“Thank you Ex?,” you ask in shock that I could find a way to give appreciation to my Ex-Boyfriend for breaking my heart. Yes!… I am so grateful for that rollercoaster that led me to where I am today.

Rewind to one year ago when we were blissful. I never knew a love so true…Well, that was only at the two month mark so I guess all things seem joyful.I had the key to his apartment, met his entire family who adored me, and imagined our future home and little munchkins running around.

Fast forward to the 6th month mark when my world turned upside down. I know the first thing you are thinking,

“Six months? Is this a joke?” Thanks for asking…Turned out it was!

But in the moment, months felt like a lifetime together.

There were so many ups and downs during that period, mainly downs. I endured emotional abuse and sexual rejection. Being told I wasn’t so good at my job when the deal fell through or listening to him praise his ex whom he worked alongside.

All the while I continued to cook, clean, and hope to get laid. Oddly, I was the one craving intimacy while he had a headache. Well if your other head ain’t aching, you should be able to perform. And want to.

Why did I stay and endure that torture?

In the moment I thought it was a good test of my character to overcome each obstacle thrown my way. Maybe I could learn from it, become a better partner, and make it work. Relationships do take work, but I’m hoping not that much! I should have been paid a salary for all the effort it entailed and expensive therapy bills.

As a thirty something single, I tend to be very confident when alone and very unsure of myself and the other person when committed. I guess my ex was a little too comfortable and content being single also. Maybe we were too similar, resulting in our insecurities sabotaging our potential.

But worse than staying in a passionless relationship was that he was the one who threw in the towel. Not me! How did I not only allow my self-esteem to diminish but also my pride by not cutting the chord first?

Why didn’t I stand up for myself? I am a strong woman. I always defend myself, my friends, and what’s right. I’m constantly called a tough cookie, but here I was a bitch in this relationship. I just allowed him to walk all over me, tease me, and make me feel unloveable. And how could I enable this?

Possibly it was the fear of being alone or rejection. Maybe because I am such a nurturer that I crave to love. But this wasn’t love… Hell, I didn’t even like him anymore or the person I was becoming.

He brought out the worst in me. I felt ugly, stupid, and not successful. I lost drive in my career… some days wanting to give up. I secretly hoped he would just knock me up, thinking he would have to step up and take care of me.

I was everything I never wanted to be. And instead of feeling grateful when he broke it off, I asked myself,

“What did I do? How could I have done things different.”

WTF?! I turned it inward when obviously this was his own battle, nothing to do with me and what I did. We simply were not as compatible as we hoped nor meant to be together.

Even though this was the best thing that could happen, my world was still crushed. I lost my appetite, which takes a lot. I don’t even stop eating with the stomach flu! But here I was 10 pounds thinner in a week, covered in snotty tissues, still blaming myself.

I thought I will be alone forever. I felt stuck, angry, resentful, confused… every adjective imaginable in a Thesaurus.

On top of it all, we were supposed to go to Vegas together two weeks later for conventions we both had. Obviously he kept the room he booked and I almost cancelled my trip as I struggled to pull off a hotel during a busy, overpriced weekend. However, I managed to get a sick suite and got my ass to sin city for some networking and decompression.

Photo by Daniil Vnoutchkov on Unsplash

The alcohol wasn’t so helpful though as it revealed my grief. I attempted flirting, but ended up in my room alone crying over him. I did get hit on quite a bit though, which gave me a nice little ego boost.

In the end, the convention turned out amazing, expanding my Rolodex beyond belief. I know for certain the outcome was stronger than had we still been together. I was no longer limited by his doubt toward me nor desperate for validation. And let’s be honest, It’s Vegas…You don’t bring sand to the beach.

Subsequently, I got super adventurous and spontaneous and decided to book a last minute trip with the girls to Italy. It was overseas that I came back to life. I guess the pasta helped a bit, too.Living in LA you have such a carb deficit you lose serotonin.

All of a sudden I was bouncing around the scenic Amalfi coast, sipping wine and snapping photos for my Instagram. But I still thought of him and found it hard to even look at another man. I had zero interest even though my girlfriends were making their mark about town.

