What life lesson did you learn the hard way?

Life is all about the lessons we learn through the journey. We’re born empty-minded and very impressionable as kids. As we grow we start to observe and learn about the world around us. We learn how to speak, move, and even how to think. The problem is we learn most of what we know from people that are flawed and broken in their own ways. And many times that flawed logic can transfer into our own perspective of how the world works. We then go around living out a similarly broken life making similarly bad mistakes. And that’s when someone else has to step in.

Life usually has a way of teaching us the lessons that we were never properly taught. Our parents might have skipped the lesson on sex or financial literacy. But we don’t need to worry. It will be a matter of time before life teaches you the consequences of unsafe frivolous sex. Or maybe you’ll end up making a bad financial investment and learn the importance of reading the fine print. Parents, teachers, and friends are great. But life will always be the ultimate teacher. Sometimes you just learn lessons better when you’re taught the hard way. So what life lesson did you learn the hard way?

Here’s a short story on what life lesson I learned the hard way.

I’ve never been the one for relationships. Growing up I was always a loner. I never really cared to be wildly popular with everyone fighting for my attention. And when I’m in situations like that I’m often more stressed than anything else. I cared more about having my small circle of trusted friends that I could almost always rely on. And that’s what I did. It was Enkose and Dwayne. Those were my two best friends through thick and thin. And they are still my two bestest friends of all time. But as I neared the end of highschool I was spending a lot more energy pursuing the opposite sex. It was like I went from an obsessed teen gamer to a boy with the sex drive of four horses.

I was almost always trying to meet girls or talk to them when I saw them. And that became my new favorite interest despite me having little to no success at all. I was always drawn to the challenging things in life. So the more I realized that I sucked at socializing, the more interested I got. Every bad reaction or awkward conversation just made me more pumped up to give it another go. I felt like the kid that kept falling off his bike but was determined to get one good ride out of it. I knew some guys were naturally good at getting girls to like them. It wasn’t really fair. But instead of sit around and envy the popular guys, I studied them. And I learned more than I could of ever imagined.

At the end of my highschool year, I approached a girl that caught my eye. It was our senior banquet with less than a week left in classes. I knew if I didn’t make my move now, I would probably never see her again for the rest of my life. Little did I know, that one move probably guaranteed I will be able to see her at some point for the rest of my life. Some call it destiny. Some call it boldness. Some call it the butterfly effect. I just call it crazy. I struck up a conversation with the girl and she looked very uninterested. But for whatever reason, she wrote her number down on my little notebook. She turned back around and didn’t speak to me for the rest of the event.

I laughed later that night at how bold I was. I actually went out of my way to talk to girls. I would of never done something like that a year ago. I was really evolving into a much different person than I was before. What I didn’t realize, is how different I was going to become. Me and the girl ended up becoming good friends. We chilled with each other pretty much all summer long. And before the summer ended, we were in a relationship together. I never wanted to get married or have kids when I grew up. That just wasn’t in my overall life plans. I wanted to be me, and do everything that made me happy. The family, marriage, raising kids thing was someone else’s dream.

But a year into our relationship and I was all for it. I changed a lot of who I was to match who she was. And she did the same. We were doing our best to become better people not just for the sake of ourselves, but also for the person beside us. And part of those changes meant opening up more. I let my guard down to give her space to connect with me. I wanted her to love the truest version of me. And I gave her all my trust to allow her to be the truest version of herself. It felt like we were doing the right thing. I felt like I was starting to understand this whole love thing. There was nothing that could get in the way of us because I trusted her and she trusted me.

Then I got a really rude awakening. My trust was broken. She broke my heart. I didn’t understand how something so heartless could be done by her. I was completely caught off guard. I know things happen but this was more than just an accident. This was a deliberate effort to be disrespectful and deceitful. I gave my trust away frivolously without thinking. I changed my policy and was hurt deeply because of it. I learned a lot about trust and love that year. It was definitely one of the hardest and most painful ways to learn about trust. But I now know that trust is something that should be earned not given. I will do my best to never make that mistake again. Because I’m sure life doesn’t fare well to teaching the same lessons twice.

All I can say to her now is… Thank you, next. Or maybe just thank you.

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