My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer around my freshman year in college.
It’s a terrible disease and it was very strenuous on everyone, it tested bonds and relationships as we tried to get over this hurdle. Luckily my mother beat the cancer and survived.
The thing about these things is that it teaches you and makes you realize how fragile and mortal you are. We are but specks of dust in the universe. My mother walked away understanding that you only get to live once on this beautiful planet so you have to make your life count. Don’t waste your time doing something that makes you unhappy, there’s no time to waste for things like that. Fall passionately in love, do the things you’ve always wanted to do: sing, dance, go travel, whatever it is just do it.
Although she still understands that working and having a career is also very important (being a chronic workaholic herself) but cancer made her open her eyes to see that life isn’t just about making money and hoarding it. You have to learn to balance your life so that you get to fully experience different things around you. Find a job that you love so that it’s not a chore to wake up every morning, hug your loved ones more, eat more good food, etc. It doesn’t have to be rich and lavish ideas like travel the world (although that would be really nice), instead it could be as simple as travel the woods of your backyard or go downtown and explore. If you want something, chase after it.
This is especially true when it came down to taking a leap for love. If you know that you’re unhappy in your relationship and you’ve tried everything to fix it and it’s still broken, it’s okay to walk away because your happiness matters too. It’s like throwing more money at a broken car when you could’ve invested that money in a newer [used] car. How do I know you as? Because I’ve been there.
My last relationship lasted about three years or so, I was 18 when I first met ex-boyfriend– he was 23 at the time. He seemed so old then, so much more mature. He had a really stable career for someone who had recently graduated. While he wasn’t the most attractive looking man, he had the one thing I really wanted in a man: ambition and career oriented because my parents had always been like that and I grew accustomed looking for that trait in others.
He was a hard worker, so hard that his career was basically his life. He worked late and often took trips for weeks. Yet in return, I lived comfortably. He showered me with gifts, had his own nice condo, took me traveling (due to his work) and took me to nice places to eat and vacations. Life was grand wasn’t it? I thought so too. But when you’re 18, life was a little different. You’re fresh out of high school and you want to take the world by storm. You want to live the college life, party and go crazy during spring break. You want to make memories and live life in a series of rainbows. I hadn’t realized that wasn’t where my ex stood in life. He was 23, graduated with adult responsibilities of a mortgage, bills to pay, and getting to work on time.
I tried to do what I thought was the right thing by dropping my life for his, work around his whims and work but it strained our relationship. His idea of fun on a normal weekend was either going furniture shopping for the house or staying home and playing WoW all day while I stood by his side. I never saw my friends, I never went out to do the things I wanted to do. I was basically the stay-at-home girlfriend. I became restless and unhappy. It was then I met my current boyfriend, David. He thought I was weird at first, but we eventually clicked and became fast friends. While he lacked ambition he was so much more adventurous, something I was dying to look for in my ex. David was open to exploring, doing things like hiking mountains, shredding the slopes and riding a motorcycle. He tempted the fun side of life and made living exciting and colorful. In the process I fell so hard for him that I kind of never got back up from it.
It made me realize between 18 and 23 my ex and I had a lifetime of differences between us. We stood on contrasting grounds in life, our viewpoints vastly different. He was an adult and I was still merely a child in life who was still finding her place in the world (although I’m still searching at 25 LOL). Even though I was chasing after him, I wasn’t going to catch up. There was always going to be that gap. At this point in my life, I did some unsavory things that I’m not proud of, but it’s made me who I am now and I look back at it and it’s taught me a plethora of life lessons.
It took me awhile to gain the courage to break it off with the him (the ex) because I was so comfortable where I was. I was scared to take the leap off the cliff and the chance that I might just continue falling and hit rock bottom. But I was so unhappy and I also didn’t want to look over my shoulder and wonder: What if?
Because that’s what people do. They leap, and hope to God they can fly, because otherwise you just drop like a rock, wondering the whole way down, why in the *hell* did I jump? But here I am, Sarah, falling, and the only one that makes me feel like I can fly… is you.
David always worried that I wouldn’t be happy because he wasn’t as well off and he was very aware of the fact that my entire family were very ambitious people, but he wasn’t. It didn’t bother me as much as I thought. I don’t care about money, as it was never an issue with me. While yes, ambition was something I thought was a must in a mate, but when I traded that off for the happiness that David gave me, it was all worth it in the end because he’s the one that made me want to fly when I took that leap. ♡
Just remember that you deserve to be happy too.