This post brought to you by the 3 best loves (and losses) I have ever known.
The first, where he thought he was losing me.
The second, where I thought I was losing him.
The third, where I thought I lost myself.
"Everything is 20/20 in hindsight" is no understatement to how this chapter of my life played out.


“Its' sparkle texture background represents that although a heart has been hurt,
it can always shine again."

Introducing, the first man I fell in love with.
Awards for "college sweetheart", "the first boy I lived with", and "most cookie-cutter" go to this relationship.
We had it all - the fairy tale. We met in college, had good jobs, our own place, we were almost engaged.
We were together for 3.5 years, and at the end of March 2012, things officially ended with the first love of my life.
I couldn't help but feel my heart tugging from my chest as I turned away and walked back up the stairs.
The softened "I'm sorry..." spoken from my lips and the, "Me too.", spoken from his, echoing in my ears.
My body began filling with that 'fight or flight' response as I watched him back out the driveway – wondering if I had made the right decision or not. 

Flash forward to the second man I fell in love with.
Awards for "most challenging", "most inspiring", and "most transformative" go to this relationship.
We lived together. We learned together. We laughed together. We cried together.
And after months of the most limit-testing emotional circumstances, we ended things together after 2.5 years.
This relationship... this man... have taught me beyond words the true meaning of following your dreams.
Overall, our story is nothing short of a grand adventure - I say "is" because our story is not yet over.
We agreed to work on ourselves, to be better for each other.
We are still best friends. We are still partners in this life.
And that, is a truly beautiful thing.

... and somewhere in between, is where I lost myself.

When it comes to relationships, so much of what I know comes from these two experiences.
In my first relationship, I got frustrated, I got tired, and I became distant.
But so much of my optimism and so much of my love of adventure was gained during this time.
In my second relationship, I became paranoid, I was depressed, and I lost myself somewhere in between.
But so much of my strength and so much of my spirit was created through those experiences.
In the process of losing myself, I was able to rediscover who I was, what I enjoyed, what interests I could have.
I became reacquainted with the passions that were sleeping in my soul.

I could call all these excuses now that I have a better understanding of how much patience real love takes.
I lost my first love, I lost my second love, and in the end, I lost myself during the process of it all.

One thing I know for sure though is, over the past 3 years, I have endured "A Heavy, Heavy Heart".

I have not spoken to my first love since early 2014. I am still very close with my second love and we are rekindling.
It is late 2014 and I have begun to recognize myself again. I am learning to love myself again.
[Update: It is mid 2015 and my second love and I are officially back together. ♥]

"You must first learn to love oneself before learning to love another."

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