It was a long, light blue crew neck from Banana Republic. On him it fit like a regular shirt, but on me it fit like a mini dress that I just knew would just look adorable with tights and some thigh high boots. Every time I would visit his dorm, I would always ask him to let me have it. (After all, he worked at Banana Republic so he had plenty of their gear to spare.) He always objected until the Christmas of our junior year, when he finally gave it to me wrapped with a big hug and one of his famous winks that always made me blush.
A few months following that, our friendship turned romantic. And I fell…hard. So hard that when things ended, it hurt me in a way that I didn’t think was possible. I was so hurt by how he treated me and how everything unfolded, and as a result, I despised everything that reminded me of him…including the long, light blue crew neck shirt that I once begged him for. No matter how much I thought it would match a particular outfit, I refused to wear it. I was so angry that at times I even thought about cutting the shirt up and throwing the remnants at his apartment door. To me, wearing the shirt was just a reminder of him and the scars he left that I tried so hard to forget. I was still harboring pain and bitterness in my heart, and that long, light blue crewneck was just another reminder that he was the cause of it all.
Well a couple of weeks ago, I was looking for something to wear and threw on the long, light blue crewneck with a pair of black pants and a pair of heels. In my mind, it was just another day. Leaving our weekly tutorial session, a classmate tugged my sleeve and said “Oooh Linda, I like this top”. I was so absent minded in getting dressed that morning, that I didn’t even remember what I had on. But when I looked down and saw that long, light blue crewneck on my back, it was then that it hit me. I realized in that moment that I had finally let go of the emotional chains that were keeping me and my heart from moving forward. I realized then that I was so encompassed in my life and being the best me that I can be, that I didn’t even realize that I was no longer tied to that emotional baggage anymore. And when I realized that I casually put on that Crewneck as if it was just another top…when it hit me that I didn’t react or flinch to the one shirt that I once REFUSED to wear…an epiphany struck. And I discovered that I had finally moved on. I was finally free.
I am telling you this story to simply remind you that it WILL happen one day. One day, you will look up and realize that you are free. You are not in bondage by whatever relationship has hurt you. You won’t feel those dark clouds surrounding you with lies that you’ll be in this place forever. You won’t be in this place that makes you feel that you’re not worthy of the love you deserve…this place that makes you contemplate settling…this place that steals your joy from under you.
And maybe your reading this thinking you’re the oddball out. You’re thinking that your heart will never be able to heal from your heartbreak. I know how you feel because I used to believe those same lies. I used to think that moving on was out of my reach and that my heart was going to remain broken forever. But in time, I began to understand what God was doing. He was using this experience to help change me. Instead of reflecting on how the relationship ended, I started reflecting on my actions and how I can make my next relationship better. Instead of spending time feeling angry or sorry for myself, I started focusing on things that were truly WORTH my energy such as my family, my friends, my school work, and my hobbies. I was patient with myself and allowed myself to go through all the emotions that I felt. But instead of continuing to remain stagnant in those emotions, I dug deep inside of myself and used those emotions to help rebuild my heart to be stronger than it ever was before. And it took some time, but eventually, I moved on. I became strong again. I became happy again. I became Linda again. Only difference is, this Linda is a lot stronger, a lot happier, and a lot better than she was before.
So as you’re in this tough time in your life, remain optimistic. Remain patient. Because before you know it, you will look up one day and you will have moved on too…moved one step closer to the amazing person that this experience will help shape you to be.