I’ve only ever had one serious relationship so far in my life. As much as adults may like to critique that us youngsters don’t know what love is, I truly feel it was serious and healthy.
Disclaimer: This isn’t a petty article about how I “dodged a bullet” or me bashing someone else. This homie (I say homie because boyfriend never felt like the right term. I simply saw him as my best friend) is a good human being. I think it’s a little tacky to discuss too much detail about personal relationship matters in a blog or really anywhere, but it helps revolve me to my main point for today…
Allow me to take you ~que Huey Lewis and the News~ BACK IN TIME
Mid way through my Junior year, my long term homie and I broke up. It was incredibly hard for me seeing as I was a martyr of sorts and wanted to do whatever would make him happy in the end. I didn’t think it would ever benefit me. I saw it as the end of my road and nothing being left for me (which is the tricky/sensitive part of dating young in the way we make someone our whole world and forget our potential).
I spent about a month sulking, crying every night. I would “check on him” because I was worried, though later on I’ve realized it was equally a way for me to keep holding on. It became unhealthy very quickly so we stopped talking
That relationship was all I knew from the time I was 13 to nearly 17. I relied on him as my confidant, my self esteem boost and my cheerleader. I had to learn how to become those things for myself. There’s a lot of aspects to how I feel I’ve been able to do so – hopefully I’ll keep them clear.
I was forced look at myself separate from him.
Who am I without this person? I really didn’t know. I didn’t have a sense of self before the relationship.
I decided to take on an object perspective of myself. First, I looked in the mirror.
Red stretch marks that I’d never noticed were growing their way up my stomach like tree roots.
I checked my weight.
80 pounds. I had gained 80 pounds in those two and a half years.
I always knew my clothes were getting tighter. I had about three outfit choices; sweat pants, one pair of jeans, a black or grey turtleneck, and my over-sized hoodie. In 90° weather I would wear them because it was all I had that fit me.
That wasn’t me.
I remember how much I enjoyed exercising in Track and Wrestling practices in 8th and 9th grade. I reveled in Summer Weightlifting programs. I loved cooking for myself and eating wholesome foods.
Although, I do understand how it got to that point.
I’d started my first job my sophomore year, and do you think this girl is going to turn down half priced pizza and free pop?
Also, with having a healthy relationship, my homie didn’t really care what I looked like because he wanted me for me. Regardless of my weight he made me feel beautiful. That was fantastic and something I’m grateful for, but at the same time, I began to severely neglect my health and my own body image.
After doing that I felt doubly terrible. I’m alone, I’m fat. I’m gonna die when I’m 30 and I’m gonna die alone.
Maybe a little over dramatic but that was the general consensus within myself.
I decided to start working out and taking my health seriously. I bought a 6 month membership at the local rec center and began working out 5 days a week, and counting calories [The weight loss part is for another blog as well].
Every month or so I had a personal milestone that I would celebrate. 10 pounds…15…20….30…currently at 52! I began seeing how much I was capable of when I was determined and consistent. That came to be what I looked forward to. Progress.
I credit making a consistent workout routine and keeping busy with theater and other school activities to how I was able to get out of my sulking period.
I had a reason to get out of bed. I had school, I had to fit in time for a workout and go to rehearsal. I started to see that I was the kind of person who thrived off of a busy schedule. That was one of many things I learned about myself.
I also learned that I loved to learn about people, their passions, and how they view the world. I loved to listen. I would ask classmates out for coffee just to get to know them better. Before I would have never saw any sense in that.
Why would I ask someone to hangout? I have my person and my friend. I don’t need anyone else.
The thing is I didn’t understand that the only person I really need is myself, but the beauty in being around others is gaining new perspectives on the world. Every person I encounter I am finally able to learn from and have my eyes opened just a lil bit wider.
I learned self acceptance. I learned to accept my flaws and weakness but to not get discouraged by them. I’m able to acknowledge my strengths and what I am capable of without letting my ego get too inflated. It’s a balance which has brought peace within myself.
I’m not exactly where I want to be in life. And yeah, maybe I constantly joke about dying alone to compensate for my current loneliness. However, I am in control of the one thing I can be in control of which is how I view myself and the world.
I myself am whole, without anyone else. I’m like a pizza. Of course more pizza is always good! Maybe one day another pizza will come into my life and make everything even more awesome. But regardless….I’m a damn good pizza.