just for a second, it can mean the world.

I hope that one day I will find myself again, whether or not it’s under the stars or among the iron forest that is Chicago. I hope I realize who I am now and learn to accept it and move on. Relationships are hard to move past, but we must remember that we are whole human beings and nothing can change that.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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12 You Should Know About Your Significant Other After You've Been Dating 12 Months Or More

You have multiple food orders memorized.

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Dating someone for a year+ means that you are bound to know things you might not have known in the early months of the relationship. You also might act differently than you did at the beginning of the relationship.

Here are 12 things you know when you've been dating for over a year.

1. Clothing size, shoe size

This one you can probably be able to figure out early in the relationship. But, you start to keep in the back of your mind and think of that person when you see clothes or a pair of shoes they might like.

2. You can guess what they are going to text back

Especially if it is just a casual conversation about nothing in particular. You know their go-to responses.

3. You have multiple food orders memorized

Their food orders, of course.

4. You have that one TV show you can put on and neither of you will complain

And that is "The Office."

5. You don't get jealous

How could you have lasted in a relationship for over a year and not have any trust?

6. You know likes and dislikes

And can assume if they are going to like or dislike something.

7. You got a LONG Snapstreak

474 day streak over here.

8. Their successes make you just as happy as it makes them

Seeing your significant other do well and accomplish something great is just as rewarding as if you had done the same.

9. Your friends are his friends and his friends are your friends

And you can all hang out together.

10. You have your favorite restaurants

That we always end up going to.

11. You've met everyone in the family and extended family

And you feel like part of the family.

12. You know extremely personal things about each other

That you would not necessarily share with the public.

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