From Liz, With Love: Saying goodbye

Two years have passed since I began writing From Liz, With Love. As I wrap-up my undergrad degree and leave U of T for grad school, I take with me the lessons I’ve learned from this bi-weekly column.

Giving advice is not a simple task—it requires you to be vulnerable and sensitive, and there can be consequences. In my introductory post, I wrote that I was just “another young adult navigating university and relationships through self-growth and discovery while making and growing from mistakes.” I had no credentials to write answers to your personal questions—I still don’t. But somewhere along the way, with the help of my friends and my mom, who often weighed in as I penned replies to your delicate messages, I learned how to write kindly, be more supportive, and be a better listener.

With time, I also became more comfortable with sharing pieces of my own story, heartbreak, and failed friendships. I’ve found that being open about when things didn’t work out, and even joking about them, has helped me realize that life is so much grander than heartbreak or drama or petty gossip. Yes, these things will affect you, and they will impact how you move forward with yourself and your relationships, but the most important relationship is the one you cultivate with yourself. Arguably, this is the only relationship you truly have control over, and it’s the one that will influence the people you attract. So, if you force yourself to deny your feelings or to react in a certain way, you lose the honesty you owe yourself. When I was dealing with a hard breakup, one of the biggest pieces of advice I received from my best friend was to move forward instead of trying to move on. 

After that heartbreak and the loss of a family member last summer, my heart closed its doors and wasn’t welcoming anyone new, let alone taking the time to spare any love for myself. During that time, I was constantly telling myself: “tomorrow you’re going to wake up and you will be okay, you will have moved on, and you will be ready to form new bonds.” What I wish I’d told myself was: “Don’t force yourself to lose love; move forward and let the rain pour until the skies clear.” Because the days I spent in forced denial could have been avoided had I just trusted that every moment and feeling was worth something. The love I hold for my ex or the regrets I carry from the passing of someone dear to me should not be scrutinized or stigmatized. It’s easy to be hard on yourself, but investing in your relationship with yourself involves consciously exercising kindness. 

With time, I’ve found myself again. I’m different: I now wear my heart on my sleeve, I’m fragile, and I prioritize honesty. Life is fleeting, so I’ve realized that there’s no reason to be afraid, and there’s no reason to be dishonest with yourself and others about how you feel. I’m grateful to the lost boyfriends, flings, crushes, and friends for teaching me so much about love and about how to be a better friend and partner. Thank you. 

I’m still a work in progress. There will still be days when the sun doesn’t rise, but feel your feelings—I’ve had to tell myself that over and over. 

I chose to write what I know about love in my recent Medium Magazine contribution titled “Painting Love: A Reflection on Love and Museums.” My story will change as I learn more about myself and the world around me, and as I fall in, and maybe even out, of love again. I hope your story changes too, Reader, and I hope that in every day you see the love and the art around you—they are one and the same. For now, I thank you for your questions and your trust, and with all my love, I wish for you to open your heart to all the world has to offer. I hope you feel every season and smell every flower, and I hope one day soon, you find what’s meant to be yours. 

Love always,

Editor-in-Chief (Volume 48 & 49) | — Liz is completing a double major in Chemistry and Art History. She previously served as Features Editor for Volume 47, and Editor-in-Chief for Volume 48. Liz is extremely excited to have spent her time as an undergrad at The Medium, and can’t wait to inspire others and be inspired in her final year at UTM. When she’s not studying, working, writing, or editing countless articles, you can find her singing Motown hits at her piano, going on long walks by the lake, or listening to music. You can connect with Liz on her websiteInstagram, or LinkedIn.


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