Maybe Putting An Ocean Between Us Will Help Me Finally Forgive You

Jake Melara
Jake Melara

There is only one thing I’m absolutely certain about: home isn’t a place with roots, it is a state of being. But sometimes it feels like our love is a house with no doors. And this is something you will never quite understand.

It is 10 o’clock in Barcelona and I am opening up a bottle of wine. I am thinking of how in Europe, I have the same sleeping schedule. Even though we are six hours apart in time, and oceans in between, I am still up at all hours of the night mourning the same memories. The truth is that this city isn’t so new anymore. It has built walls around me. I have seen a lot. I have fallen in love with train rides and loneliness. I have been blind drunk and wanting to scream out to you so loudly you’d hear the sound of me taking my life back.

I have missed you. Sometimes I’ve even missed the abuse — the fighting, the chaos. Maybe because I think of things I could’ve done differently, or maybe because I still think I deserved it. Maybe in a way I still feel like the same spineless coward who always tried to see the best in you even if you couldn’t see it in me.

But the oceans that separate us now still transmit currents that carries your voice all the way across as if it were in the next room, and the waves that collide with the earth are your footsteps as they inch toward me, scolding me for something that I didn’t do correctly. Sending needles down my spine until I can no longer stand up straight on my own.

You are the voice in my head telling me that I am weak and lost and inadequate. You are the voice in my head telling me that I have no voice. You are stuttering apologies that follow “I love yous” that I never really believed. A choke chain around my neck. Oceans away, and I can still feel you pulling on it.

But tonight, even though it feels a lot like razor-edged rocks and a dead end cliff, even though my perspective is blurry, even though I am trying so hard to grasp the last bit of hope I have left in me and hold on tightly, I realize that I have been through this before. I have been able to breathe through it and survive. My soul will heal. I am not weak or lost or inadequate. I know that now.

This emptiness has made everything from my past come floating back like asteroids. Suddenly I thought about everyone I have ever loved, and although I don’t quite know the true meaning of the word, I believe it takes on a lot of forms, and I have loved. Maybe in increments. Maybe in moments. Maybe in glances. I thought about this, and I thought about every meaningful moment. And then every time I was too afraid. And every time I was too naive. I saw things that weren’t there. I saw a lot more in you and very little in me. I was afraid to be vulnerable and yet I was — the most I had ever been. And the only thing I can do to heal is forgive. We think we are not loved. And we think we are not special. But that’s just not the truth.

Some memories will stay with me like a song stuck in my head. Some of them will disappear over time. I am thankful for them. And now, I am thankful for this fresh start. For this opportunity to live and learn through different eyes. Through a different perspective.

To be in a new place and to be surrounded by new souls and to make new memories. To be alone, and to travel alone, and to learn to love myself and everything that makes me who I am. To love through kindness, and to look for the beauty in all of this pain, and in the world.

To forgive. TC mark

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