Make it Matter

IMG_5974                When I started my blog I started with the intentions of sharing my journey in Thailand with my friends and family. I knew it would be hard to communicate and share all the details of life with everyone I cared for half way across the world. Technology is an incredible tool that like most things in life can be abused or can be used to enhance the lives of others. Once I began to share my stories, experiences, thoughts and feelings, I realized how powerful it is to share your life with others. Sometimes people share too much and are too concerned with what others think about their life. For me, I focused on all of the positive feedback I was receiving and how my story and my words were making a difference in the life of others. Once I started getting into my own blog, I spent a lot of time reading other’s work too. I began following many personal travel blogs, lifestyle blogs, poets, DIY experts, foodies…you name it. I have a vast range of interests and I respect and admire an assortment of expressions of life. I truly am awed and fascinated by people and what makes them tick. Blogging is an incredible way to jump into the driver’s seat of someone else’s life for 5-10 minutes and take a moment to immerse yourself in their reality. If you immerse yourself in someone else’s reality, you feel more connected to your own and more cognizant that the dreams you have and the struggles you face are not the only thing that matter.

While I was living in Thailand I went through many personal life changes. I got to know myself in a way that I didn’t even know was necessary. I suffered a life changing heartbreak that for the most part I lived through privately. I was given many “gifts”, as I fondly call them, of articles written about heartbreak, suffering loss, and finding yourself; but at that time I wasn’t ready or willing to air any “dirty laundry” through my own words. When you are going through something so personal, it helps to share but there is a very thin line between expressing yourself and being distasteful. I was raised in a manner to know that if I didn’t have anything nice to say I shouldn’t say at all. But I wrote every day for myself. I used my words to integrate all of the emotion I was experiencing into concrete expressions. I learned that as a person I not only like writing, I need it. I still was keeping up and writing my blog. I was being honest about my struggles but not in an overly explicit manner. I wasn’t able to comprehend my thoughts or understand how I would move forward in life so I chose to take that part of the journey privately.

Today, I am here to share what I have learned not because I need to but because I want to be that “gift” for someone else. Once you are on the advice giving side again and not the advice seeker, you tend to come full circle with situations. This article is about my heartbreak, but it is not about you. It is about me. If you are going to piss off a woman you shouldn’t piss off a woman who can write. Just ask any of Taylor Swift’s ex boyfriends. If you have the balls to do it, you should have the balls to read about it. And not just read about it, but read an eloquently constructed piece that evokes genuine emotion and empathy and possibly scorn from anyone who reads it. But again this piece isn’t about you…it’s about me. I actually wrote this blog post months ago, first with notes in my notepad on my phone, and then on my computer. To my surprise, I have never had one entry lost or deleted. I write everything on a word document and then post it as a draft on WordPress and then publish it. For some reason, when I went back to look for this entry, it was nowhere to be found. I think it was a sign that my thoughts had not come full circle and I wasn’t ready to synthesize my experiences into a meaningful, but honest piece. Today I am more than ready.

Heartbreak is an all-encompassing emotion. The only emotion that I can equate it to is grief. It is powerful beyond measure. It causes physical pain, and sadness so strong that you can’t stare at anything for too long without crying. It comes in waves and it is relentless. Both emotions are topics or avenues that lend to advice. It doesn’t matter if you are seeking the advice or not, but your friends and family, co workers and strangers you meet on the train will be there to tell you their thoughts on getting over a breakup or getting over the loss of a loved one. I experienced the emotion of grief with a front row seat when I lost my best friend to suicide at 16 years old. At the tender age of 16, I learned what it meant to have your world turned upside down and be left to pick up the pieces. For the rest of my life, it shaped me into a different, more thoughtful creature. I experienced heartbreak at 23, living in an already upside down world in a tiny city in South East Asia. Once you have these experiences and feel these emotions; you then have options when it comes to the pain. You have to feel the pain. It is relentless. But what you DO with the pain is what matters. Pain motivates me. It pushes me to answer questions about the world and about myself in a way that nothing else can. I don’t feel sorry for myself. I don’t want sympathy. I have used pain in my life as a platform for self-discovery, a call to arms because I realize how truly precious life and relationships are. Instead of getting bitter… I just got better. It wasn’t easy but unfortunately the most influential and powerful experiences never are.

When I went through heartbreak, it was exceptionally hard to swallow because I didn’t see it coming. I gave my all and I truly have no regrets. I never slipped into the vicious cycle of the blame game. I fought until I believed I had nothing left to give and no other way to continue to be my whole self and progress in my current relationship. I learned a new definition of freedom, self-reliance, self-expression and self worth. I was thousands of miles from home and basically everyone I cared about, but I learned to express myself through my writing, through my teaching and through traveling. I had an incredible support system of friends, coworkers and students in Thailand who constantly made my day without even knowing it. I lived in a culture that embraced the philosophy of, “Mai Pen Rai” which doesn’t have an exact correlation in English but represents the idea of “whatever will be, will be. “ We shouldn’t worry about things because there is impermanence to everything and everyone. I proudly wear that saying tattooed on my ribcage so I never forget that no matter what happens, we can only control so much and we mustn’t worry about the future. That is a sure fire way to spoil the present.

Looking back, at the time I felt an extreme sense of loss, but in hindsight I see that I have done nothing but gain from that experience of heartbreak. I gained freedom, understanding, power and empathy. I was reminded why following your OWN dreams and heartbeat is so much more fulfilling and satisfying then changing your path due to someone else. If you are reading this today and you are feeling heart broken, I urge you to take that pain and make it matter. Let the pain push you to be better. Let the pain push you to find your path. I recently entered into the business side of the fitness world and I see so many people struggle with what they know they need vs. what they want at the moment. Discipline is an incredible life skill to learn that positively affects your personal, professional, spiritual and mental well-being. We all deserve to have a life we want, but you must be strong enough to do what you need to get you there. Figuring out what exactly it is that you need may be the hardest part, but being conscious and constantly seeking self-improvement is all you can ask for. No one is invincible and instead of running from your insecurities and shortcomings face them head on. Today I am writing this for you, anyone who needs to hear it, and a constant reminder to myself, “If you are going through hell, keep going.” Share your story, own your pain, and make it matter. You truly never know how your story can be a gift to someone else. Pass it on ❤

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