The Place We’ve All Been

“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness, and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realize our worth and value, but because we finally realize our own.”-Unknown

It was a revelation that only comes when something bad happens.

That heavy, dejected sadness that resides in our chest, sleeps in our soul and makes our heart its’ home.

We’re unprotected… alone….angry… overwhelmed with constant thoughts of  “What did I do wrong?” Why was I misled? Why did this happen to me? Again?

And it doesn’t end there. This is only the beginning of many sleepless nights full of that loveless feeling that tosses our dreams and grieves for the the ghost of “What could have been?”

And then we wake, feeling exhausted and distracted. Yet somehow we force ourselves to deal with the ordinary,the working, talking, doing – all while holding an umbrella to shield us from the cloud of disbelief. That disbelief that we don’t talk about, because we can’t bare to see that sad, pitied look that only comes after saying, “I’m not good. My heart is broken.”

It was a day after a night, much like the one that I just described, where I looked in the mirror and said, “I do not want to feel like this again.” I didn’t say anything. I just let my words hang in the air for a second, letting them breathe, marinate and become more familiar. And then I tried a variation. I said, “I WILL NOT feel this way again.” And for the first time in awhile, I felt relief.

We’ve all done it. We’ve all walked away. We’ve all torched our faithfulness, joined the army of quitters and marched to the rhythm of “I give up.” We’ve quit jobs, fired friends and left relationships with nothing but cries of “At least I tried” lying in our wake. But what happens when we walk away from something that even the most cynical people believe in? What happens when we walk away from the possibility of love and make peace with the fact that instead of finding our soulmate, we find the will to give up?

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J is a happily single 30-something currently documenting her stories of love and loss. Her blog, “I Quit Dating” features excerpts of her journey as she reflects on the lessons learned from the men she loved. A complete collection of essays detailing her walk away from finding Mr. Right in order to pursue a more fulfilled life will be self-published next year. She recently moved from Los Angeles to New York. Contact: iquitdating (@)

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