The past few weeks have taken a serious emotional toll on me. I am someone who is, the majority of the time, in a good mood. I am energetic and funny. I am an optimist. My family and friends who know me as this person, likely found me barely recognizable at the beginning of last week. My dog, Tinkerbell, got sick in December. She began having seizures out of the blue. The vet was able to stabilize her on medicine and she seemed back to normal until Sunday, March 12th, when she began having seizures again. She stayed over at the vet for a few days and was able to come home.
Once she was home, she did not appear to be getting better and we made the tough decision to put her to sleep on Friday, March 17th, 10 days before her 11th birthday. The night that we put her to sleep, my parents left for Ireland, and the silence in my house was almost soul crushing. It’s amazing how much presence a three-pound dog has in your life. I did my best to stay busy and surround myself with my friends.
A few days later, I was really impressed with myself at how well I was coping, but then I got more bad news. I was on my way to class when the guy I had been seeing for the past four months and was beginning to develop pretty strong feelings for, texted me and said “I think you know this already but I want to be honest with you. I want to just be friends… Is that ok?” I felt like I had been simultaneously punched in the throat and stomach. He wanted to “just be friends”? And I was supposed to already know this? After months of hanging out on a weekly basis, communicating over text or Snapchat almost daily, having deep discussions about a number of topics, and spending Valentine’s Day together (he got me a heart shaped box of chocolates..) I had assumed our relationship was progressing towards something more serious.
I was literally in shock at this text. I did not see it coming. He then proceeded to tell me that he had met another girl and that he saw our relationship as “mostly physical”. This, obviously, continued to upset me, and, as I had liked him for him as a whole person, it was degrading and insulting that he viewed me in this manner. I immediately unfriended him on Snapchat, Facebook, and deleted his information out of my phone. I was hurt, sad, angry, and confused all at once.
Getting rejected in this way really took a toll on me, especially so soon after losing Tinkerbell. I spent the next few days practically a zombie, barely eating or sleeping, and doing literally no schoolwork or work at my internship. It was really rough. As the days passed, I started to feel like myself again. Instead of going to thoughts of “why am I not good enough?” or “what did I do wrong?”, I realized that there wasn’t anything wrong with me, I was completely myself with him, and if he didn’t want that, it’s his loss.
It's really a shame that we live in a society where people seem to treat others as if they are disposable. Within a few minutes, and a conversation that started out with "Heyy", this guy and I were suddenly gone from each other's lives, when (I thought) we had previously meant a lot to each other. No opportunity for a phone call or to meet in person to discuss this, just tiny letters on a screen and boom, we'll probably never speak again. I try to live my life with kindness and respect for others, with the recognition of the inherent worth and dignity of all humans. I am not perfect and I am sure I have hurt people in the past, but I try my best to live out my values in all of my interactions.
A few days after this happened I read a quote on Pinterest that really inspired me. It said, “Sometimes when things are falling apart they may actually be falling into place”. I felt like this was so true for me. I was hurting, but I know that I still have so many good things coming to me. I am about to graduate with my master’s degree. I am moving to New York City, the greatest city in the world, something I’ve been dreaming about for years. I help people, I stand up for what is right, whether it's reproductive rights, Black Lives Matter, or refugee and immigrant rights. I plan on dedicating my life as a Social Worker to these causes.
I also have the most wonderful friends. If these past few weeks have taught me anything, it’s that I am the luckiest girl in the world when it comes to my family and friends. I constantly had people checking in on me, calling me, texting me, bringing me chocolate and flowers, and spending time with me. Even though I was not fun to be around, at all.
Right now I'm really feeling the Jeremih song "Paradise"..."Oh I knew life would be alright/but who could've known it be this good?/ oh and they tell me/ it gets better, better, better/ this is more than life/ this is paradise." I feel like the love of my family and friends is this paradise that he is talking about in the song. And it's only going to get better.