Loving college

Maggie is an Iowa native and now attends school at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where she majors in Human Exercise Science. Maggie is the youngest of five children. She began writing as a hobby when she was 15, as she kept a personal online blog. She still keeps up with her blog weekly, and writes about the daily life occurrences of a college student. Maggie is a Crimsonette for the Million Dollar Band at the University of Alabama, and a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Her hobbies include yoga, cooking, baton twirling, going to farmers markets, pageants, and watching movies. Her personal blog can be found at mmgehlsen.blogspot.com.

There’s something in the water, I think. People I know are breaking up left and right. People in serious, long-term, committed relationships.

I guess I should begin by stating that I just got out of a 14 month relationship. Point blank, it’s not fun. It hasn’t been fun. In fact, I am still able to actually count the hours since the break-up itself. And I guess that’s also my reasoning for this post. I’m much better at putting down words than saying them, so commence therapy.

In the past few days, I think I’ve really learned a lot about people (I know some of you are laughing thinking that what I know now will double in the next few years– and I know that, too). People I’ve known, people I knew, people I wish would make an appearance again in my life (but won’t), people I love, people I cherish, people I really, really dislike. I’ve thought about it all. I guess I would like to think of this post as a very friendly reminder to anyone who has or is going through this that you aren’t alone. You (and I) are worth much more than how we probably have felt about ourselves recently or ever.

To begin, I must start out by saying that being in love is a wonderful thing. Being in love brings out the best, the worst, the things you never knew about yourself, the things you never knew about your partner, what have you.

I love being in love.

And I guess that was my problem from the get-go. If you’re anything like me, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. You see, I fight for things until they are so far deep in the ground. And eventually, those things can’t be dug up anymore. They’re either *un-dig-up-able*, or they’re solved. The problem with love is that I don’t do well with being let down. And no, that’s not a problem with me. That’s a problem with love. You’ll get let down. You’ll be failed by people who swore they would never fail you in a million (and a half) years. You’ll work really hard at something for a decent amount of time, and you’ll be failed. And what might be the worst part of love, is falling out of it. But that doesn’t happen very easily; it doesn’t happen when your partner has a couple rough months. It doesn’t happen when the going gets tough. It happens when one person decides to give up.

Now, this doesn’t always happen, and despite my ounce of bitterness, I still have a respect for love. But in my scenario, that’s what happened. One person gave up and then everything we worked for fizzled away (and you guessed it, the person who gave up was not in fact yours truly). I’m not saying this is the answer for all break-ups. That this is THE reason why people aren’t with their previous partners anymore. But I’m saying this because this is what happened to me. It’s incredibly sad when the person you once loved turned into someone else; or perhaps (& even better!) they suggested you try to “re-earn” their love because you yourself had a rough couple months with various aspects of your life.

Well, my friends, no one reserves the right to take away their love for someone and return it when they “get happier” as a form of benevolent currency. That is not love. That is pure and utter bullshit. I guess that’s when I realized it was over. If he couldn’t love me because he had so much unhappiness and care only for himself, than that was his battle. Not mine.

But hey, this is life. This is what happens to people, even the most meticulous and pragmatic of people. And for all my friends out there who have experienced what this is like (by “this” I am referring to heartbreak), you are not alone. Your feelings, concerns, and pressures don’t make you less. They are normal. They are actual. And they are legitimate.

If you’re like me and had some internal issues that “caused” your breakup from your partner, AGAIN: please know that no person on this planet reserves the right to remove their love and “give it back” once you “get happier” or get through whatever you’re experiencing. Again, not love. Bullshit. Most people in the world are deserving of unconditional love from a willing partner. And those who have broken others, whether they intended to or not, this will probably come back to you. You will more than likely be broken by someone else throughout your existence. If you aren’t, you will heretofore be known as the winners of the karma lottery.

Anyway, I guess what I’m getting at here is that I don’t completely resent my ex. I don’t think he’s a terrible person with no soul. He allowed me the capacity to care about someone more than I ever cared about myself. What I do think, however, is that he won’t ever love someone until he realizes he has a lot of growing up to do. Something that I, thankfully, have already done– and for that, I am forever indebted to my incredible family… you are the reason for that. Thank you, and I love you.

In what my sister Leah refers to as one of my mother’s wisest moments, she told my sister that married people (or those in committed relationships) eventually fall out of love with one another. The lucky ones cyclically fall back in love. It’s true; people have bad weeks, months, years. Life quite literally happens. And for those who have experienced what I have, know that your future partner should love you in spite of the stresses you may have experienced/will experience, or in some cases, should love you because of them.

So as much as we all want to be bitter (because believe me, the urge is there), I think a big “thank you” should be given to the people who have done the deed of breaking our hearts. “A thank you?” you may ask.

Yes, a thank you.

A thank you for allowing us to see our self-worth in its entirety (because I know mine was certainly damaged). A thank you for allowing us to move onto someone who actually deserves us. A thank you for giving us the opportunity to be as selfish as they were, and give our happiness the front seat. A thank you for the chance to fall in love and know what that feels like, and a BIG thank you for allowing us to know that next time, it’ll be even better.

Kudos and love to my friends. You’re all beautiful, you’re all worth it, you are all deserving.

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