I believe in the power of a broken heart. I said this to my mother last night and she laughed at me. “What a silly thing to believe in. All a broken heart got you were tears and a couple of really horrible weeks,” she told me. And she’s right; a broken heart did give me those things. But it also gave me a lot more.
If you had asked me a year ago where I’d be by the age of 20, I probably would have told you getting married and that would be the end of it. Then it was over, just like that. After two years of being best friends and another two of being a pair, he didn’t want me anymore. The person I spent all of high school with had left me for another girl. I spent four days locked in my room crying, screaming, hating him, missing him, the whole deal. I spent the next two months after that trying to figure out how I was supposed to exist without him, because he was all I’d really known since I was 16 years old. Missing him and seeing him with someone else started to hurt so bad that I knew I had to get away. Make myself as busy as possible to forget.
A few months before we broke up, I had been offered a job working for a local Boys and Girls Club. I had initially turned it down because it meant working all day and going to school at night, leaving little-to-no time to see my boyfriend. When they called me again in August to see if I changed my mind, I jumped at the job. What better way to take my mind off things. I scheduled myself for about 30 hours a week and signed up for 16 units my first semester of college. I was so busy I barely had time to think about missing him.
This job lead me to so many different opportunities that I know I would never have taken had he still been in my life. I’ve gotten to travel around the state, observing other programs; I’ve been promoted twice, and got a raise on account of my dedication to my job. I’ve met some of the most amazing people and gotten the chance to work with some amazing kids who have taught me so much in the last year.
So if by some chance he ever happens upon this, I want to say thank you. Thank you so much for everything you did and didn’t do, because the day you broke my heart, was the day you saved my life. And for that, I will always love you.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.