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.

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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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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I've Had Feelings For My Best Friend For Years, And I'm Still Not Ready To Address Them

I'm not sure he even has the slightest idea, even friendship wise, how important he is to me.


A lot of times when people say they have a "secret," what they really mean is they've only told a few, strategically selected close people in their lives.

What I mean by secret is, I've only told my closest friends about these unsettled feelings I've had for four years, for the first time this past week.

When you tell someone your feelings, especially if it's someone that has no idea, and plays a crucial part in your everyday life. Someone who has seen you bawl your eyes out in agony, cry tears of joy, and just overall knows way more about you than anybody should, it is definitely important to weigh the odds.

Odds are, it won't work out.

Odds are, they don't feel the same.

Odds are, you lose one of the most important people in your life and you'll never be able to rekindle the connection in the same way again, and that just fucking sucks.

There's a lot of reasons why I haven't revealed my feelings to him. The biggest reason is that just because I like someone doesn't mean I want to be with them. I've let go of some of the best connections I've ever had because I knew I couldn't deliver the type of love and attention they truly deserved. And in this case, I just don't feel like I could ever be as great of a lover to him, as he could potentially be to me. I don't think he wouldn't feel the same, I just don't think it can ever work out, at least not at this moment.

And I'll tell you why.

We're both growing and just starting to be the people who we always wanted to be. We're both creators, artists, in different crafts. He inspires me now more than he ever has in our friendship. He has become my confidant and holds such a high value in my life. I'm not sure he even has the slightest idea, even friendship wise, how important he is to me. I don't think that when we're diving into exploring who we are, that a romantic connection will help either of our growths. And for the both of us, I want to be selfish and put ourselves before whatever connection could ever grow from this in the future or not.

We're both dating. Not to mention, know a lot of details about each other's dating lives and history. And there are some things both of has said about our dating lives that makes it impossible for us to ever work currently. For example, traveling is something that has always been important to me. I love connecting with people I wouldn't otherwise meet unless I was at the right time and the right place, and he is currently having this same realization. The realization that someone local probably isn't going to cut it for us. And if I told you how local he lived, he would know, but I guess that doesn't matter anymore. So, I'll tell you this: the proximity between us is closer than the word local.

And lastly, we're both not ready to settle down. I just can't picture us playing house and pretending like we are totally OK with being with each other for the rest of our lives, like tomorrow. I know that telling my best friend about my feelings doesn't mean I have to marry them, but the truth is, I see him being in my life for years to come, whether he's waiting for me at the end of the aisle, or in the front row crying because he's so happy I found that type of bond with another human.

Even though I get a little cringed when I hear him talk about that girl he fucked on vacation, and even though every part of me melts when I hear him say how important I am to them, I just don't think now is the right time. And even if he reads this, and knows the truth, I'll still not be ready to do anything about these unsettled feelings. So until then, if you're reading this I want you to know a couple of things I never say enough:

Your warmth has always inspired me.

You never let me sit and dwell on the negative and I couldn't thank you enough for that.

Your confidence to do whatever you want, makes me want it for myself too.

Your guidance, long talks for hours, and laughs in between both of our tears will always have a permanent home in my heart, and influence on who I am.

You are the sweetest, kindest person I have ever come across, without even trying.

You live so authentically and honestly, I am forever thankful I even get to call you one of my closest friends.

And even though there are tears in my eyes as I finish writing this, know that I'll always love you no matter what role you fill in my life.

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