I have started this post about 5 times now, simply because I feel this is a very important topic.
A few days ago Meg over at A Practical Wedding posted a quote that I haven't been able to forget and think this is a perfect time to share it with you.
"What no one tells you when you're young, what no one seems to understand, is that the best thing you can ever do is find the person that makes you want to be the best you possible. The one person that does not complete you, but complements you. enhances you. makes you shine bright right next to them."
I spoke with my high school boyfriend today (after years) and was laughing that I still remember his cell phone number by heart. (I've always had a thing for numbers. I blame it on having to actually dial numbers before the age of cell phones and automatic or one touch dialing.) After getting off of the phone I was amazed to realize how different but similar we still are to the people we were over 10 years ago. We were such opposites so it was fun getting to hear how his life has evolved, who he's dating, what he's doing etc.
Coincidentally, I was talking to my sister tonight and we got on the topic of relationships and how each one teaches you something about yourself and gets you one step closer to the person who compliments you perfectly. I believe that 100 percent.
Before I met my husband I was in a relationship that wasn't bad, it just wasn't right. We were no where near perfect for each other, but we were comfortable and therefore we stayed together for longer than we probably should have. He was a nice guy, but deep in my heart I knew we weren't compatible. He talked about marriage and kids right away, and his view of marriage/ the relationship between a husband and a wife was fundamentally different than mine. But, of course, being young and in college we didn't really have to face "real life" right away. Instead, date nights and formals and parties filled in the times that if we had really talked heart to heart we probably would have learned we weren't right for each other and moved on. But as a firm believer in fate, I think that was all part of the overall plan for us both. It wasn't until he graduated and I was "on my own" that I realized I wasn't happy. I was on a career path I didn't love, headed for a marriage that I wasn't compatible for, and making plans for the kids I didn't want. It felt like I was living the life of someone else. Someone who was nothing like me.
And then I met J. and we instantly clicked. I tried to say it was only a great friendship, but there was a connection that I had never felt before. An understanding between us that I was beginning to think didn't really exist. When I realized that I was falling in love, I decided my life had to change.
I stopped listening to the advice of others. Stop listening to my head and made myself follow my heart.
I sat and thought about what I really wanted from life and decided it was time to be true to me and take charge of my life. I enrolled in more studio classes, changed my "after college" plans of grad school, and broke up with my then boyfriend. I went to stay with my sister for a week, and called J to ask him to come- as my date- to a party the very next day.
I took what I learned from my past and made sure to be very upfront in our relationship- making sure we understood each other, were completely honest and open and most importantly, that we were truly ourselves. No pretenses, no games. And it was, and continues to be the best decision I've ever made in my life. We're coming up to our first anniversary at the end of the month and I just wanted to share this story with everyone and hope it resonates with someone.
You have to be yourself to be happy. And your best self. Not the self that your parents want or your friends or a stereotype that you think is what you are supposed to be in order to be successful/happy/etc. And once you're happy being you, you'll find your match, your direction, and your purpose. You'll find what makes you shine in life.
Happy Thursday everyone! Thanks for letting me share!