I've written a couple of times about my broken engagement in 2011, and how big of an impact it had on my life, both personally and in how I approach relationships now.
And how, since then, it's continued to really rattle me, quite often.
I do think reevaluating my relationships with my family, friends, and romantic partners was a really important thing, and I'll forever be thankful that, no matter the impetus, I did that work. I feel like I'm surround by a group of people who truly care about me, for me, and, equally importantly, themselves.
I have amazing friends.
And a great living situation for the first time in a long time.
And a better relationship with my family.
And I'm done with those who aren't on "Team Amber."
And all of that is amazing.
But for the past 3 years, I've teared up when I saw wedding magazines. I've thought about my ring and what I should do with it a lot - and not in the financial or aesthetic sense, but the emotional one. Whenever a guy at a bar didn't want to talk to me, or didn't notice me, or a date went badly, or a boy didn't text, I would get upset and think that it was me* and that because I hadn't even been able to convince my ex to marry me, I wouldn't ever find anyone.
I rationally know that that's not true, and that I need to be okay, because, while we're friendly now, my ex is not worth spending this many years crying over. I'm better than that.
(*Sometimes it is me. I'm a loud, sometimes obnoxious, snippy, weirdo at times. But I'm interesting!)
Rationally knowing something is a little different from feeling it.
For example, you can convince yourself you're warm, but actually feeling warm is totally different.
So imagine my surprise, when, last week, I woke up one day and actually FELT "okay" rather than just telling myself I was "okay."
It felt great.
It felt fan-fucking-tastic.
Understanding how sad I could be, how bleak the world could look, made me realize how good the happy times are. I won't say I'm "grateful" necessarily, but I'm sort of weirdly glad I got such a great life lesson.
Of course I'm still sad sometimes. Of course I'm a little more cautious about trusting people. Of course.
But finally. For the first time since October 2011. I don't feel damaged.
I'm not broken.
And it's AWESOME.
I'm ready to date again (anyone got a setup for me?!) and I'm ready to be open to new friends and I'm ready to just be happy.
I really like myself. And it's nice to be back.