Facebook memories crack me up. Particularly anything from 2008, which was apparently my year of cryptic messages mostly geared at a guy I was dating at the time. It was also home to the real winning status update of “is meh,” which I used about once a week. Because teenagers. But today, instead of scrolling to the bottom of the “memories” page to see what other slightly horrifying things I wrote about 8 years ago, I saw a post from 2014 that caught my eye.
Two years ago, I was having the worst day ever. And I had to smile when I realized what I was posting about, because despite that bad day 2 years ago, I’m so flippin’, ridiculously, stupid happy with my life now. What happened two years ago probably wouldn’t have crossed my mind if it weren’t for me scrolling through Facebook.
I broke up with a guy I’d been dating for about two years on this day in 2014. After months of significant ups and downs because of my UC diagnosis, that was the cherry on top of a really, really tough year. It wasn’t like I didn’t know it was coming—I’d been quietly preparing myself for the break-up for quite a while before it actually happened. But as anyone who has been through a breakup can understand—there is nothing quite like a broken heart. Slowly but surely, I healed and moved on with my life.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while now (there’s maybe 6 of you, ha), you might remember this next phase of my life because I chronicled my mis-adventures of dating on Tinder here a few times. I started running and committing more to staying healthy and on-track. I put myself in my first long-term remission from UC after the break-up and managed to prioritize myself and rediscover my needs. Ironically, I started dating a guy that I met on Tinder. Even funnier: he has become my closest friend and confidant. He’s also a total babe. :) We are moving in together next year. Most importantly, during all of this I told myself that I would never again let myself become a second priority in my own life. I owed myself more than that.
In the last two years I’ve ran in 4 half marathons, committed to a healthier lifestyle, and found a man that loves and supports all the pieces that make me, me. Tomorrow I open a show I’m in at the Lincoln Center with an amazing cast—something I haven’t done in 8 years. Life goes on. There’s a part of me that wishes I could visit the me from two years ago and say “Hey you! You’re going to be fine! You’ll get in remission from UC! You’ll find an amazing man! You’re going to be in your first musical in almost a decade! You’re going to run flippin’ 4 HALF MARATHONS!” But even if I had that chance, I don’t know if I would. Everything happens for a reason. Out of the worst, most miserable days come some of your best. I don’t think I’d want to deprive myself of all of the learning that came from stumbling through the few months post-break-up. Perspective is key, here. It’s not always going to be rainbows and butterflies. But there is power in finding the motivation and internal strength to push forward.
If you’re going through a tough time right now, know that it will end. Know that you’ll come out on the other side of this stronger, happier, and more satisfied with your life than you ever thought possible. I hope someday you wake up and log in to Facebook to see memories from this day and realize that you hadn’t thought about that heartache in a long time. I hope you see the pain, see how far you’ve come, and smile.