I believe in broken-heartedness.
Before 2015, those words would have never come out of my mouth. Back then I believed in the power of ‘music’, ‘opera’, ‘traveling the world’, being a ‘superstar’, ‘singleness’, and most importantly, never having children. I wanted to make my parents proud and make a name for myself. I was a sophomore in college with a perfect GPA and a promising future. I had never had a boyfriend or even considered it.
However, I met a boy in 2015. He rapidly became my best friend and I was head over heels for him. I quickly fell in love and my whole life revolved around him. Unfortunately, he started pressuring me to do things I did not want to do. I had never kissed a boy before, let alone do anything else with a man. I was so shy and innocent, yet, I was so in love. I did not want to disappoint him. He promised to love me and never leave me. But then…
I became pregnant.
I hope whoever is reading this can imagine how this affected my life. My opera-career? My family’s expectations? My perfect life? It was all gone. I went from being a college virgin, to possibly a pregnant drop-out. At least my boyfriend was a source of comfort and shoulder to cry on. But then? He left me too. I remember arguing with him once, and a few weeks later he called to ask me something. He wanted me to meet his new girlfriend. He wanted us to “all get along and support each other.” BS! I do not want to explain what this did to me and my psyche. I will never have the words to explain how second-hand and worthless I felt. Being broken-hearted was an understatement. I was lucky enough to get through the next hour, let alone the next day. The man I so deeply loved abandoned me for another woman, only to get her pregnant, stick by her side, and then make me watch every moment of it too.
However, all of this molded me to be who I am today: “Jaque.” The girl who is a single mother, transferred schools and is a full-time student again, has a job, a 4.0 GPA, is pursuing her dreams, and so much more. Having a baby did not rob me of any of that. Heck, I am much more accomplished now than I was back then! Being broken-hearted did not make me a damaged good. It simply woke me up. It brought true meaning and perspective to my life. Furthermore, it also taught me what true forgiveness looks like. Forgiving my ex and his girlfriend was no easy task, but it is an everyday choice I continue to make. Also, because I know what feeling deeply depressed feels like, every day that I am not depressed feels like heaven! Things were truly put into perspective. Broken-heartedness gave me all of that and more. I would not trade it for the world.
This essay was written for Dr. Elizabeth Flowers’ World Religions in America course. You can read more about the TCU Religion Department here.