A little over a year and a half ago I went through a really painful breakup. My partner and I had loved each other very much and that hadn't changed, but we had realized that our visions of the future we're not aligned and that we didn’t want the same things in life. At the time, ending the relationship felt incredibly tragic. It was hard to imagine how two people who loved each other so much couldn't find a way to make it work, but we both had given it our all and it was clear that staying together would mean that neither one of us would be able to truly create the lives we envisioned for ourselves.
After the breakup, I spent a lot of time asking myself how I was going to move forward, and I realized that the only way to give meaning to the loss and pain that I was experiencing was to pour myself completely into creating the life I truly wanted, but couldn't create alongside my former partner. I sat down and wrote a crystal clear vision of that life. I imagined every detail from where I lived and how I spent my days to who I surrounded myself with and how I felt as I moved through the world. And then I got to work.
I turned my life upside-down. I started new work ventures, enrolled in a certification program to be wellness coach, let go of relationships that didn't feel nourishing, and shifted daily habits. Some days I felt invigorated and optimistic about the future I was creating for myself. Others I had to drag myself through, relying on tentative faith and practicing the art of surrender, but whenever I started to really question my path, I went back to the vision that I had written and could feel in the depths of my being that I was meant to create that reality for myself. So I kept plugging away, renovating my entire life, piece by piece.
Last night, I was at an event speaking with some people I had just met, and as we were getting to know each other and sharing bits and pieces of our lives, I realized how very much mine had changed. I now do work that truly lights me up. My days are filled with things that nourish and expand me. I live in a place that I love and feel grateful for daily and I am surrounded by the most incredible community of kind, passionate, and truly inspiring lightmakers. My life is nearly unrecognizable from what it was when my relationship ended and it's only been A YEAR AND A HALF. When I really stop to think about it, it’s truly astonishing.
I don’t share any of this to imply that my life was terrible before my breakup or that I regret my relationship with my ex. I had a good life and I will always be deeply grateful for the healing and many wonderful memories that came out of that relationship. But I can also see now that our breakup was absolutely meant to happen. I needed to go through that fire and to have things stripped away so that I could look at the leveled landscape of my life and ask myself what I wanted to build in the empty space left behind.
The breakup was certainly not the first time I’ve seen my life turned upside down by loss, and it’s very possible that it won’t be the last, and that’s okay. In fact, it's wonderful, because as much as it can be challenging to walk through the fire, I’ve seen again and again that it’s always worth it for what’s on the other side.