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I remember that day all too well.

It all started with him saying "Let's take a break". It was as if my world came crashing down.

You see the 17-year-old me didn't know any better. 

So the 17-year-old me quietly went with the flow.

The flow kept deteriorating and it went from "I still love you" to "I don't care about you anymore" to "can you please stop bothering me?"

Days would go crying and I would try and convince others how he would come back. Looking back, I was probably convincing myself.

His words would cut through my skin like an uncomfortable pair of shoes and I tried to find some hope in them, hoping that someday, the shoe would be a perfect fit.

You see, the 17-year-old me didn't know any better.

I think it's kinda ironical how I learnt to love myself from someone who fell out of love with me. Should I call it love? or just infatuation?

You see, I never got closure. I remember how it felt, first semester, college, new city, new people and a heartbreak to top it all. I look back on the day I was coming back from college, walking down the road. Convincing myself to move on and suddenly I stopped dead in my tracks. From someplace, I caught his scent and I was back to square one in the moving on race, right back to where I had started.

Later that night, I found myself crying in the shower at 2am. The cold water in the middle of the wintery night felt like bliss as it touched my red hot face strained with burning tear tracks.

The 17-year-old me didn't know any better.

Fast forward 4 years, I know better.

See, I learnt to love myself since that was the only choice. The person I thought was my world and I couldn't do without was gone. And I was still doing fine. He was my world and it came crashing down. And now I had no choice but to rebuild it again. And this time I only had myself to love.

Self-love and moving on is easy to say but very hard to do. It isn't about speeding enthusiastically forward so much as it's about having one foot on the gas and one on the accelerator. It's not always yoga, meditation, scented candles, sappy romantic films with a bucket of ice cream. It's picking yourself up when you don't even wanna move. It's not about loving yourself when you have a good hair day, but loving yourself and accepting yourself when nothing makes sense in the world. It's reminding yourself after a bad dream about him that life goes on. It's about doing assignments and doing them well because life moves on and you can't stop. Self-love is promising yourself a happy ending and keeping that promise. It's becoming your own version of a knight in the shining armour. 

But the truth is, none of us wants to think of ourselves as work in progress. We have to be patient with ourselves. Every relationship needs time and love, even the one with yourself, and that's what we keep forgetting. We have to let the chasm motivate us rather than dishearten us. You see, growth is every bit as painful as it is beautiful.

So how I look at it is, I started to walk barefoot and started loving it. You see, the 17-year-old me didn't know any better. 

Still, work in progress, I now know better. :)