He was about to graduate, and I had just moved to my dream city. He loved the idea of living out west, I was in love with New York City. He had endless possibilities of where he could go, I had a stable job and a depleted savings account from my move to the big apple.
Our relationship was for all intents and purposes, well.. perfect. Long weekends together sitting side-by-side on the subway, listening to Van Morrison and the Strokes. We played ‘Heads Up’ as early 20-somethings looked at us with envy, as if we had it all figured out… this infallible relationship. Every day was a new adventure to a local festival, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, or a museum exhibit. He would throw an arm around my shoulder, pull me in close, and look at me as if I was amazing and for a brief moment, I felt that I was.
We did everything together, and he quickly became everything to me.
I struggled with what to do. Do I allow this to continue until he leaves and I’m forced to give him up? Do I end it now and save myself the sadness and heartache I know I will feel as I watch him pack up all of his belongings and drive away, never knowing what our life together could have been. I didn’t know how to feel. Part of me felt shorted, hurt, and angry that I wasn’t enough to make him stay. The other part of me wanted him to live his dream without regret.
But what happens when the credits roll? When that romantic comedy that ended so happily, doesn’t reflect what happens six months, a year, five years down the road. We have been made to believe that love always wins, that timing doesn’t matter, that if they truly loved you, they would give up their dreams or the life they had always wanted for themselves for a life with you in the name of love. If you truly love them in return, can you ask that of them?
If they don’t, it feels like they didn’t choose you and the love that you share. If they do, they may regret that it was a choice made out of love rather than of their own fruition. There is only one choice to make… letting go. In today’s society we have this desire to control everything around us. Our appearance on social media, our life plans – there is this constant desire to skip the emotional pain and fear of the unknown for something controllable and within our reach.
It’s terrifying to let go, but holding onto something that was never mean’t to stay is just as painful.
As quickly as people come into your life, they can also leave. As painful as it is to know someone, fall in love with their quirks and personality, be thankful for the moments and the memories you did share. The times you will one day look back on fondly, and the journey onward with what you learned and the happiness you will feel again.
Everyone comes and goes, and I personally hope that one day I see him somewhere out west — that we can smile at one another and know that for a moment in time, we had something worth remembering, a connectedness that makes life what it is… something beautiful.