This was the very first thing I ever wrote about breakups. Looking back, my future self was at the wheel that day. I perfectly describe my husband years before we met…

You want to know what I do to get over a nasty breakup? I take a trip. Travel abroad. I’ve racked up so many frequent flyer miles at this point, I could go to the moon and back. And that’s okay. 

Because I haven’t met The One yet. And rather than settle, I go for the breakup. And then I go far, far away. I cry, I sightsee, I fall in love. With myself, that is. Breakups take their toll on the self esteem. 

But the truth is, I’m all I’ve got. And rather than beat myself up over the end of a relationship, I cherish the fact that I probably learned something along the way.

With my college crush, I learned to make great ravioli from his mother’s recipe.

With the bodybuilder, I learned that I actually liked to workout.

With the Star Wars fanatic, I realized that nice guys really do exist.

With the 22 year-old, I discovered how exciting I could be to another person.

And with The One Who Rocked My World, I learned that unconditional love feels unbelievably amazing.

With each new relationship and subsequent breakup, I discover a little bit more about who I really am and what I want out of life. And that’s the girl I fall in love with every time I travel. The fun-loving, creative, adventure-seeking gal who goes to the Greek Islands in hopes of mending her broken heart, who discovers a sense of connection with the universe in the rhythmic lapping of the Mediterranean sea on the shore, and who delights in how the sun dances off the white-washed buildings in the afternoon. She’s also the spontaneously sassy chick who spends six weeks of her summer in Montana; hiking, writing, and going to a rodeo for the first time in decades. If it weren’t for the breakup, she’d never discover these simple pleasures.

One day I hope to travel with my husband. He’ll be handsome and witty and cultured and totally not neurotic. And he’ll love me for being unconventional, passionate, and a little bit nuts. But in the meantime, I’m not waiting for him to live out my dreams. I’m living them out every day on my own. So when he finally does come along, and his front tooth is crooked, or his spelling sucks, or he’s shorter than I’d imagined, I’ll know that’s okay. Because I haven’t been waiting for my life to begin until Mr. Perfect arrives. I’m just looking for someone who’s brave and bold, ordinary and extraordinary enough to join me on the journey. After all, that’s what life’s about. The journey. The messy, imperfect, magnificent, and virtually invent-able journey. And what would that be without a little heartache here and there to let you know you’re really alive and kicking?