How A Heartbreak Taught Me To Trust My Journey
11 years ago, I was screaming at the top of my lungs a range of curse words, while dangling my car keys over my exes face. I was ready to get in my car and finally make that move from Boston, MA to New York City. The relationship that once had me high as a kite – kinda made me hold back on my dreams of becoming a notable writer. I was so consumed with our love that nothing else mattered.
Trust me…I saw all the texts from his fling (who he later had a child with and married). I heard all the ‘I love you’ voicemails. Looking back, I was so broken by the power he had over me. But, I can tell you this – while reflecting – we were deeply in love. We had that Mary J. Blige lyrics type of adoration for each other going on. You know that giddy high school type of romance? At 40, I’ve never experienced a feeling so innocent again – considering I have two children now from someone else.
My ex and I met while I was in my second year of college at an on-campus party. He didn’t attend my school, but he got the invite and came through with his best friend. I recall seeing this 6’ft 3″ man with braids and thinking – damn he’s so fly. He did look a little rough around the edges, yet his presence was so calming. He approached and whispered over the music ‘are you coming home with me tonight?’ Turned off by his bravado, I smirked and walked off. He later noted that he was just playing. Fast forward – it took us nearly a year to become a couple. Honestly, I thought he was just afraid of my dominant personality. In one whole year, he never asked for sex. He was simply mesmerized by my go-getter attitude and the career dreams that I wanted to capture. I believe he got off on that. For the most part, we just spent our days and nights talking about everything under the stars – and my other favorite past time – eating out at restaurants. He was truly my best friend. His father loved me. His mom considered us a couple. His little brothers adored me and vice-versa. My relationship with Eric was everything. Fast-forward to 5 years later.
Eric had a knack for getting into trouble. He belonged to the streets and here I was this college-educated girl sitting outside of a court while he was getting sentenced to 2 years in jail. Yes, for 2 years I sacrificed just about everything to make sure that he knew that I was by his side. Three days a week, I visited him at the local jail and made sure that his commissary was filled. For 2 years I wrote him constant letters professing my love and loyalty. Ahhh! I wrote. Hold on to that.
Within those 2 years alone, my pen game got firmly established. His mom helped me get a job at Northeastern University in Boston since I dropped out of my previous college. I couldn’t focus on my studies, since losing my better half. My mom was so disappointed in me. Anyhow, I ended up getting a gig as an administrative assistant at their law school. I recall my boss noting the benefits of working at the university – free tuition. She encouraged me to take a class – and that I did. The first course I enrolled in was Screenwriting. What a blessing. Being able to tell my painful story to a class full of dreamers would become my stepping stone. My professor loved my writing style and made me promise to never hold back. He reminded me that I was tough enough to handle any adversity thrown my way. After successfully completing his course with an A+, I went on to take more courses in writing; Creative Writing, Exploratory Writing, and all of the additional Screenwriting offerings as well.
By the time Eric came home from jail, I was a different person. They say time stands still when someone is locked up. However, for me – time was moving forward. While he was away – I made frequent trips to New York City, so I could soak up the hustle. I contributed stories to a variety of publications under a pen name and interviewed a host of celebrities. The pain gave me power. It was my fuel. The distance and time away helped me discover my authentic voice. Trying to settle back into the routine relationship was tough. He struggled with my growth and I struggled with his setbacks. He couldn’t see the future like I did. For him, it was about getting by. For me, it was about breaking through.
Like all great love stories – something big had to shatter our glass ceiling. I discovered Eric had a child within the year that he was home free. As a storyteller who is never short on words, for once I was speechless. The tears that flooded daily became my platform. Devastated by the news, I bought a one-way bus ticket to New York City. Screw the car. I told him that he would never see me again – and if he did – I would be a solid and whole woman again. Three weeks later, I kissed my family goodbye and made my way to NY, leaving our love story behind. 11 years later, I hold not only an honorary Bachelors degree in the Art & Structure of Storytelling, which was a self-designed focus from Northeastern University, but I am also preparing to complete my Masters in Media Studies, which I abandoned 6 years ago after the birth of my first son. Look at that – I am a full-time writer for a leading digital publication, who also covers press junkets surrounding latest animations and family friendly films. I let my heartbreak pave my path. If I never experienced the loss, I wouldn’t have gained such a rewarding career or such a strong sense of self.
I write daily because it allows the words in my head to dance on beat. Writing is therapeutic. Writing cleanses the soul. In summary, writing taught me to trust that all my experiences were already written. And if they are already written, I have nothing to fear, but fear itself. Do you ladies.