I’ve always embraced the fact that we are unique and everybody experiences painful situations differently.
For some, the loss of a parent is the most profound anguish they have ever felt. For others, a violent trauma transports them to new and strange emotions that they don’t have the wherewithal to process.
Having been subjected to both of these realities, I can say with some authority that neither of them came within striking distance of the deepest heartache that I ever remember feeling—the loss of my college sweetheart.
The pain associated with that separation led me 2,500 miles away from home. Everything in my town reminded me of her and, quite honestly, the very thought of seeing her at one of the local bars with whoever her next boyfriend would be, sent me into realms of despair I still find difficult to convey.
When I arrived in Tempe, AZ, after I graduated, the first things I bought were an acoustic guitar, a few harmonicas, and, eventually, a PA system. Within a few months, I was getting booked at the popular coffee houses, ASU college hangouts, and even a few places in the posh suburb of Scottsdale.
Twenty five years later, I am still performing and playing a lot of the same music I played in the early 90s. The point is, even though I was hurt by that loss—hurt like I have never been before or since—there was a definite reason for it. It changed the entire course of my life. It informed the course of my life.
Since then, I have fallen in love, and have even gone through the process of planning to, and ultimately bringing children into the world, twice. The gift of loving and being loved by these little girls is one of the greatest joys I have ever been blessed with during my tenure on this planet. It is my very reason for striving and achieving all that I possibly can.
Recently a friend of mine, during casual conversation, asked me what character flaw I possess that I can attribute all of my “failed relationships” to.
It took me a second to come up with a response because, to me, I have never considered the inevitability of a relationship concluding as a failed relationship.
I never labored under the delusion that I owned any of the women I have spent time with over the years. I have always figured we come into each other’s lives, and eventually leave each other’s lives, because we were destined to teach each other something we needed to learn at that time in our journey.
This is not to say that I don’t have character flaws. We all have them—obviously. We’re fallible and we’re human.
But, if we go into our relationships and love as hard as we can and try our best to make it work, that is all anyone can expect of us.
So, I have never had a “failed relationship.” And, if you look honestly at the path of your life, you may discover that you haven’t either.
Author: Billy Manas
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Sara Karpanen