Thought Catalog
May 10, 2017

The Art Of (Finally) Letting You Go

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Thành Alex

You brought out the best in me, at least with my words. I never wrote more passionately, or selflessly, than when you were a part of my life. But you also brought out the worst in me in every other way imaginable, and for that, I had to let you go.

The desperation. The disillusion. The dismay. None of it was healthy. My head had to accept reality, my heart would have to shatter before it could mend, and I would have to move on from you entirely. The only way that would happen was with a complete detox.

It started with your social media accounts.

I couldn’t keep seeing pictures of you and think about how beautiful you are. I couldn’t keep seeing pictures of couples and envisioning myself being the one who looked at you that way, kissed you that way, or made you bite your lip in ecstasy that way. I couldn’t keep reading posts about the kind of man you desired, all the while screaming internally that he was right here.

I couldn’t keep living in a fantasy. I couldn’t keep being a prisoner in my own skewed state of mind. I couldn’t keep running in place at full speed — exerting all of the energy and effort with no progress — and thinking that I was somehow gaining ground on you.

I couldn’t keep chasing a mirage. I couldn’t keep believing a lie. For that, I had to let you go.

It got easier, in time. You were out of sight, and slowly vacating my mind, but it wasn’t enough. Something was missing. I needed closure, even if I didn’t deserve it or you were under no obligation to accommodate.

I kicked around ideas about how to approach you, but only one kept surfacing: Writing. If there were anything in this world that would convince you, it would be my words. If my words were not enough, I could walk away knowing that you knew my feelings for you that probably never seen the light of day. It was an all-or- nothing shot in the dark, but it was the only option that made sense to me.

My words were not enough, and I was okay with that. Even if the rejection hurt for a little while, it marked the first time since I met you that I wasn’t lying to myself when I said that my pursuit was over.

I had finally let you go for good. My calloused hands from holding on with every ounce of strength in me could finally rest and start to heal. My heart could start to open up again so that someone else could eventually occupy it.

I’m a happier, healthier person for letting you go.

I can talk to you without carefully choosing every syllable that leaves my lips or letter punched into my phone. You helped teach me the difference between love and infatuation, and for that I will always be grateful.

I don’t regret my actions, as pathetic or embarrassing as they may be, because they helped me grow into the better man you know today. I don’t regret letting you go for a single second.

My only regret is I didn’t let you go sooner. TC mark

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