Possibly one of the most paramount realizations a person can make is to continually recognize who they have been in life. For you and me, this might mean acknowledging your faults and merits, what experiences forged you, understanding why you liked, loved, tolerated, or hated another. We become who we are because of who we have been.
None of us live easy lives. I have stresses that keep me up at night, but I am cursed, and fortunate as hell, that the greatest in the forefront of my head is love.
This sounds stupid, and that’s because life is often stupid. Similar to some who concern themselves with making money, or experiencing as much of the world as possible, I find myself searching for that once in a lifetime, makes you weak all over, endless love. The trouble is, if I think it’s in one place, I’ll tirelessly see it through. Love is a learning experience.
I am fortunate to have loved. Hindsight can grant anyone the ability to comment on their past with, “Well, that was stupid…” but as long as that progressed you along, it couldn’t have been too stupid.
This leads to the interesting part. A glimpse into the deepest part of me; the letter I sent to a woman I loved. I don’t feel the same now, but I had never accurately described my feelings so fittingly in a given moment before. My ex granted me permission to share this. I think I appreciate most that despite not being in each other’s lives anymore, we continue to respect how much we grew in our time together.
Nevertheless, this is what I felt and this is what helped me become who I am.
“To that woman, 14 months ago-
I’ve been told at first impression I’m hard to read. I believe it, not because my book is closed—it’s wide open. It’s the small font that deceives. I don’t display my thoughts on billboards, however, the more a person reads in, the more massive the details on my pages grow. Larger and larger, until I burst from the ink and into the sky. All things I know and feel, written by six Angels sweeping clouded calligraphy in their wakes above.
See, I was that high in love. A book on the brink of the stratosphere. You depleted my fuel and now I am in mayday. No parachute you bestow may grace my fall. I must plunge to Earth and shatter; shedding my chapters across the land. I can only hope those who love me are those who collect me, for I cannot do it alone, but must not do it with you.
It was easier to let go when you weren’t here, and I write this when you are still an ocean away. I can’t be your friend right now. If you recall, when we moved to “friends” from “whatever more we were” the first time, I was upset, you were upset, I got jealous when you dated, and you got jealous when I did. I don’t know how your brain works; how you love me, but won’t love me enough to be with me. However, I know we’re creatures of habit, and I will shatter more than I can fathom when you choose to date other people. Maybe you will when I do too, but mine will be worse, and I know this because despite the hell you’ve placed me in, I would choose you at any time of my life because I love you. It’s that easy for me. But I need to be wanted as more than how you want me, despite whatever love you offer. To me, love is simple because it’s love. It’s not meant to be overthought, nor does it have to make sense. You fall into it, and you feel it, and that’s what you give each other. It’s not a phase, it’s almost never perfect, and sometimes it’s fucking hard, but if at the end you can say you love and were loved back… that’s worth the pain existence has to offer.
As I think of them now, this is not a letter to remind you of all the things we’d planned to do and state how terrible you are for abandoning me with empty promises. They were all the things that would have thrown us deeper into life together, and if we were not meant to be, I’m happy to think of them as reserves in my system. The last remaining parts of me and memories I did not give to you.
I’ve always thought that love and kindness are things you can infinitely give. I have with you. I listened, I cared, and with that, I reminded you what it means to live. Like a fledgling, I’ve pushed you out of the nest so you may fly and now with your wings spread you no longer need me to live. Only, I’m drained and without you there is no way for me to feel full, and that’s my lesson in all of this: loving does not guarantee the love you desire in return.
My brain is still playing every move over again, wondering if there is a way to resolve all this, but you can’t be soft with me. You can’t let me hold on to something that’ll only hurt me. I hate wanting you, but someone out there can love me, and you have to let me find her. As much as I don’t want to give you this letter, as much as I want to wake up with you every morning for every foreseeable morning there is… I must.
I’m sorry you can’t love me the way I need you to. It would have been too good. Better than I’ve ever experienced. I will always have a place for you in my heart.
This letter remains the most fluid description of my head onto paper. I remember the strokes of pen to paper writing this. I also remember growing past the pain. I moved on, then fell back, got stuck in a few places, but persisted. I’m stronger for sending this letter and living through the consequences of its wake. This is all a journey, and even if something feels childish, maybe it was. Maybe that’s what you needed to feel for a better you tomorrow.