This story starts just like any other: I was thirteen and my first boyfriend broke up with me, because I “came on too strong.” Tears rolled down my hot, red, cheeks, as my mother consoled me and explained, that one day, some man would love this quality in me — Just how my father had with her. Naturally, thirteen year-old me, cried harder, because, well, isn’t that what mothers are supposed to say?
Over the past year, I’ve had to deal with not one, but two, pretty significant and life altering break-up’s. Both the men and the situations taught me a great deal, but this isn’t about me bashing them — It’s about what I’ve learned along the way. I enjoy sharing “lessons learned” and this time around, I feel what I know now, should be shared with as many people as it can possibly reach and maybe, just maybe, I’ll help another young girl who’s crying in her bed, late at night, because she feels… well, for the lack of better words, worthless.
Not to toot my own horn, but I don’t know another way to say it: I was blessed with a pretty face, beautiful hair, big blue eyes, etc, etc..
That’s me on my first day of high school — 2004
As a teenager, I was friends with the boys, but never really attracted many of them. They always told me, my personality was “too much to handle.”
To clarify their statements, I will admit, I’m very outspoken and energetic. Even when it comes to friends, I am a very passionate and caring person, so I guess, that scared certain (almost all) guys away. Even up until my early college days, I always felt that I was just a pretty face. I never felt that guys took me seriously and when they did, my “strong” personality scared them away.
Within the past year, I have had two of the best relationships in my life, end. The first, was a long-term. After almost five years of dating, I chose to break things off and I immediately jumped into relationship number two — which lasted for less than a year. In the second relationship, we went through a series of breakups, but in the end, he broke up with me. Both of these ended terribly. I spent hours, days, and weeks, crying over the guys who were, ironically, no longer part of my life. I analyzed old text messages, viewed old photos, watched sad Lifetime movies… You know, typical girl sh*t. Then, about 2 weeks ago, I got into a terrible car accident that changed my life.
I suffered traumatic injuries: A punctured lung, broken nose, fractured skull, as well as fractures in several parts of my face, including behind my eye, a concussion, and the worst — my brain was bleeding. I woke up three days after the accident and couldn’t recall a single thing. Actually, I still don’t know what caused me to lose control of the car that night, but it definitely changed my outlook on life, especially in regards to the recent breakups, which I had still been suffering through up until the night of the accident.
I realized that had I, God-forbid, not made it out of the hospital alive, I would’ve passed away with bad blood. As I said, things ended badly with both relationships and many things went left unsaid or things were said, but out of anger. I realized that first, I wanted to reach out to bother the guys, letting them know I was alright. I wanted to, at the least, try to form a friendship with them both. To my surprise, one came to visit me in the hospital and we had the chance to REALLY talk. Mind you, I was heavily medicated, but it was sweet of him to listen and visit me, before I had even asked!
Although it took something horrific, I learned that sometimes people come into your life not to stay, but to teach you lessons — With the two guys in my story, maybe they came into my life to teach me what I want and what I don’t want, who knows? It’s too early to tell. Yet, I know they both taught me a lot about myself.
I learned that I needed to respect myself. I found myself consistently doing things for their happiness and not mine, yet I refused to admit I wasn’t happy… because I wasn’t. I love making others happy. It’s something that makes me smile. Although, I never seemed to get that in return, so I found that I wasn’t happy, because I was not giving myself the level of respect that I needed.
Not too long ago, I read a cheesy quote before that said something like:
You’ll receive the type of love that you think you deserve.
I think the same is true with respect. You will get the level of respect that you believe you deserve. It’s all about how you carry yourself and actions will ALWAYS speak louder than words, especially when it comes to relationships.
I consistently felt like I was changing myself to be who, both guys wanted me to be: Quiet, submissive, passive, etc.. None of that is me. I come on “too strong” and honestly, I’d much rather be thought of that way than the other.
I realized I don’t want to change for anyone anymore. I want to be Taylor. I had always been confident in who I was, so why had I let two guys, who were no longer in my life, rob me of that?
Because I couldn’t accept that things were over.
I needed to let go.
When I woke up in that hospital bed I was overcome with happiness to be alive and that was enough for me. I didn’t need any guy to do that for me. I realized I was able to do it all on my own. I decide that each morning, when I wake up and each night, when I lay down to sleep. No longer, do I wake up crying or fall asleep with tears running down my face. I smile, because I made it through another day — one more day that I can say I was alive.
One of the guys has walked back into my life and we will always have a relationship. He is somebody I hold very dear to my heart and I’m glad we had the chance to grow closer again. I didn’t hold it against either of them, when I offered friendship, if their response was no. Just as I have to respect myself, I have to also respect others.
Even though it took this horrific accident to make me really understand what it means when people say, “life is too short,” it also made me come to the conclusion, I should never cut people out. I will always welcome an invitation from others, who are kind, to be friends. You can never have enough friends, because never know when you might lose one. As I explained earlier, my belief: People are put in our lives for plenty of reasons, so why not fill your life with as many friends as you can to have them teach you as much as humanly possibly — be that good or bad — It’s all a lesson to learn.
Recently, I have had not one, but two men, tell me how they love that I “come on strong” and they enjoy my passionate personality — even when it comes to friendship. It made me a little emotional to hear both of them say this, because I’ve waited since I was thirteen: When my mom told me, as I cried into her shoulder, some day, some man, will love this quality about me and look at that — Two men told me, just that, within the past week!
Mothers are always right.