WRITER: KENDRA BUCKHANNON
I think it's safe to say that we've all had that one major heartbreak that crushed us so bad that we did anything to seek revenge. Am I right? Well, that happened to me once. It was the summer after my senior year. Ultimately, I was friend-zoned by one of the sweetest, most charismatic yet biggest tools in the shed. Don't get me wrong, he's a great friend of mine... but I hated him for a solid three months. During those three months, I starved myself. And by "starved" myself, I mean I ate 500 calories or less everyday for three months straight just to show him how nice I looked in a size 6 pair of Express jeans at my "going away" party before I left for college. Did it feel good to go from a size 10 to a 6 for the first time since 7th grade? Absolutely. But has it sabotaged and affected the rest of my life? Yes. Because now I will forever think back to and obsess over how nice 130lb. felt. And, truth be told, I'll probably never be that tiny again unless I result to anorexia, bulimia, or liposuction. (Which, I can't say hasn't been tempting to do.)
As fascinating as that little story was, it's not why I'm sitting here writing this post.
It all started when a friend of mine emailed me about this CROWN Project blog. She's a frequent blog follower of mine, and I was flattered when she suggested that I write a post to submit. After "liking" the page on Facebook, I was personally invited to submit an article, essay or simply my thoughts about how the trials I've gone through have affected my self-esteem and my own perception of my self-worth. So, here I am!
Going back to heartbreak, I think it's the ultimate blow to a girl's self-esteem.
In high school and in my first couple years of college, I was pretty confident in myself. I wasn't necessarily narcissistic, but I was comfortable with who I was and generally the way I looked. Sure, I had my moments of thinking I was "fat" -- but what girl doesn't? My freshman-junior year of college, I dated. I dated a lot. In fact, I had roommates who harassed me for going out with a different guy every weekend. Flattered, that I was. However... it wasn't until I met my most recent... well, ex-boyfriend that I realized what it really meant to be loved for who I was rather than flirted with because of what I looked like. His name was Tyler. And I thought I'd never love anyone else for the rest of my life.
After three short months, we were engaged. It was March 2012, and we planned to be married on September 1, 2012. It was a great, loving relationship built on the strongest friendship I've ever had with anyone in my entire life. He was my rock and I was his. We were convinced we could take on the world. We loved each other. And everyone else loved us, too. To say the least, I had never been happier.
To make a long, sad, sob-story short... I called off our engagement exactly ten days before the wedding. I felt strongly that it wasn't the right thing to do, and, ultimately after coming to grips with the whole situation, I realized that it wasn't something that I wanted to do. I chose not to marry him. And, now... I have to live with that decision.
After breaking up with Tyler, I wanted to crawl in a hole and stay there for the rest of my life. The funniest part is -- I didn't even realize my self-esteem had been tainted in the least bit. I was simply heartbroken. I was convinced that I would never, ever find anyone like him ever again. He was my best friend; who would ever love me the way he did? How could I find another one just like him? Truth is, I wouldn't. This lasted for a solid three months: September-November.
During this solid three months, I started a new blog. I had blogged in the past, but I hardly posted links to it publicly for people to read. In fact, I was ashamed and embarrassed of people knowing my true self and how I felt about my social and love life... or, lack thereof.
This new blog, however, was created as a "venting place" for anyone and everyone who voluntarily wanted to crawl inside my crazy, heartbroken, hot-messy head. It was titled "A New Day...with a slight chance of thunderstorms." On this blog, I wrote about happy things... funny stories and silly embarrassing moments. But, during the "thunderstorms" I mostly expressed my very frank and blunt opinion about life and how hard it really was. Sure, I could pretend it was fine and dandy... but, we all know it really wasn't.
Over the span of those few months, I got emails and messages from people all over Facebook -- people from high school to middle-aged women from church! I'd get messages ranging from "I know we don't really talk that much, but I LOVE your blog!" to "This may seem really creepy, but I read your blog and I just love how frank and honest you are!" In fact, I still get those emails and I LOVE THEM! I'm not only flattered, but their love and support has kept me writing and given me the confidence to be who I am without being ashamed of it. And the best part -- it's no longer a "thunderstorm" blog. As the healing process has progressed, I've changed the title to "Pretty and Witty."
Also, this may seem silly... But as I've gained this confidence to be who I am via blogging, I've also had the courage to get back on my feet and tackle life again. Sure, it's not easy. But I've found the courage to go out again. Like... date again. Granted, it took me six months, but I'm finally here. Not only that, but I'm finally confident enough in myself to realize that I don't have to settle for the first guy that comes my way. I am no longer desperate enough to think that I need to marry the first guy that asks me... Unlike most in the Mormon culture sometimes think, it's OKAY to "feel 22" and single! After all, isn't life all about feeling "miserable, magical and lonely at the same time" anyway?!
Being engaged and doing all the "engaged" stuff has taught me that it's not all roses and that life is not a fairy tale... even with a ring on your finger. I learned that I am a beautiful daughter of a loving God who isn't going to make me settle for anything less than someone that's perfect for me. Ladies, you don't have to settle. Even if you're engaged... it's never too late to find your very own Prince Charming. Will he be the first guy that takes you out this weekend? Will he be the first one who calls you beautiful or even the first to tell you that he loves you? Probably not. But you don't have to settle for less while waiting for him.
You're going to get heartbroken. Unfortunately... it's what dating is all about. Like I always say, it's breaking hearts until you find someone who doesn't crush your own. But, please... don't learn it the hard way like I had to --
Don't be afraid to stand alone while you're waiting for him.
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