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After A Breakup, I Moved Overseas And Ended Up Finding True Love

One of life's most worthwhile lessons is learning how to love. And more importantly, how to love yourself more.

Life & Travel

One of life's most worthwhile lessons is learning how to love. And more importantly, how to love yourself more.

Like most 20-somethings, I've had my fair share of failed relationships and "situationships." You know, those soul sucking kinships that aren't really what you need or want, when neither of you know what is really going on, but it offers companionship and a good time. But, after my last relationship left me almost broken to my core, I couldn't seem to face the possibility of loving anyone else.

It's funny how life works…

Seven months after that breakup, I finished my MBA, packed up my apartment, quit my job and left for Europe. If I could've left earlier, I probably would have, but you know.... Grad School. I had no plan, all I knew is that I wanted to get away from Atlanta because I refused to be just another single, overly educated, 20-something black woman in Atlanta brunching on Sundays.

I figured I could at least be a single, overly educated, 20-something black woman brunching in London!

Was I running? Yes.

But, not running from just the memories of a failed relationship.

I was running from mediocrity and comfort.

Everything I knew was back in Atlanta: my friends, a job I loved liked, some family, and my esteemed social circles of young, bougie, black professionals. However, if I ever planned to grow and live the life I had imagined, I would have to leave what was comfortable and known all behind.

I really learned to love myself and find comfort in my own company (I mean honestly, you really have no choice traveling solo for 2 months). But, it taught me great life lessons about self-affirmations. Once you understand that you are worthy and deserving of everything you ever wished for, whether it be a loving partner, a CEO position, a fancy sports car, or a penthouse condo, you can make moves to have those things manifest.

After spending time in Europe, I ended up moving to Dubai, which presented its own new set of dating challenges and setbacks. But after 18 months, I met an amazing man from Holland, who taught me how to love again and made me open to being loved. I've slowly let down those walls that were built up and let love reign in my heart. I know that this man loves me to "the moon & back" and I'm okay with that because I've learned to love him with the same passion.

Of course, he shares my love of travel and we've had several adventures together already to the Maldives, Holland and Italy.

It almost sounds like a fairy tale, right? It kind of feels surreal sometimes, but I know it's a result of making conscious and intentional decisions to invite love back into my life.

Here are my four tips for letting love reign supreme:

Love yourself.

Like all the experts say, it first starts at home. You can never truly love someone else if you don't know what it takes. By spending time alone, meditating, reading, taking yourself on dates (and trips), and pampering yourself; you begin to understand the things that make you happy and make life more enjoyable for YOU. Figure out the things that fill you with joy, make you smile and that can't wait to experience. Having a partner should make you feel the same way. So be strong enough to let go, and wise enough to wait for what you deserve.

Let love in and don't block it.

The toughest lesson I had to learn was being vulnerable again. That breakup really hurt me. I had tried dating shortly after in an attempt to move on, but it didn't help. I wasn't open to loving someone again. I needed time to heal. It took over a year and half, but I eventually began to live in the light and let love in. When it happened I didn't block it, try to understand it, I just let it in. And if somehow it doesn't work out in the end, you lived, you loved, and you learned.

Stop fearing loss.

When we lose people, it's a natural reaction to fear losing others. But you can't let that fear into your dating process or new relationship. If they want to leave, there's nothing you can do to stop them. Yeah, it sucks. But like my mama says "don't hold on to wet newspapers. There's something better in tomorrow's edition."

Trust people when they say “I love you."

After a painful breakup, it can make you doubt that you are worthy of someone's love again. Doubt is poison. So when someone tells you that they love you, believe them and have faith that they mean it. It's no fun, worrying whether they do or don't. Their actions will reveal everything you need to know in the end.

In the end, all you can do is hope for the best. But don't let fear keep you hostage. Just remember: All's fair in love & travel.

