I Found Me
Five years have passed since my worst heartbreak in late 2017. Since then, I learned a lot about myself and life. I also met many people from diverse personalities and backgrounds who gave me new insights and broadened my perspectives. Through all moments that have happened, I gained one important lesson: I realized meeting him is a path I should go through to create a better me. So, here’s what I learned throughout my journey.
Lesson 1: Know your values and boundaries
Values and boundaries were something I didn’t pay much attention back then, especially in a relationship. The focus of the relationship was how to make him happy, even though I had to break my boundaries. One day, we ran together in the morning. After that, his friend suddenly invited my ex to an engagement party. Without even taking a shower after a sweaty run, we attended. Then we continued hanging out with his circle at the engagement party until evening. I knew I wanted to spend time as much as possible with my ex, so I was just following him all day long, without telling him what I truly felt. In fact, I was tired because of the morning run + felt ugly at the party + was tired of hanging out with the same group. This lesson hit me hard and I learned to be more assertive about my boundaries.
Lesson 2: Do not fall into “standards”
We were in a long-distance relationship. I was in Bandung, and he was in Jakarta. As a couple, I had an initial expectation to meet at least once a week for quality time. Therefore, I tried to visit Jakarta every weekend just to meet him. There was one moment that made me contemplate. As usual, on Friday afternoon, I went to Bekasi from Bandung by train (3,5 hours). I arrived home, unpacked my bag and repacked my stuff quickly, and then continued my trip to Bogor by train (2 hours). My ex would attend an event in Bogor and I wanted to be there because that was the only time I could meet him. On the train, I felt so tired and thought, “Shit, so tired. Does it have to feel like this?”. Well, the obligation to meet was a stigma that has been carved in my mind when someone is in a relationship. Later I learned that each couple might have their own arrangement, so it could vary from one couple to another. It’s important to not be trapped in what so-called “ideal” in society. The key is to have a discussion with our partner to figure out what works best for us. And do not compare with other couples.
Lesson 3: Communicate better
This is still related to the previous story. I was afraid if I told him what I truly felt (that I was so tired), he might be disappointed. In most cases, I tried not to say something that made him unhappy, even my true feeling, just because I didn’t want to lose him. I know I was blinded by love at that time. I then realized having a deep conversation was something I missed out in this relationship. Someone said we need to learn talking/discussing uncomfortable topics, although it's hard. And I couldn’t agree more. It’s important to make time with our partner, telling how we feel about something and how we perceive it, and vice versa. Otherwise, it could be accumulated and explode in a bad way someday. So, be honest, be bold. Trust me, you will find someone who attentively listens to every single thing you say and accepts just the way you are :)
Lesson 4: Being content as an individual
There is a saying I often hear: Your partner completes you. Well, I have another opinion. As an individual, one essential thing to practice is the ability to be happy on our own. We can be happy with or without a partner. When you and your partner can be happy in your life respectively, and then you meet each other, you can purely share the joy (or the sadness) without any tendency to get something in return. Your happiness doesn’t depend on your partner and doesn’t need to be validated by anyone else. You are content as a person and that’s when you are radiating the beauty in yourself.
Alright, I think that’s all for now. Remember to say thanks to ourselves and keep loving ourselves. A heartbreak journey, no matter how painful it is, will certainly teach us something. I feel grateful for everything that happened and made me into who I am today.
I lost him, but I found me. And nothing more precious than this.