When I was sixteen I had a “picture perfect” high school romance. We met in drama class. He was new to the class and we started talking on Myspace, ha remember Myspace? We soon became close friends but at this young age I was already skeptical of “love.”
I had this idea that a life time mate was ridiculous and especially the idea of a high school sweetheart. None the less he persisted. We spent every spare moment together, but I kept insisting that we should just be friends. One day he got down on one knee and said, “I know you don’t believe that love can be real, but please give me a chance to prove you wrong.” I gave in. And he really did change my mind. He made me believe that love was something worth feeling and not just fearing. He even gave me a promise ring, cheesy I know.
He was always giving me handmade gifts, cute notes between classes, and flowers for no reason. He made every date AND everyday special. He didn’t just say he loved me, he showed me. The way he treated me became the standard for all of my future relationships. I’ve never thanked him for that.
When we broke up I was crushed. But I didn’t want to let anyone see that. I wanted to maintain a facade of optimism. I began running. I would ugly sob while running through my neighborhood. I had to feel the pain to get over it. I had to begin striving to leave behind the past. I refused to sit and let the pain consume my future.
That wasn’t my last heartbreak. That wasn’t the last time I was crushed or disappointed. There have been many times that I had to strive to thrive. Sometimes it took everything I had to keep moving forward.
Thriving isn’t effortless. Sometimes it’s ugly. Sometimes it’s painful beyond belief. But I have to believe that There’s better days ahead than what I’ve let behind.
Whatever pain you are sitting in today, I urge you to get up and start striving toward thriving. It will be painful at first, it might be ugly, but someday you’ll look back and see it was just a hurdle that you had to jump to get where you needed to be.