You are never stuck in your situation. You are never obligated to continue on an uncomfortable path. You are allowed to change course. You are allowed to rearrange your priorities. You are allowed to walk away from a situation stunting your growth. You are allowed to choose the hardest option, the unpopular option, in order to reach a place of peace.
I am slowly learning to see the silver lining in breakups. Losing love is something to mourn — but it is also something to celebrate. It means you are freed from a dead-end relationship and can search for another one that will provide you with everything you need, everything your last relationship was lacking. Breaking up means you are given a fresh chance. It means you get to try again, to feel butterflies again, to share first kisses again.
Even though walking away from someone you love is the most difficult thing you will ever have to do, I am slowly learning to see the beauty in breakups. I am slowly learning to see the benefits they can bring. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time, your breakup is going to be good for you. It is going to strengthen you.
Breakups completely upend your world — and that is not always negative. When the person you’ve spent ninety-nine percent of your time with leaves, you have hours of untouched time. You can do anything you want with that time. You can travel. You can meet up with friends you haven’t seen. You can pursue a new passion. You can restart your search for love.
Breakups encourage reflection. They push you to take a step back and examine your life, your choices, your paths. They make you wonder whether you are living up to your full potential. They make you reevaluate what means the most to you, what you care about deeply and what you would be okay living without.
Losing someone you love leads to a massive change in your lifestyle, which is why it gets you thinking about other changes you could make. After a breakup, you might make a small change like dying your hair or updating your wardrobe. Or you might make a bigger change like moving across the country or switching careers.
Breakups remind you the way you are living is not the only way to live. At any point, you can make a change. At any point, everything can be different. You have the power to change paths, even if you have grown comfortable, even if change sounds scary.
Breakups give you a push to revitalize your life. They are an incentive to change the way you have grown used to living. They are a reason to break free from your comfort zone and take more risks.
I am slowly learning to see the beauty in breakups. Losing love is never easy — but it can be a catalyst. It can be the shove you need to send your world hurdling in the right direction.
Holly Riordan is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.