Originally posted on CocoGoneGlobal.com

Coco Hunter is a travel & lifestyle blogger, who has traveled to 30+ countries. She chronicles her global adventures at CocoGoneGlobal.com. Originally from Oakland, CA, she has lived in Atlanta, Dubai and now resides in Zurich, Switzerland. Her adventures have led her backpacking across Europe, sand surfing in Dubai, hot air ballooning over the Swiss Alps, chasing waterfalls in the Philippines, and whale shark diving in the Maldives. You can follow her writing, musings and wacky adventures on Instagram and Twitter.

xoNecole is always looking for new voices and empowering stories to add to our platform. If you have an interesting story or personal essay that you'd love to share, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us at submissions@xonecole.com

Before she was Amira Unplugged, rapper, singer, and a Becoming a Popstar contestant on MTV, she was Amira Daughtery, a twenty-five year-old Georgian, with aspirations of becoming a lawyer. “I thought my career path was going to lead me to law because that’s the way I thought I would help people,” Amira tells xoNecole. “[But] I always came back to music.”

A music lover since childhood, Amira grew up in an artistic household where passion for music was emphasized. “My dad has always been my huge inspiration for music because he’s a musician himself and is so passionate about the history of music.” Amira’s also dealt with deafness in one ear since she was a toddler, a condition which she says only makes her more “intentional” about the music she makes, to ensure that what she hears inside her head can translate the way she wants it to for audiences.

“The loss of hearing means a person can’t experience music in the conventional way,” she says. “I’ve always responded to bigger, bolder anthemic songs because I can feel them [the vibrations] in my body, and I want to be sure my music does this for deaf/HOH people and everyone.”

A Black woman wearing a black hijab and black and gold dress stands in between two men who are both wearing black pants and colorful jackets and necklaces

Amira Unplugged and other contestants on Becoming a Popstar

Amira Unplugged / MTV

In order to lift people’s spirits at the beginning of the pandemic, Amira began posting videos on TikTok of herself singing and using sign language so her music could reach her deaf fans as well. She was surprised by how quickly she was able to amass a large audience. It was through her videos that she caught the attention of a talent scout for MTV’s new music competition show for rising TikTok singers, Becoming a Popstar. After a three-month process, Amira was one of those picked to be a contestant on the show.

Becoming a Popstar, as Amira describes, is different from other music competition shows we’ve all come to know over the years. “Well, first of all, it’s all original music. There’s not a single cover,” she says. “We have to write these songs in like a day or two and then meet with our producers, meet with our directors. Every week, we are producing a full project for people to vote on and decide if they’d listen to it on the radio.”

To make sure her deaf/HOH audiences can feel her songs, she makes sure to “add more bass, guitar, and violin in unique patterns.” She also incorporates “higher pitch sounds with like chimes, bells, and piccolo,” because, she says, they’re easier to feel. “But it’s less about the kind of instrument and more about how I arrange the pattern of the song. Everything I do is to create an atmosphere, a sensation, to make my music a multi-sensory experience.”

She says that working alongside the judges–pop stars Joe Jonas and Becky G, and choreographer Sean Bankhead – has helped expand her artistry. “Joe was really more about the vocal quality and the timber and Becky was really about the passion of [the song] and being convinced this was something you believed in,” she says. “And what was really great about [our choreographer] Sean is that obviously he’s a choreographer to the stars – Lil Nas X, Normani – but he didn’t only focus on choreo, he focused on stage presence, he focused on the overall message of the song. And I think all those critiques week to week helped us hone in on what we wanted to be saying with our next song.”

As her star rises, it’s been both her Muslim faith and her friends, whom she calls “The Glasses Gang” (“because none of us can see!”), that continue to ground her. “The Muslim and the Muslima community have really gone hard [supporting me] and all these people have come together and I truly appreciate them,” Amira says. “I have just been flooded with DMs and emails and texts from [young muslim kids] people who have just been so inspired,” she says. “People who have said they have never seen anything like this, that I embody a lot of the style that they wanted to see and that the message hit them, which is really the most important thing to me.”

A Black woman wears a long, salmon pink hijab, black outfit and pink boots, smiling down at the camera with her arm outstretched to it.

Amira Unplugged

Amira Unplugged / MTV

Throughout the show’s production, she was able to continue to uphold her faith practices with the help of the crew, such as making sure her food was halal, having time to pray, dressing modestly, and working with female choreographers. “If people can accept this, can learn, and can grow, and bring more people into the fold of this industry, then I’m making a real difference,” she says.

Though she didn’t win the competition, this is only the beginning for Amira. Whether it’s on Becoming a Popstar or her videos online, Amira has made it clear she has no plans on going anywhere but up. “I’m so excited that I’ve gotten this opportunity because this is really, truly what I think I’m meant to do.”

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