When I look back at everything I thought I knew, at how hard I fought to keep the ones I was never meant to be with, the ones who could never be capable of giving me what I needed more than anything else, I can only say one thing:
Thank you. For the broken hearts.
For the ones that didn't want me.
For the ones I couldn't make love me.
For the ones I was never enough for no matter how hard I tried to be.
For every single lesson I learned along the way that brought me to this place I am today.
You see, I know more than a thing or two about not getting something I wanted so bad. It was almost always in the form of someone I didn't think I could live without. From the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of getting married to my fairy tale prince, to someone who would make all my dreams come true and love me for me.
Time and time I would find him — that fairy tale prince disguised as a mortal man, and I would embark on a relationship with him that had all the makings of my own happily ever after. Until the reality would sink in, each and every time, so it seemed, when he would become human, when I would prove to be less than perfect, and we would both find ourselves going our separate ways.
Only I didn't want to. I never wanted to.
On the contrary, I was the one that kept trying long after there was nothing left to try, refusing to give up. I was the one who believed that love could conquer all, that any love worth having was worth fighting for, and that anything was possible if you believed in the power of love.
But I was the only one.
What I hadn't learned yet was that love won't conquer all if one or both people don't want it to. What I hadn't discovered yet was that you can't be the only one doing all the fighting for that love. And what I hadn't accepted was that anything is only possible in love if both people take real steps to make that happen.
Small details, maybe; but to me, they formed the basis of my beliefs and everything I thought I knew about love.
I thought I knew exactly what I was looking for.
I had my list. I knew what I wanted in a man. I knew what I wanted him to be.
And I knew just how amazing we would be together.
Oh, I found him alright. Exactly what I thought I wanted. Everything that I thought I needed. Until I finally learned the hard way about letting go of someone who can never be all that only you can see. Until I finally was forced to face the reality that I had no idea what was best for me.
In one of the darkest moments I've ever experienced, I finally let it all go.
And from that place of letting go, of accepting myself in all my humanness, I learned to trust that someone or something bigger might just know better than me.
I took a chance on me for a change. I took a chance on the unknown. I chose me instead of another him to fill that void within me.
And that's when something began to change.
First, I met myself. My real self. And then I met him.
A different kind of him. The kind of him that could only be the complement to me.
He was everything I wasn't. And everything I needed. And together, when we slowly let ourselves get to know each other over time, a love was birthed unlike any I had ever experienced with any other kind of man.
The real kind. The only kind worth making a life with. The kind that's worth waiting for. The kind that's worth every bit of heartbreak that it took to get to that place.
To whoever or whatever it was that knew better than I did. To the
Universe, to God, to Love, to Fate, to whatever one believes in, I'm more grateful than I could have ever been.
Because now I can say with a confidence like no other that I'm so very grateful for the thing - for every single one of those things - that I didn't get that I thought I wanted so badly. They would unequivocally have been the best things I never had.
No matter how blind I was to this at the time.
And so it will be for you, too.
by Jane Garapick
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