I began dating my first boyfriend in eighth grade. Most people wouldn't consider that old enough to date, or at least wouldn't consider it a real relationship, but I like to think my circumstances were different. It wasn't just some silly middle school relationship that lasted two weeks; he was my best friend. Even at such a young age, we just clicked. He quickly became close with my friends and family, and he was the person I went to at my lowest as well as the person I shared my happiest moments with. We dated for the next four years, into my senior year of high school. Around junior year, it became apparent we were starting to want different things, and we started fighting a lot more often. We were headed down separate paths, but we held on to our relationship longer than we probably should have because we didn't exactly know how to be apart. Needless to say, when we finally ended things, I was absolutely devastated. The transition from seeing and talking to someone every day for four years, to having that person vanish from your life, is one of the hardest things I've ever had to go through. If you've ever experienced heartbreak, you understand the unavoidable pain that wells up inside you. You know what it's like to go through the day faking smiles. You've tossed and turned all night because you can't stop thinking about why it didn't work and why you weren't good enough.

Well, I have something to tell you. You were good enough. You are good enough.

I needed to hear that a million and a half times before I finally believed it. I can't thank my best friend Jenna enough for never failing to provide me with those words. She was my constant reminder that everything happens for a reason, and if something doesn't work out, then it probably wasn't meant to be. It's difficult to understand that when you feel broken and hurt, but take a deep breath, because time really does heal all. Even thought it may not feel like it now, you will be okay. I've learned a lot over the past year and a half, and I'm thankful for my heartbreak because it made me stronger and reminded me of these very important, but easily forgettable things.

Never Settle

With social media continuously overflowing with cute couple pictures and sweet things boys do for their girlfriends, it may be tempting to rush into something or settle for someone who doesn't treat you the way you deserve. But I promise you, if you have the patience to wait for someone who would give you the world and then some, it will be more than worth it.

Cherish Your Time

Almost nothing lasts forever. As much as it may suck, it's a fact of life. Be thankful for the good times as well as the bad; they are all great learning experiences.

Also, do not spend your time looking for the next best thing, because chances are, the grass is NOT greener on the other side.

Do More For Yourself

We are always doing things to impress others. But it's just as important to do things for you. Take every opportunity to better yourself. Apply for a job or internship, exercise more regularly, spend time with your friends, travel the world. You need to learn who you are and how to be happy on your own before you get too involved with another person. If you don't love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love you?

First loves are something to remember and treasure forever, but not necessarily something to hold on to forever. Take the lessons that person taught you, and hold them close to your heart. But when it's time to let go, do so gracefully and spend time bettering yourself so you're ready for the next person who comes along. They may be closer than you think.