A dear friend of mine, Kimberly, just broke up with her boyfriend recently. It was hard to see her cry. She smiled and was strong when recounting her story, but the underlying hurt was still there, raw and undulating. In a brief moment while she looked out the window, the emotions emerged and the tears gushed a drop at a time. Crying is good. There’s no shame in it. I cry along with the people I care about, because their pain is my pain. These are the things I want to tell you, Kimberly.
You are enough. I always admired the way you bring joy to people, and smile even in difficult times. Remember when we were practising for cheerleading on Sports Day? You cheered the loudest, and brought so much enthusiasm to the whole class. People followed your lead because your broad smile and big voice was contagious. You have such a generous heart and that’s a wonderful gift.
People like to spend time with you. You always focus on the positive. You are tenacious and hardworking, and never gave up. I remember those yellow single-lined note-books you used for math, and you being meticulous about the type of blue ink pen that went along with it. You, naturally good with numbers filled those yellow pages with your slanted handwriting and of course excelled at the subject, even when the syllabus was ridiculous and the material tough. I liked seeing how your mind worked on solving a calculus problem, those brows slightly knitted.
No wonder people always included you in their bridal party, and choosing you as their maid-of-honour. Yes, you may not always be on time, but you are always genuine and supportive. Opinionated but always with the best ideas and best intentions. Honest and truth-seeking, and not afraid to share what’s really going on, even when it hurts. You’re a true friend, going the distance to keep in touch, to share, to keep a friendship alive, even oceans apart and miles away.
I know what you think. I know the doubt and the questioning. As if a break-up is evidence that something is wrong. You are enough. I want you to know that there’s no need for the self-doubt, because you alone are enough. You don’t need a relationship to validate you, or someone to fit into your life to show how amazing you are. Because you alone are enough. Kind enough, smart enough, beautiful enough. Any guy would be lucky to be with you.
Remember making it to business school, by your brilliance? Remember breaking out of the small city and seeing the world, your dream coming true? It was all you, your hard work, your faith in it all happening. You are enough, you have a strength and a boldness which no one can take away. When the self-doubt sets in and the sadness revisits, just remember that you were already living the dream before anyone came into your life to share it.
It didn’t work out because he wasn’t the right one. When he does come along, and it’s just a matter of time, you’ll understand why all the others fell away.
Love, but love yourself first.
Faith in you, always.