Hey old friends, it’s been a while since we last talked.

I have, on paper, a myriad of reasons that could be the reason for my lengthy absence on here; I landed the dream job, I’m commuting like crazy, I have an active social life in Los Angeles, I’m trying to sort out my thoughts, yada yada yada.

But the reality of the situation was, sadly, that writer’s block took over. Not in the normal sense of the term. I write all the time…in my head. I weave sentences together and come up with concepts for essays and pieces that I WANT to write and that get written in my head on my hour+ long commute to work each morning, but I just couldn’t seem to sit down and force myself to put them all down on paper. I think I just hit a point where, after so many people would approach me praising the words I wrote on here, I felt like I wasn’t qualified to write about what’s really been going on in my life lately. My computer literally sat unopened next to my bed for what felt like months.

You see, I felt like I hit a wall. I wouldn’t call it rock bottom, cause for all intents and purposes, I was the same girl. I don’t dabble in drugs, I drink socially (and definitely enjoy a glass of wine or two with dinner), I date occasionally. I was fine. I am fine. I feel fine. I’M FINE!

I’m the kind of girl who loves strategy. I love to try and figure out the steps that need to be taken in order to get to an end goal. Professionally, I have the system down to a science. However, when it came to my personal life, I was completely stuck. For the first time, I couldn’t see an end goal; I was just living in circles without a final goal in sight. I really couldn’t understand why my personal life was just going in this never ending cycle of “sameness”. I was lost.

As for writing? What if my words held no meaning anymore? What if I was the same girl, telling the same story, over and over again? A woe is me tale of a once-upon-a-time heartbreak, which morphed into a saga of self discovery that lead to…what? Nothing had changed. Yes, I moved out of my hometown and started a new chapter of life in the ‘big city’ – but what else in my personal life was DIFFERENT? In that sense, I could still actually be the same sad girl from three years ago.

You guys, I wasn’t fine.

So after a stupid moment of weakness in May, and at the urging of one of my best friends, I started seeking out help. Professional help. Armed with my brand new full hour lunch break and my fresh insurance card, I started the hunt for a therapist I could talk to in order to try and sort out all these thoughts running through my head…the ones I couldn’t seem to bring myself to write down. I found one online, and within the hour, I had an appointment booked with her for the very next day.

They say it takes half the length of a serious relationship to fully recover from it. I’m finally hitting that point right NOW, three and a half years after that fateful month in 2015. What they don’t tell you when you get your heart broken is just how long it can actually take to feel like a normal, functioning human again. They don’t tell you that sometimes, the band-aids you use to fix your wounds are usually the worst possible thing for you. They don’t tell you that it’s easy to fall into the same awful cycles over and over again. They don’t tell you that just because you’ve stopped crying in the work bathroom every day, doesn’t mean you’re all fixed and good to go.

In all honesty, I should have been going to therapy for the entire first year after the break up. But shoulda/coulda/woulda, right? So, that fateful afternoon over happy hour drinks, when my dear friend looked at me sadly and honestly (the sign of a true friend) said, “I don’t know how to help you. It may be time for you to find a therapist.” – I experienced a bit of an existential crisis. It was finally time to rip off those terrible toxic band-aids I had been using to cover up my wounds for so long, once and for all.

It’s now September. And I’ve been to a lot of therapy. A LOT. Fatefully enough, my work surprised us all with sessions of career counseling, which coupled with my weekly therapy sessions, was an added bonus to all this emotional stuff I was working on. I also took advantage, in the best way, of my closest friends – and used them to vent about what I was discovering (one of the therapists even said that she recognized that I was the type of person who needs to about talk things out loud to make sense of them).

Ultimately, my roommate said it best when, throughout one of our long chats on this specific subject, she compared emotional pain to open wounds – and that sometimes, you have to remove the band aids and just let that wound see open air so it can finally heal correctly.

And what did I learn when I let those wounds start to heal out in the open? A lot, actually.

I learned that I’m ridiculously terrible at saying NO, as I’m an achiever to the core and can’t accept not accomplishing something, whether it be professionally or personally. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to change my mind if I want to, and that being mentally nimble can sometimes be more valuable than a person who makes up their mind and sticks to it. I learned that I apologize too much for things that are out of my control. I’ve learned that usually, when people react to something, the way they react is a reflection of what they’re going through – and not from something you/I did. I discovered through these sessions that there was a moment that happened back when I was 16 that ultimately influenced the way I approach a lot of my relationships with men. I learned that being a woman in a man’s world is harder than anyone can even realize, and that we all have experienced something that makes us a part of the proverbial #METOO movement in some way or another. I’ve learned how to evaluate friendships in terms of how they affect me, emotionally, and I’ve learned that it’s okay to try and take some time apart from people. I’ve learned I’m worth more than a guy who uses me for my air conditioner (long story, but you can put the pieces together on that one), and that the only way I’ll find someone who values me is to ultimately value myself. There’s a lot more where that came from. A lot.

How do I know this is working? All the changes I’m seeing and feeling are happening in small shifts. Ignoring texts from terrible romantic choices. Taking a step back from people who aren’t necessarily the healthiest for me right now. Losing myself in books and songs and just trying to live in the moment, instead of obsessing over things in the past or the future. Choosing to spend more quality time with the people I love, specifically my family. Working on SAYING NO, which may be the hardest task for me. I’m constantly working on making moves in the right direction. Excitingly, I’ve booked a flight to Paris for my birthday in October with my sister, cousin and some fabulous friends. And I’m trying really hard to keep up the upward momentum, even when it gets hard (and believe me, this is HARD.)

At my session with the therapist last week, I realized I couldn’t really think of anything to talk about. This coming from a girl who never, ever stops talking. And when I left that day and made the walk to my car and then the short drive back to my office, all I could really think about was how different everything felt. I ACTUALLY felt okay, for the first time in a while. I didn’t think about my ex, or about the men who have come and gone in the years since. I didn’t think about the friends I’ve lost on this journey, or the hurt I’ve been through. I didn’t think about any of it. All I could think about was getting back to work, to continue focusing on one foot in front of the other, and to keep on keeping on.

Onward and upward. Here goes nothing.