On Christmas Eve of 2018, I received a series of messages and screenshots under a fake Instagram account created by my partner’s old girlfriend, whom he had apparently been seeing off/on for our entire 9 years together.
A few hours later, she came knocking on our door, laying out for display the increasingly intricate web of lies that I had spent so many years believing as he and I built an entire life together. In a few split seconds, my perspective of a man I had loved with every fiber of my being was permanently altered.
A sudden state of complete and utter calm overtook me almost immediately; probably a combination of shock and despair as my life as I knew it crumbled to the ground in one fell swoop.
And yet, there was some tiny part of me that recognized in that heart-shattering moment that I would survive this – even potentially manage to come back from it bigger and better.
I ended the relationship; our entire foundation had been built on lies and there was no coming back from it for me. In the months that followed, increasingly shocking, Hollywood-level details of lies were uncovered, and I had to keep reminding myself that this wouldn’t last forever.
I gave up nearly everything, selling our house, my car, and getting rid of almost all I owned to leave the country and start travelling the world solo full time, which has ended up turning into living in Bali for an extended period.
I opened myself up to making the most incredible connections and meeting new people, people that would never have fit into my old life.
I doubled down on building my business, and found an enormous sense of purpose in sharing my story from a place of service and impact. Almost immediately when things fell apart, I felt that I would need to share my story when I was ready. Not out of revenge, not because I was trying to bring anyone else down, but because I needed to give the truth words. To speak the truth into existence from amongst the mountains of lies upon which the last near-decade of my life had been built without my knowledge or consent.
Most of all, I wanted someone out there to find even an ounce of hope in my story, to potentially lighten the load of their own experiences and unlock some of the isolation that comes with traumatic experiences of any kind.
The relationship exploding the way it did and my decision to walk away was the best thing to ever happen to me, but only because I chose that outcome and refused to accept anything less of myself.
There was this deep understanding from within me that I was meant for more. That this catastrophic event was actually happening for me, not to me, and I was standing on the precipice of by far the most pivotal moment in my life to date. I could continue to choose to accept less than I deserved, allow fear to suck the joy out of me, and to live a half-life of allowing the same treatment over and over again while expecting different results.
Or I could fulfill what I felt called to do, create a greater purpose for myself from my circumstances, and take control of my own life to see where the adventure would take me.
I traded the illusion of safety and certainty for the abyss of the unknown, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Those unknowns have made me trust myself in ways I never did before. When problems inevitably arise or situations present themselves, I’m calmer now than I ever thought I could be. The fiery, hot-tempered version of myself from a decade ago is still wondering sometimes who this new and improved model is that (usually) thinks before she speaks and is able to handle situations previously impossible to have dreamt up, even in my worst nightmares.
As much as I gave up, I gained a life that I had barely allowed myself to dream about, a life that would never have been possible as long as I remained in that relationship.
When we’re presented with these pivotal moments in our lives, we can often feel them deep in our soul. The weight of the importance of a single moment in time hangs in the balance, and there’s this realization that what we do next could change the entire course of our lives and of those around us.
I’m grateful for the way things ended because it held up a mirror to reflect what I had been tolerating, the old wounds I needed to heal, and the work that needed to be done for me to reach my full potential.
No matter your circumstances or choices, you have a courage and strength within you that will only reveal itself in the face of fear, often when you feel your weakest with nothing left to give. It’s in those moments that you learn the most about who you are and can step into the full version of the person you’re capable of becoming.