A Woman’s Heart
You may or may not have realized last month I didn’t write a blog. I started and deleted my writing about four or five times, and felt disappointed and overwhelmed with it every time I began. For better or for worse, I happen to be one of those writers that if I’m not 110% confident and happy with it, it’ll never see the light of day. Maybe it took me a whole extra month to finally start and commit to this piece because it’s the topic that I hold dearest to me and affects me on every level, every single day.
I have debated sharing stories of my past and what my previous relationships were made of, but the simple truth is it happened. I believe every woman at some point or another buries things, people, and memories in their hearts – sometimes it feels like no one could possibly understand and even the mention of it can be too painful or complicated to sort through. But we learn and grow from those people and experiences and we are better for it. And that’s definitely worth sharing.
I am always amazed at the effect that personal healing and stories have on others and I make it a point to go deep and hopefully inspire along the way. The older I get and the more women that I talk to, the more I realize we’re all more similar than we think.
To all of those around her and all those that get to experience it, a woman’s heart and love has a universal understanding. The influence women hold can support a man, can uplift other women, and can create and shape the next generation. It is one of our natural gifts and we should never waste or undermine that.
The thing I pride myself most on is being a woman to love. I love love. All I have ever wanted when I “grew up” was to be a wife and a mom and have a big, happy family. I know it seems insane for a young girl to feel like her purpose surrounds around love and family – and by the way, women that don’t have that calling or desire are in no way less feminine or loving. In this fast-paced, modern world, we all need to remember and hold onto what centers and grounds us – everyone has their “thing”, that just happens to be mine.
However, this wasn’t always the case. There were plenty of days and nights I had tear-stained pillows, and swore I would never love again. I remember the first time I felt heartbreak. I didn’t get out of bed for three days and the only person I could tolerate seeing was my sister. She happens to be seven years older and it just seemed like she held all the answers and comfort at her fingertips. She didn’t even have to say a word. I knew when she looked at me, she understood and had my back.
It’s a funny thing when the one thing that brings you the most peace and happiness has also brought you the most amount of heartbreak in your young life. I have felt incredible amounts of judgment and shame for the ebbs and flows of my relationships, but have come back to reacting and responding out of love and gratitude over shame and guilt.
At just twenty-three, it’s a blessing and a curse to have been in love three times. A blessing for many obvious reasons and a curse for some too.
My first relationship lasted about five years – on and off. We started dating when I was just fifteen and it was the classic case of young, puppy love. In our innocent minds and hearts, we really believed we would be together forever. But we didn’t know how to love – each other or ourselves. Due to that alone, it was extremely toxic and I felt worthless – most nights I spent crying and suffered from panic attacks. No matter how many times I was cheated on or showed control over, in the end, I was the one who broke a heart and one thing that will never change is I would rather have my heart broken than break a heart. The guilt was immeasurable and it took me years to forgive myself. Honestly, I’m still working on it. It was from that heartbreak of losing a first love that I finally learned to love myself, and for that I’m eternally grateful.
My second relationship was short, but extremely passionate. We met during a summer internship shortly after my first relationship and we were inseparable until it came crashing down. There is not much to say except the betrayal is unlike anything I’ve ever personally experienced. We only dated for three months, and it took me three years to learn the lessons this relationship was meant to teach me. Unfortunately, every girl has that one person in their life who has caused them to physically feel pain in places they never even knew existed, where they cry and cry until there are no more possible tears left, and of course the classic line every girl has told their girlfriends: I’ll never, ever love again.
But all those moments you swore you’ll never give your heart to another is a lie. Love is not pain.
Rejection hurts. Distance hurts. Control hurts. Jealousy hurts. Immaturity hurts.
But love… love doesn’t hurt.
The biggest difference I noticed from my previous relationships to my current relationship (besides the obvious) is how I feel on a daily basis and the maturity and admiration we share for each other. I think we have had two or three fights and we processed and took it in internally as opportunities to heal old trauma and come back to a space of love. We have so much genuine, raw respect for each other and adore one another’s company so much that fights and disrespect is not an option.
In my all-time favorite movie, Titanic, Rose says, “A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets. But now you know there was a man named Jack Dawson and that he saved me… in every way a person can be saved.”
My third and current relationship has been exactly that. It’s been a little over a year since we have been together, and in the grand scheme of things I understand that’s not much time at all. But it’s simply been the happiest and most profound time of my life. There have been plenty of personal milestones in the past year or so and for many reasons, I consider myself to be the luckiest girl in the world. But nothing makes me feel more myself and more at peace, than loving and being loved by him. I can see the difference between the way this relationship has affected my life versus my previous ones. Even the looks on my family and friends faces and the questions I get have inspired me to understand just how important who you spend your time and life with is.
There are endless amounts of things I could share whether they’re emotional, intimate, or the way he is the best guy I have ever known. But for those on their own personal journeys of heartache or confusion to what love is or what it means, I’ll just share this. Since high school, I have often been misunderstood by almost everyone around me. I have dealt with my fair share of depression and anxiety. I’ve picked my things up and flew away more often than not, and I have cut off a lot of ties thinking that was the best way to handle the pain of heartbreak and loss. But for once, someone sees me. Really sees me. And understands me – all the best and worst and absolutely crazy parts of me.
Although he isn’t my first in the typical sense of the phrase… he is my first in the most important sense.
He is the first person I’ve ever missed, genuinely missed, whenever I do anything at all. He is the first person I think about the second I open my eyes. He is the first person I think about and run to when something happens (good or bad or hilarious). He is the first person I’ve ever enjoyed doing nothing and everything at all with. He is the first person that on a daily basis makes me laugh until I cry, even though most of the time it’s really not even that funny. He is the first person to get excited over my success and support me in any and every way. He is the first person I fully trust and believe in. He is the first person I have gotten genuinely excited to do life with. And he is the last person I ever want to lose.
To everyone, love can be different in the sense of how many times you experience it and how many times you lose it – with that, some just happen to be luckier than others for not much rhyme or reason. But it is never different in the sense of how it shapes and changes you. These are the secrets and magic of a woman’s heart. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. Take the leap and believe in the beauty and power of love… you might just be surprised where and to whom it could lead.
As I reach my mid twenties, and the journeys of relationships have proven to be nothing that I could ever plan for (I mean, is it ever?) I find gratitude for it leading me to where and to whom I belong, and I find joy in looking to all the good and lessons to come in the future.