I’m sure a lot of you have caught on to the fact that I haven’t posted any pictures or even talked about my relationship with Chris over the past month. Actually, what you’ve been seeing is a wishful attempt to cover up an incredible amount of pain with new adventures and good photography. Whether it’s an attempt to distract myself from disappointment or a way to try and focus on the bright side, I knew I eventually had to come out and be honest with you guys. I run a very public platform where I want to be as transparent as I can – not because I want you to know every detail of my life, but because I believe in the power of sharing and connecting with women over the real things going on in our lives – the struggles, failures, disappointments, and not so photogenic moments.
Chris and I recently decided to go our separate ways. Those words are still hard for me to write, but how could they not be after two long years of fighting against the odds and trying to make things work? As much as I wish I could just cover up the pain and heartbreak and move on, something continues to push me to share what I’m going through with hopes of reaching those of you dealing with a similar type of pain. Writing this isn’t easy for me, I’ve been avoiding this post for a while. For one thing – I still have hundreds of unanswered questions myself, but also because I’m still grieving the loss of someone I used to call my best friend. Accepting the reality that something I was so sure of might not have been all I thought it was has been a tough pill to swallow.
I don’t want to go to into too much detail or place blame on anyone or anything, because that’s not what this is about. In the beginning, our mutual desire to pursue God kept us on the same path, but somewhere along the way things got complicated. Long distance, family, and change all played their part. Chris comes from a Mormon background and I’m from a Catholic family – there’s no denying that’s a complicated situation regardless how ‘right’ for each other we may have been. As much as we wanted love to just guide the way, there were always lingering differences and unanswered questions we tried to avoid. We had obstacles we thought we could overcome but in the end they proved to be too much and our end goals weren’t quite matching up anymore. And honestly we are both just in very different places in our lives, which caused a disconnect.
The one piece of advice I want to give that I’ve taken away from all of this, is just because you’ve invested a lot time and effort in something doesn’t mean that should be your reason to stay. Yes, you should always try to focus on the good in any relationship, but at some point you have to be honest with yourself and draw the line between comfort and true happiness. If you try too hard to force the pieces that don’t fit, you’ll end up making decisions for the wrong reasons and dragging something out much longer than it should last (resulting in even more pain in the future). Your time is way too precious to be spent on someone or something that isn’t right for you. Don’t ignore the red flags and always be sure to listen to the people who truly love you, sometimes love can be so blinding. There’s no denying we were so in love with each other, not many couples would go through the obstacles we had to go through in order to try to make things work. But, I believe that dating is a learning process and a way to figure out if that person is truly a good match for you – in all aspects of your life and future.
Obviously we all love being in a relationship and being in love. It gives us a sense of security and purpose. But sometimes you have to take a step back and think about the big picture. Ask yourself if your relationship is making you a better person and allowing you to be exactly who you are while being a part of the other person’s life as well. As you guys know, in the early stages of our relationship I made the somewhat crazy/somewhat emotional decision to move out to Utah to be closer to Chris. I don’t regret the decision because I learned a ton, lived in a great city, made some wonderful friends, and moving out there is actually what got me to start my blog. However, removing myself from the culture, friends, family, and life that made me who I was and being immersed in an entirely different culture caused me to feel a little lost and out of place. Over time I noticed I started to lose pieces of who I really was and I lost confidence trying to fit into a culture that I wasn’t necessarily a part of. When you make a huge sacrifice like that for a relationship it adds pressure to the situation and causes you to ignore red flags that you probably wouldn’t usually just brush off. My life in Utah revolved around one person, and that wasn’t healthy.
As much as we want to try and control the things that happen to us and create the life we think we deserve, God continues to make it very obvious to us that our idea of happiness is not necessarily His. The purpose of writing this is to tell you that no matter what you think is right for you, what you have planned for tomorrow, or how hard you try to control things and make life go a certain way – God has bigger plans and higher expectations for you than you could ever imagine. He wants us to understand that any amount of pain we experience in this life is worth going through if it eventually leads us to a life fulfilled and lead by Him. Every experience we go through – however great or painful – is strengthening and teaching us how to deal with the next thing life throws our way. I think the most admirable women are the ones who have been through the hard things and still pull it together regardless of how bad it tore them apart. You live, you learn, and you teach the next girl/daughter/sister/friend in your life that she’s gonna get through it just like you did. And be so much stronger when it’s all over. Place your trust in the One who’s love is constant and you will never be disappointed and He will lead you to the person who loves everything about you – your flaws, imperfections, strengths, beauty – and appreciates you for exactly who you are.
We go through hard things and disappointments but there’s always joy and new beginnings around the corner. I’m turning 25 this week and I’m officially making the move to live in Chicago in summer – something I’ve always wanted to do! I’m going to continue to push myself to reach new and exciting things with my blog this year, focus on being my own person outside of a relationship, and figure out exactly who I am and what I want. Thank you for always reading my thoughts and for being so supportive. I can’t ever thank you all enough for your sweet emails and comments, but I sure do love you for it! I’m hoping your spring season is filled with so many beautiful beginnings!