The other day a Facebook memory made me think of so many things.

It made me think of the past, what it could have been, and it made me think of you.

I still remember that day when I first met you like it just happened yesterday. It was a hot and sunny summer day at a friend’s house party. I noticed you from the minute you walked in, you have the kind of face that stopped any woman in her tracks. A very tall, handsome man, with deep blue eyes that made me weak at the knees. A muscular physique, with an almost perfectly symmetrical face. I felt drawn to you.

Later on that afternoon, you came to talk to me and from that moment we hit it off. We spent hours talking about all the people we knew in life that never got to or weren’t living out their passions and we promised each other we would never let either of us be that.

After that night, I started to fall for you. I couldn’t tell you exactly how or when, but I could tell you a million reasons why I fell for you. I met you at a very dark moment in my life, and you came to me like the dawn through the night shining like the sun bringing light into my world.

When we started dating, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. We built a relationship off a foundation of being friends first. Until our situation got so undeniable and we realized we needed each other. I was uncertain at first but eventually, I let my guard down, I took a leap of faith and turned our friendship into a relationship. The walls I had built around my heart slowly came crashing down and you worked your way in.

You learned how to understand my mind, and it is a complicated one. You loved me, all of me, and I know I’m not easy to love but you made our love so easy. You knew how I overthink everything and how my mind can play tricks on me. But you put my mind to ease with your kindness and love.

You were my anchor that grounded me. I was your sail that kept you going. I was the night, you were daylight. I was the one to calm your inner storms with my touch. We were always balancing each other out. We were each other’s strength.

I crashed into you fully. I gave you all of me and you gave me all of you.

I was so sure you were “my forever.”

I wanted you to be in my present and future.

We dreamed it all. It was supposed to be me and you until the very end. We pictured a happy life together. We planned our wedding. We had so many plans for our future. I could see us growing old together, I could see us building a future together but unfortunately, everything came crashing down.

Us. Our Future. Our Love Story.

Ended.

The truth is, we weren’t ready for what we thought we wanted. We failed to see so many red flags because we were high on love. We loved each other deeply, but our love story had an expiration date. Our pasts, our demons, our mistakes started to creep in, we started to push each other away and tried to fill that void with other things. We thought we were on the same page and that we wanted the same things, but that was anything but the truth.

Maybe, we could have done things differently, maybe we should have tried harder, loved harder, but even if we were to go back in time and try to change things, I think our story would have had the same ending. If it’s not meant to be, it’s not meant to be, as cliché as this sounds, it’s very true.

We were in love, but we were not meant for each other.

I fought so many battles between my heart and mind. My mind would ask me to let you go, but my heart wanted to stay.

When we parted ways, my heart shattered into a million pieces and each broken piece carried a memory of you.

You were my drug, I suffered in agony. I had painful withdrawals because you were not my side anymore, my body ached for you.

Losing you, the man who I thought would be my forever was one of worst heartbreaks I have ever experienced. I learned that just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean they are meant to stay in your life forever. That kind of pain made realize that some people only come into our lives for a limited time, love does not always last, that’s not how nature works, nothing lasts forever. I realized that love isn’t something that can heal all wounds. Mine couldn’t heal yours. Yours couldn’t heal mine.

In this journey of life, many people cross our ways. Some just pass by while some touch our heart and touch our soul. They transform our life, leave a lasting impression on our hearts and they part ways.

You were a soul that visited my heart, a soul just passing by but was not meant to stay. You were a beautiful distraction, and when you left I had to face all my demons head-on.

When you left, I thought my life was over. I thought I couldn’t survive without you. I was back in that dark place I was in when I first met you. I cried for days, weeks, months and soaked my pillow with tears.

Despite it all, I regret nothing.

Thank you for those happy moments and thank you for painful moments, too, because all the pain and frustration I received from loving you became the best teacher I could ever have. It made me stronger.

The pain and heartbreak taught one of the most important lessons of my life. To be happy alone. A lesson that I tried so hard to avoid but turned out to be one of the greatest lessons. I learned not to let my happiness depend on anyone, and that I don’t need a man by my side to be happy and complete.

I learned to let go, I learned to live without you. I learned to move on. I learned how to be happy on my own.

Every day I learn to love myself more and more, I found happiness within myself. I found my self-worth. I found my strength. And I am still learning to live again and smile again.

After you, I finally spend my time reflecting and loving myself first. Now I see that before loving someone else, you must learn to love yourself unconditionally.

My heart is finally at peace and I know one day I will feel again, I will love again but in a new and different way.

By Mitzi J Hernandez for ThoughtCatalog