I fell in love with a boy my freshman year of high school. Like many high schoolers, I thought our year and a half relationship was going to be the end all be all... But like most high school relationships, it ended. It was my first taste of love and was cut short before I wanted it to, and I could barely handle the emptiness I felt after. I cut everyone off, friends, family and all, and lived by destructive means by every definition. One day something told me that I was better than it, and for some reason I listened, and thereafter I solely focused on school and work, still blocking out everyone else.
I had successfully fought against every whisper of a new relationship, but with straight A’s and a big ol’ savings account and three months until college, one of my two best friends thought it was time for me to put myself back out there. I gave in and she introduced me to someone supposedly “perfect for me.”
She wasn’t wrong, and though the connection between him and me was just different (*throws up*) I still fought it, knowing myself. Knowing I didn't know balance and that if I let myself, my feelings would consume me to the point where I would do anything for him. And I couldn’t risk getting hurt again.
However, with time, I couldn’t help it. So often with others, I’d compare them all to my first love and could dismiss them on the sole premise that they weren’t him. I tried and tried, but this new boy was incomparable in every aspect. He was my perfection and I couldn’t fight it.
Going into my freshman year of college, I was falling in love with another boy. With all the confidence in the world thanks to knowing I had his support, I couldn’t wait to continue my streak of good grades, excel in extracurriculars, and finally start to open up and make lifelong relationships and memories, promising to never fall back into my old harmful and semi-reclusive ways.
But it seemed that cutting myself off for so long made me forgot how to be in a relationship. I had lost the common sense that directed me in establishing friendships and I didn't know where to start. I joined a sorority but still couldn't put myself out there and get to know the women, but it felt impossible and I withdrew. Thankfully, I had him by my side so I stopped trying with everyone else and my original goals of excelling in school and with others were replaced by those of marriage and family. But soon I became so dependent on him. And eventually all of my love, trust, and time into one person led to jealousy, anger and pain, and eventually spelled the end for us.
I found myself without my only support system. It almost dissuaded me from putting myself back into the world because so often I had been convinced that no one else was there for me. I felt so undeserving of the people I had ignored and pushed aside the entire time. I felt so vulnerable, so ashamed and so alone. But if left alone I knew how I would act, so I had to tell someone.
My best friend was the first person I told about the breakup. I had pushed her aside for so long and felt so guilty coming back to her only to dump my problems on her, but she didn't ask questions. She took my hand and was the main force in making me regain my confidence after it, and I realized what a true day one friend was.
With the confidence of my best friend's support, I decided to tell all of my sorority sisters. I had all but neglected them and expected little. Why would they support someone who hadn't been there for them for so long? So I decided to take the easy route by posting in our group page, joking about if they wanted to drink their pain with someone for the next two weeks, I'd be their girl. I expected little, but was soon met with a flood of texts, calls, jokes and love.
The greatest phrase I heard that day was, "We are so excited to have you back." They had been waiting for me the whole time. They knew I had something to offer, and it's why they chose me to join in the first place. I realized I was never alone. I had just convinced myself of my loneliness because of the guilt I felt pushing away all the relationships in my life for my own naive and selfish desires. I knew deep down what I was doing was wrong, but thankfully the right ones saw my potential and stood by waiting for me to realize it. So I took this as my second chance, no, my last chance to make my wrongs right. Never again would I let one relationship consume me because life is shaped with every relationship and the balance it has with the rest. From one with an acquaintance to one with a best friend to one with yourself, they work together to make you who you are and should be cherished as such.