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4 years ago I was serving tables to couples in love, as they dined on valentines. I felt alone and lonely as I walked into that night expecting the worst and thinking the worst of myself. ⁣

I was in pain. ⁣

Seeing happiness, I expected to feel like salt in the wound. Seeing love, I expected to remind me of what I didn’t have. ⁣

But that night I walked in and something about it all just stayed at the door. ⁣

I stopped seeing myself as broken, damaged, full of baggage. ⁣

I saw myself as the woman who stepped out of her fears. The one who walked away from a relationship after 13 years. The one who let people talk of her and held her head high, with her truths close to her heart. The one who was powerful on her own, and still powerful when she needed help. ⁣

It was hard in many ways to serve that night. And it was also a massive relief. To see love in action. To see us on different paths of life, interacting all the same. To see smiles and laughter, and those awkward first dates. ⁣

I remember smiling at my girlfriends who served alongside me, on the craziest night of the year in the industry. We were doing it.⁣

Today I am grateful to have love in my life. ⁣
But it didn’t begin and end with a man. ⁣
It began and ends with me. ⁣

The woman who stood tall. ⁣
The woman who served. ⁣
The woman who chose love. ⁣