While in the relationship, my ex helped me grow.
My ex taught me that it’s okay to leave some people behind, that there are always new people to meet. My ex taught me what it’s like to motivate someone and how to let someone motivate you. He taught me that I could prove people wrong. He taught me how to defy expectations.
My ex taught me how to love someone. He taught me how to care for another person more than I care for myself. He taught me how to communicate and how to listen.
After we broke up, I still continued to learn.
My ex taught me that I’m stronger than I ever knew. He taught me that you should never let one person hold you back from living out your dreams. That you should never let anyone else dictate your life. That there are people willing to pick up your pieces, even if you didn’t treat them right in the first place. He taught me that there is so much more to the world.
And my ex taught me how to be broken. And how to recover from that brokenness. He taught me how to be completely miserable, sad, and useless. Then he taught me how to move on from that feeling. He taught me how to grow and learn on my own.
Though the ways I learned these lessons were painful, they were necessary. Because now I’m better. Now I’m moving on. And the positively reinforced lessons, as well as the negatively reinforced ones, made me who I am today.
Someone who can stand on her own.
I won’t thank you for what you taught me about myself – but one day I think I’ll thank myself. For pushing forward, despite all the odds.