Photo by silvia trigo on Unsplash

But as the days passed, thinking of him became less and less.

Months later I tapped into my creative side again which was long suppressed. I was overdue to pick up a pen (or laptop) again and write. I was on fire writing nonstop…Feeling a resurgence of a part of me I deeply missed.

I shared my writing with family and friends. My mom said she loved it- Well of course she did, she’s my mom. But my best friend is German, blunt and tells me like it is. She would have said this is crap, don’t waste your time. But she loved my work and related to my stories. I came to realize so did everyone else. Becoming cognizant that I wasn’t alone. Everyone has endured some sort of romantic turbulence or uncertainty.

My best friend actually is the one who inspired me to continue on my path. She was endless support- Not only being an active reader of my literature, but also fusing our creative minds. She is an amazing photographer and we dived into these elements together.

She also had started going to NYC for work and insisted I come, knowing my love affair with the city. She confessed she was moving back and I should join. I said,

“I wish more than anything! But how? I can’t afford it. My real estate deals are not closing. Don’t think I can make due. Maybe I’m not good enough just like my Ex thought.”

She stopped my nonsense right away with a figurative slap in the face and a bottle of Rosé as we plotted our ambitious move.

Somehow the impossible no longer seemed impossible.Between her kicking me in the tuchas to trust the process and a little luck, my dream started coming to life.

Timing had it that I was invited to a big real estate holiday mixer while in NYC. Even though my ambition to realty tapered off, I felt inclined to go and mingle.(Besides I had just recovered from the flu so my tight dress fit quite nice). I attended and was the belle of the ball. Every yarmulke in the room surrounded me and I felt like my old confident self.

One person in particular changed my life and made me smile again. He noticed me from across the room and basically said,

“Everyone wants to talk to you…I have to know who you are and what you do.”

I honestly thought it was a joke. My first instinct was,

“Who set you up to this and what are your intentions?”

But he simply saw in me what I forgot. To make a long story short I began tapping into my network collaborating on deals. By New Year I was officially offered to work in NYC.

All of a sudden my lifelong dream was coming together and with an amazing job and partner behind it, giving me faith and stability in the transition.

When things are meant to be, it all just flows without a current pushing you back. The relationship was like a bad wave that knocked me out of my raft. Okay, enough reference to battling the open waters. But the relationship was just so difficult that it wasn’t meant to be.

Whereas this monumental change of moving across country fell into my lap at record speed! I was learning an abundance of new information and with ease. Things that never interested me all of a sudden became interesting and I craved becoming stronger in my craft.

I was motivated to work hard again and certain it would be rewarded. For the first time in awhile, I enjoyed real estate because I finally had the tools and support I was missing.

So this whole story brings me to this moment. A sunny, hot 84 degrees in late January. That is not a typo, you read that correct- January…in Los Angeles. I was taking a break from packing to walk my dog Milo.

All of a sudden as sweat dripped in my eye, I got it. I finally got it. I felt gratitude for meeting my Ex, for the relationship and its lessons, including the timing of the breakup. Nothing was an accident… Everything was designed to bring me to this blissful awakening.

I realized I had to go through such a low point to come out stronger. To value myself, who I am, what I want and don’t want out of life and relationships. To not fear or put myself down. To go after my dreams. To see myself in the amazing light others hold me in.  Such clarity. I almost forgot I was holding a warm bag of poop from my Bichon.

So literally and figuratively I let that shit go! If we stayed together I would have been stuck in a loveless relationship in a city I don’t even like. I stopped blaming myself and my ex for why it didn’t workout. I stopped resenting him and questioning my character and my future.

I took a deep breath and felt a pep in my step. Thing really fell into a place…an apartment in Tribeca, incredible job, and attracting the right people into my life.

A contagious, wonderful domino effect of potential and purpose.

I am going after all my dreams, not holding back. Hashtag No regrets…I’m moving to NYC.

Photo by Aaron Burson on Unsplash