This is the unabashed truth. A boy named J was my first love.
I honestly believe I loved him more than he loved me. And that's probably why he left me. But not before he cheated.
It's a story from the past that still has relevance because if it wasn't for J taking my virginity I wouldn't be the business owner I am today.
Not because it was good. It was like anyone's first time.
The pain totally exceeds the pleasure, but you bury that sensation way down because deep inside your heart you believe a person who loves you back is showing you just how much in a beautiful physical expression.
Sorry, but not so much the case. J took my most precious possession, but I willingly gave it up to him. To me it was everything.
But the next day he scoffed about it. I knew then that it didn't mean as much to him, but for the next few months, I lied to myself.
Willing myself to believe that he loved me just as much as I loved him.
Then one day he left. It didn't take long, after he was gone, for me to find out about the girl he cheated on me with. She was a friend of mine.
To make matters even worse, he came back a few months later, and I let him back into my life. As a friend with benefits.
I tried to use sex as a leveraging tool to keep him this time. But he left again. And my world actually came crumbling down that day.
I was broken for a long time. But something kept stirring inside of me, even while I was broken.
Something that I had been burying for years. Back from the days when my stepmother verbally beat me down. A desire to stand up for myself finally.
Because I was sick and tired of people using me up and throwing me out. Losing my virginity and allowing myself to be mistreated like that was the last straw.
I needed to do something for the desperate girl inside of me who's voice was constantly being stifled.
By the verbal abuse growing up. By the church who constantly wanted to fix me. By the boy named J who didn't appreciate the girl who loved him more.
It didn't come right away, but it did come. And it started by me learning to love myself. All of me.
I had to wash away those bad words my stepmother threw over me growing up by writing down good words about myself everyday. It's still one of the hardest things I've had to do.
I had to find my own path. Away from the church, away from rules and restrictions and confinements. I had to learn what love really was.
Some of my searching took me down really risky paths with the wrong men, but I'm thankful still. Because it's how I learned boundaries on my own terms.
I had to learn how to love myself from the ground up.
Because one of the most difficult truths for me to accept, the girl who always got everything right, was that I didn't actually love myself. Let alone like myself.
I had to lock myself away and actually reintroduce myself to the vibrant girl I used to be before my mom died. The girl I buried away when I was six.
I took myself on dates. I started to write again. I read a lot. I met new friends who accepted this whole version of me, bruises and all.
Then something funny happened. I woke up one day and realized that I was unabashedly in love with a girl. The one staring back at me in the mirror. And it wasn't selfish.
Finally I understood and forgave J. He didn't know how much he hurt me when he took my virginity. He couldn't. He didn't love himself, like I didn't love myself.
We were no more than two broken pieces coming together for an extended one-night stand.
I had to hit rock bottom like that to actually heal myself from the ground up. And the only way I could ever be a voice for others is if I took ownership of my own life first.
I've learned that it's not selfish to be there for you first, because it's the only way you can be there fully for others. It's the only way you can love others. It starts with you.
So I got into coaching for this very reason. To be that bridge for people just like me, stuck between who they think they should be and who they actually are.
You don't have to hit rock bottom to get there but, if you do, it doesn't hurt that bad.
I don't take anyone's crap these days. I'm there for the people who need me. I know what my boundaries are. I've learned how to take ownership in my life and business.
If I didn't go through the lows, I wouldn't have ever taken the time to unlearn the mistruths spoken over me.
I wouldn't have quit my job and founded my own business. I wouldn't be in a healthy relationship with someone whole who loves the whole version of me equally back.
I wouldn't have believed then that I could. And I wouldn't be teaching others how to do the same thing for themselves now.
It's all intertwined at the end of the day. My love, my life, my business. It all stems from a whole version of me.
And for that reason, I'm thankful that losing my virginity taught me how to be the business owner I am today.