Wanna find your inner bombshell? Look no further. Stop right here.
You may already be familiar with the next PK Voice winner, Cathy Benavides. Cathy is a very active bombshell in the PK community and we *heart* her. She’s shared her story before, is always chatting with us on Facebook and If you’ve been to Bettyville, you’ve probably received words of encouragement from her. Every time we hear from her again, she’s taking another badass step in her journey and living life as a true bombshell. Here is how Cathy discovered that living life on her own terms is oh-so-sweet!
I once read a survey that said that the most stressful things a person can go through are moving to a new home, the death of a loved one, and public speaking. I’ve been through all of them and it’s true; they are awful. But you know what ranks up there as well? The ending of a relationship. Whether it was a marriage, a long term partnership, or a solid commitment, the pain and confusion that comes with reverting from an “us” to a “me” is not only painful, but it’s humiliating and sad and full of more emotions than I can name. Believe me, I speak from experience.
I was with my ex (we’ll call him Justin) for a little more than five and a half years. We lived together for five of those years and we had a pretty great time. We were best friends, we talked about everything, and we genuinely enjoyed being together. In June of 2011, he woke me up from a nap to end our relationship. In the space of five seconds and two sentences, I went from an us to a me. I will never forget the cold finality in his voice. I knew there was no working on it, there was no talking it out, and there was no hope. He had taken his heart out of the relationship and he was moving on.
I moved out three weeks later, having never lived on my own, never making my own budget, never paying my own bills, and never really taking care of myself. I found a roommate, cut down on my shopping and learned to make the best of my life. But ladies, it HURT. I missed him so much; I missed my friend, my partner, my constant love and support. Sure, I had family and friends that cared for me, but it was not the same. I wanted to start dating immediately to fill that hole, but it was no use. There was a “WARNING! DANGER!!” sign stamped on my forehead that every guy could see. I was a walking wound; raw and healing from what felt like open heart surgery.
It took me a very long time to let that wound heal. Every time I would tell myself that we could be friends, I’d reopen it. I learned to live independently, but not how to be on my own. A big part of me was still waiting for someone else to come in and take over for me so that I didn’t have to really take care of myself. Finally, after about seven months, I started getting some clarity. I finally saw the reality of our relationship and all the signs that showed that we were not a great match. I looked at the cold hard facts and realized that we had stayed so long because we cared for each other and it was comfortable and easy; not because we were in love. For a while, I got really sad again. I mourned the time that I lost and the friendship that I had built. Then, for the first time in a long time, the pain began to ease. I actually got excited about living my life for me, and really finding out what I wanted in my life. It was a time of renewal and strength and peace.
Next month, it’ll be one year since my life changing breakup. I have a new job…new career actually! I found the strength to leave my dead end job to go for an opportunity in a field I truly love. I am getting ready to move out on my own for the first time in my life. That’s right – me living all on my own! And I am seeing someone new. He’s very different from all of my past boyfriends especially Justin. I have new boundaries about living together and putting myself first. I never want to lose my identity in a relationship again, and I never want to feel like I can’t be on my own. I am proud of the changes I have made and the new adventures in my life. I have found my sense of strength and confidence and pride.
I think it’s safe to say that, after a lot of heartache and pain and soul-searching, I have finally found my inner bombshell!