Returning this time has felt very different. True, he is not here any more and I can reclaim my sacred space. (Relief.) However, I have also fundamentally and irreversibly been changed. It’s as visible as the mountains are.
I’m so excited to reintroduce myself to people. I want to wear a sign that says, “Hi. I’m Brianna. You may not recognize me. I have previously been submerged underwater by tears. Nowadays, you can see my eyes. I’m polished and new.”
I had a meaningful discussion this week with another writer about what I’ve learned by not saying “I do.” She asked me how this break-up, and moreover, the loss of the fairy tale, helped me to grow wiser. Choking and stumbling over my words, I came up with a few ideas.
There certainly is an element of being able to love deeper. Not weaker. Despite the sharp growing pains, I believe I feel love (for my friends, family, fellow global citizens and myself) with more intensity. Fragility has led to robust resilience.
There is also more appreciation for my own might and power. Sacrifice to the extent of missing out on my own achievements is no longer acceptable. I will no longer choose between my dreams and the dreams of another. The minute I feel my instinct being swayed by the need to please, I’m walking away. Plain and simple.
I’m redefining the role of women with more confidence and less worry about judgement. I am comfortably pushing against the steps society says I should be climbing. I am also redefining my own expectations of myself and doing things that I would have never thought possible 15 years ago. I’m outdoing my own goals.
Finally, there is no shame. I’ve essentially stopped feeling ashamed that I don’t have it all together yet and that I’m not married. Being single does not equate to not being worthy of love and happiness. In my head those two used to be strongly linked (marriage and worth). There are many other ways in which I am worthy, and I’m just starting to identify and celebrate what these are.