Last month, my (ex) boyfriend and I ended our relationship after almost four years together.
Despite the initial pain of splitting up with someone I care about so much and in admitting failure (a failed relationship is failure all the same) to have an ‘ever after’ relationship at 31, I decided to move on with my life and make it more awesome than ever.
Immediately after the breakup, I got myself sticking to a healthier diet and exercise regime. Before the breakup, my ex had been not-so-subtly complaining about how I’ve let myself go over the years, and I figured that getting into shape is one of the best ways to move on.
I was freelancing full time when the breakup happened. Decidedly, it was easier to be depressed when you’re stuck at home with an irregular paycheque. Luckily, I got myself a new job a few weeks following the breakup and it gave me the emotional pick-me-up that I needed to feel of value again. Nonetheless, I was still thinking about my ex a lot and exactly two weeks after the breakup, I decided to ask him if he’d consider giving us another try.
A day later, he texted me that he thought we’d be better off as friends – with a tiny consolation effort saying ‘if we’re meant to be together, we will be’. Err, ok.
I gave myself a day off to cry. The next day, I went back to plotting my ‘awesome post-breakup life’ plan.
The breakup must’ve carried within it a lucky charm as I found myself landing more and more exciting projects in the weeks that followed: signing a copywriting contract with a telco company, starting on three new event-organizing gigs and as one gig is coming to an end, one client decided that he liked working with me so much that he’s making me business partner for his wedding planner business (the irony!).
If those weren’t enough to make myself feel better, I was recently (like, two days ago) approached with a job offer to work for an international media company. The best part was when I was asked to name my price, and as it turns out, the job is paying twice as much minimum. My self-esteem is over the moon; so is my dad with the prospect of me buying him a boat one day.
As I started to feel better about myself, I decided to test my emotional state again by texting my ex over something random.
As I received his text late at noon (I texted him in the morning), I was suddenly reminded why I was so unhappy in the relationship in the past. My ex, although he was a perfect gentleman with a six-pack abs, lacked a certain dose of ambition and productivity (as depicted by his habit of waking up at noon).
Prior to the breakup, he had been unemployed for two years and despite my efforts to boost his productivity (which included looking for jobs that may interest him and begging my contacts for projects they may need him for), he was ever so complacent with doing so little.
All he wanted was to teach Jiu-Jitsu, train and compete. But as a 34-year-old Blue Belt, I saw a critical need for a backup plan in his life – not that I wasn’t supportive of his passion – but unless you’re a world champion Black belt, I doubt you’d be able to make a comfy living out of Jiu-Jitsu alone.
In the end, I decided that for a girl who works super hard in life and stands on her own two feet, I deserve someone equal. At least, someone who is able to hold onto a stable job and multiple money-making projects while still teaching and training Jiu-Jitsu – someone like me.
I’ve always believed in working harder at something I care about, but this time, I guess it’s only right to shrug it off and abort mission. Besides, I might be moving to another city soon, and I’m sure there won’t be a shortage of hardworking men there.
As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, you bake yourself a New York cheesecake.