Goodbye past! Hellooo Bright, Beautiful Future. Part 2:

I moved on. I got back on the saddle. I had a bad ass photo shoot with Steven Visneau, picked up more clients, moved away from my roommate, did some Jiu Jitsu tournaments, lost 10 pounds and gained a lot more friends and experiences. I also eventually started dating again. I have done a lot.

This year has been eventful. Truly amazing even. I feel like I’m gearing up for some huge huge things.

But besides the last 10 pounds, negative energy has been lingering with me all year it seems. I have felt run down, more anxious than I’ve ever been, unmotivated and still go through bouts of being sick. How crazy is it that all these great things were happening and I felt as though I was a bystander in my own life? A lot of things are being done but barely. I thought seriously that maybe I was depressed. Is functional depression a thing? (And hell- maybe that is it.) But I knew one thing for sure: I was still drained from the emotional turmoil that I had been put through.

I can honestly say I was happy enough. I’m motivated enough. I’m doing well enough. But the enough version of Michelle is not what I am used to. I wasn’t faking it- but I was off. I’m used to “so damn happy I explode with joy” and the “get sh*t done- no excuses” Michelle. I covered up the enough version of Michelle and filled my time with work, clients, new ventures, half ass Jiu Jitsu training and very little training outside of that. I filled it with “all these things I want to do.” But the truth was that I had been half there in all aspects of my life.

I felt completely ashamed of that too. Embarrassed that it still bothered me. That I was still feeling the effects of it. Not that I missed my exes AT ALL (because if there was ever a bullet to dodge, it was that one.) But it took a toll on me.

Two very specific conversations with two of my best friends, Alyssa and Arlene helped me put things in perspective (even though they probably don’t realize it.)

I realized I never got closure (and why would I? They were narcissists.) But also, the shame of what happened has kept me down. I’ve tried so hard to hide it; to be strong; to stay positive. But the truth is: two years in a row I fell for guys who completely used me. They intentionally hurt me. Broke up with me right before my birthday (both of them!) and then strung me along. I know that screams “naive loser” to some but the reality that I was made to see was that I just cared. A lot. Too much. For bad guys. And instead of running away when my gut told me to, I let myself care for them. I let them make me feel small. I let them make me forget that I’m f***ing Michelle Trent. Strong. Smart. Sexy. Funny. Michelle Trent. (Also- good a Jiu Jitsu n stuff.) I’m everything that they are NOT and because of that, they hurt me.

And it has taken what seems like an eternity (in reality a few months,) tons of introspection, and one little piece of validation to get back to old Michelle. REALLY back to my old self. Not happy enough. Not confident enough. Not just enough to get by Michelle.

Me.

And oh- the future is so so bright. It’s like the fog has lifted and I’m free.

P.S.

Why did I tell you ALL of this?? Don’t let people dictate how you feel about yourself. If someone makes you feel bad about anything, it’s because THEY are the problem. If someone talks down to you, criticizes you, or berates you it is because they want to pull you down to their level. One truth I have realized over the last few years is that self growth and self care can make or break relationships. As one partner starts to grow, the other partner either jumps on board to grow too or they will try their hardest to keep you down. They will do or say anything to make this happen. Complacency (or narcissism) kills the relationship.

Don’t EVER put up with someone who tries to break you down. Run far far away! As I have experienced, it can have long lasting effects- some that you may not even fully grasp. ALWAYS go with your gut feeling. It may seem to suck at first but it will ultimately prove to be the best decision.

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