Thought Catalog
May 8, 2017

I’m Letting Go Of The Ghosts Of You

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Unsplash/Thomas Kelley

I need to let you go because the ghost of your past keeps me frozen in time.

Memories have become my oxygen. I’m living through traces of everything we used to be. I can’t go a single day without being reminded of something we would spend hours laughing about. I’ll be in the car when one of our songs will come on and suddenly I’m brought back to those mid-summer nights. I’ll pass a couple holding hands and remember how it felt to have your skin intertwined with mine. I’ll look in the mirror and won’t help but notice how much happier my reflection looked when you were by my side. I’ll slip into your shirt at night and think that even after all this time, I can still feel your warmth through the threads.

Some days are better than others, but for every step forward I take, the thought of you drags me back. Back to a time where everything seemed so much simpler. Back to drunken nights and arms that felt like home. Back to taking risks and living so carefree. Back to a time and place that only exists in my mind. Because these things may have happened, but deep down I know that they have no place in my present or my future. They will always be trapped in the museum of us that I have built-in my brain, buried amongst millions of other snapshots of my past that have shaped me into who I am today. I can’t go back in time, and even if I could, why would I want to? What good would it do?

Maybe everything has their time and place. Maybe you were always meant to be temporary. Maybe we were destined to come and go like shooting stars that light up the night sky. Maybe our paths needed to cross so I could finally find the path that feels right.

I need to let you go because the ghost of your present keeps stopping me from living in mine.

You’re everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I can’t help but wonder how you’re doing. Are you happier now than you were before? Did you finally get your life together like you said you would? Does the thought of me ever cross your mind, or is being without me treating you just fine?

There are so many loose ends that I have no choice but to fill the gaps myself. My body might be using me to move on, but my mind is begging me to still hold on.

Every time your name gets dropped in a conversation, I go through the motions and pretend like I don’t care. Pretend like your name no longer sends shivers down my spine. Pretend like hearing you’re with someone new doesn’t reopen fresh wounds. Because the truth is, moving on might be easy for you, but it isn’t for me. I’m letting opportunities to start over pass me by because I don’t want to get over you. Prince charming could be knocking and I still wouldn’t open the door. I gave you the last set of keys and haven’t had the heart to change the locks. So I sit and wait, trapped in this loop of moments that will never be mine. I’m throwing away any chance I get to let myself be free. I’m paying so much attention to almosts that I’m forgetting how to fight for what matters most of all. I’ve always been one to live in the here and now, so when did I become someone who stopped believing that making the most of the moment is the only way to survive?

I need to let you go because the ghost of your future keeps me from seeing how much brighter things can be on the other side.

I’m living in this fantasy of everything we can still be. I keep waking up and checking my phone waiting for that “I miss you, can we try again” text that I know you’ll never send. I’m sitting on a seesaw waiting for you to jump on the other side. Every time I picture my future, my mind draws a blank, because I never took the time to think of one that didn’t include you. Because there was a time when we had plans to explore the world together. A time when we told each other all of the dreams and goals we wanted to achieve. A time when we promised to always lift each other up so we could reach for the stars. A time when the future meant you and me. But I’m leeching onto false hope for a reality that will never exist. I’m holding onto empty promises and figments of my imagination.

This fairytale I’ve constructed in my mind has always been a lie. But maybe my happy ending has less to do with you, and more to do with me. Maybe there will come a time when all of these what if’s and almosts won’t just exist in my mind. Maybe I’ll get to a point where everything will finally make sense. Maybe I won’t need you or anyone else to put together the puzzle of who I am. Maybe when I look inside that crystal ball I won’t focus on who I’m with, but will rather be grateful that I had the strength to make it there at all.

Maybe letting you go is what I need to finally love myself enough to set me free. TC mark