enjoying a beautiful life

It's hard to find a good balance between sharing too much of your personal life, and not sharing at all. I certainly don't want to air any dirty laundry - but at the same time, if what I've gone through can help anyone out there, I want to share it. It is always and forever my goal to inspire others - through food, through stories, through life. I told you in my last post that I just went through a break-up. I've thought about what I was going to say, and wasn't really sure how to approach it. But today, I just felt like writing about it.

Everyone who knows me knows that I am strong. I have been through a lot in my life, and always persevered. I have created my own path, my own destiny - and never let any personal problems get in my way. So let me keep it super-real here and tell you that this was HARD.

Heartbreak sucks. Can I just say that? This may have been a first for me. I was a mess. I cried. A lot. I would run outside along the water, not sure if I was crying or just out of breath. Often, it was both. I would stop in the middle of a park filled with people and just let it go. Music blasting, face buried in my hands, tears pouring out.

I was very sad that my relationship had come to an end. I ended it, but I felt forced to do so. I wasn't receiving the support I deserved and so I had no choice.

But I didn't want it to be this way; I didn't want it to end. I wanted him to wake up and see what he had lost and be the man I needed him to be. I wanted him to change, to be better. I wanted him to be the person ... I had believed him to be.

This is a very important sentence.

I had a hard time in this break-up until I realized that I had fallen in love with an idea. I believe many people will be able to relate to this, because so often it is the potential we see in a person that we love. There were many qualities that I witnessed at one time or another, particularly in the beginning of our relationship, that I latched onto. Mostly it was the passion that we shared. I was so into the idea of being with a person that was passionate about something that I ignored or accepted other qualities that were not for me. I chose not to see them, or not to care about them, in exchange for the things I wanted to see.

It's all about perspective.

What is perspective? Perspective is understanding the qualities that are important to you and being honest with yourself: Does this person have those qualities? No one is perfect, of course, but everyone should have a clear understanding of the make-or-break, deal-or-no-deal qualities they want in a partner. Mine are as follows: passionate, intelligent, self-aware, positive, inspiring, funny, honest, hardworking, and confident.

Perspective is recognizing that a person doesn't have these qualities and letting go. With ease.

That's right - because once you have truly gained perspective, it is just that: easy.

Perspective is realizing that these are years of your life you will never get back. That life is short and beautiful, and we must make the most of every day. Does that mean you can't take some time to be upset? Of course. You must take the time to feel your pain, because that is part of the healing process. That is part of being honest with yourself, and growing as a person. They're called growing pains for a reason, you know.

Perspective is looking around at the amazing people in your life, and appreciating them. (I have some incredible friends who I simply couldn't have done this without - THANK YOU.)

Perspective is focusing on your goals. Remembering every single day what matters to you, what you want from this life. What are the things you're going to do to get there? And listen, I'm sure you've heard the phrase, "the only way to get over one man is to get under another." But please. Don't. Take the time to be on your own, to be independent. To learn more about who you are and what you want. Yes, I'm sure the attention from another man will make it feel easier, but it's not real. It's a band-aid that will fall off and leave you with an infection that is far worse than the original cut. (Okay, maybe a little dramatic, but that one just came to me and I think it's pretty good!) :)

Perspective, for me, was the realization that I went through the most monumental changes of my life with this person by my side. I broke up with my fiancé and moved to NYC, ran a pop-up restaurant, launched a new career. It's a lot. And I have to say, I am so forever grateful that Gregg was part of my journey. He impacted me so much, taught me so much - about food and cooking, who I am and what I want. I haven't cried in a while, but I just shed a tear as I typed that. And it was a happy one. I can appreciate him for what he was: Part of a very, very important chapter in my life. The most important one thus far.

But guess what? A new chapter has started. And I know this one will be even better.

It already is.

xxS