my entry to an EAT PRAY LOVE contest


“Kenny! Please love yourself, even just a little bit.” This is what my family and friends would always tell me a few months ago. They would repeat it over and over again, like a broken record. To all this, I would have one reply. “How? I don’t know how.” 

It broke their heart. It broke mine too. Every single day, my heart was broken. 

I was in love with someone then, someone whom I thought deserved all the love, attention, and time that I could give him. My world revolved around him. He was my priority in everything that I do. He came first; before my family, my son, my work, my friends, and even myself. Sadly, even though he was my priority, I was but an option to him. 

I just didn’t know it then. 

20 months after we plunged headfirst into this relationship, we both fell off the curb once again. This time, he was the one who jumped ship first. I had to follow or end up drowning. It was one of those days where everything was just about perfect. We were exchanging text messages, telling each other I love you and how much better things were between us. Then, boom. It just fell apart. 

I can’t even recall anymore what triggered it but I remember him telling me he wanted out, for now. Yes, for now. It seems that he did not see me as a person with feelings but merely a toy that he can play with if he wants to and put on the shelf when he gets bored. And so, we broke up just like that.
I honestly thought that I would fall apart. I was actually waiting for it to happen and even told my friends to just pick me up once I shatter. I t never happened. On hindsight, I think I knew that the end was near and that the man I thought was the one was never the one. He wasn’t even zero. 

I cried of course. I cried buckets of tears but not for him or the love that was lost. I cried buckets of tears for myself, for what I allowed him to do to me, for allowing him to treat me the way that he did. He treated me callously and I let him, blinded by love and the belief that he was the one. I cried and allowed myself to wallow in misery … but only for one day. 

Afterwards, I started with the process of healing. I didn’t know where to start, how to start, and what to do to start. At first, I started by focusing on surviving one day at a time. I shifted my focus on my family, my son, my friends who have never deserted me, and my work. I also started running.
I ran away from the pain. I ran away from the memories. I ran away from my old self. I ran to get back into shape and mostly, to numb whatever it was that I did not want to feel. 

I read a lot of books. I saw a lot of my friends. I spent time with my son and my family. I spent time with me. Yes, I spent a lot of time alone, by myself, on a date with me. It felt weird at first because I was so used to being with someone but gradually, I started to treasure these me time that I had.
It helped me think and put things into perspective. It helped me heal and move on. It helped me discover who I really was and fall in love again. The more I learned about myself, my quirks, my weaknesses, and strengths, the more I fell in love. I didn’t even notice it happening. 

One day, a guy who was courting me asked me why I wouldn’t commit and I surprised him and myself with my answer. I told him that I am committed. 

I am committed to me. Finally, without realizing it, I have learned to love myself and to finally fall in love with the greatest person on earth that I know, me.

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