Our Past Does Not Define Us

Hello readers. I don’t usually blog on a weekend, but there’s been something that has been sitting on my heart this week and…I feel like I needed to make a post about it. This post will be, in a sense, an update, to my blog post I wrote almost a year ago. You can find that here, and if you haven’t read it, I recommend it to get an understanding of where I’m coming from.

So this week, something I never thought would ever happen actually happened. I was able to talk, and reconnect (kind of) to someone very special to me. As always, I never use real names or give hints of where to find these people. This person is known as The Fire Bandit. I met the Bandit in 2014, we fell in love, we took a break, we slowly fell in love again, and our love was amazing. I will always say he was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Near the beginning of 2016, I stopped hearing from him until he ended it.

For over two years, I struggled with depression and anxiety wondering what I did wrong. I blamed myself for everything. I will admit how I handled the situation after the breakup wasn’t okay, and how he handled it wasn’t okay either. I honestly never thought I would hear from him again. Fast forward to October 2018 and…I actually heard from the Bandit. A lot of emotions hit me at once, such as confusion, happiness, sadness; everything. I had so many unanswered questions answered, and in a way, I got my closure from the breakup.

I’m not who I used to be when we were together, and he definitely isn’t who he used to be when we were together. I won’t air out the details, out of respect and privacy, but my heart broke hearing all he went through. I empathized and hurt because I couldn’t be there for him during all of that. As the Bandit told me though, “some things we have to go through alone”. After all he’s told me, everything he went through, I can honestly say he is the strongest person I ever met.

I wept for him for all that he went through, but I don’t see him as weak or pathetic. I see him as a strong human being who went through a dark time, but overcame it. If anything, I hope he knows how proud of him I am. He deserves so much support, good wishes, and positive vibes. I’ve been struggling the past few days taking in everything at once, but if there’s one thing he taught me, it’s that our past does not define us. We all have done things we regret, some worse than others, but it’s what we do after owning up to our actions that make us who we are.

We aren’t screw ups, we aren’t crazy, we aren’t a mess; we’re human beings. We breathe the same air, we make mistakes, we bleed the same. I will never see The Fire Bandit for his past actions, but for who he’s becoming. I’m proud of him, and I’m happy to call him a friend. For me, personally, I’ve made awful life choices to fill the empty void I had after he left. I gave my heart one too many times to people who didn’t deserve it. I cared and opened myself to people who didn’t want my best interest. I was used, broken, and hurt, but that doesn’t define me.

The actions I make after learning from the hurt define me. I’m a caring person who has so much love to give. I cry for strangers because I can feel their pain, I give to others in need because it’s the least I can do. I want to heal, inspire, and love others, but I can’t keep doing that if it means sacrificing my well being and hurting myself. The Fire Bandit taught me, without him even knowing, that I had an empty void I kept trying to fill to make myself happy, just as he was doing. I did whatever I could to feel wanted and cared for, because I felt lonely and unloved.

It’s the hard lessons in life that hit us, but I learned I need to toughen up. I can’t keep, metaphorically, bleeding for people who don’t truly care about me. I can’t keep opening my soul up to just anyone. My heart is the most precious thing I have, but if I continue wearing it on my sleeves, I will continue being hurt and used. I need to be stronger, tough, and protect myself, just like The Fire Bandit has been doing. I will continue to care for others, but for the right reasons.

I highly doubt he’ll read this, but if he does, to The Fire Bandit: thank you. You’re one of the strongest people I know, you’ve been through hell and back, and I know there wasn’t anything I could do. I’m so proud of you, you’re an amazing person and I am honored to be your friend. I know you may be hesitant to have me around, but please know that I am not here to fix you. I’m not here to save you, I’m here to be part of your support team. You don’t have to continue going through this alone. I will always be here for you if you ever need to talk or whatever it may be.