Heartbreak has often served as the central theme of my writing. It comes naturally to write about the bad so that just for a moment, even if it doesn’t feel good, it can feel just a little less bad. Through oversharing and constant reflection, I’ve learned that I need to stop using the word “mistake” as a negative description. Mistakes can hurt you, but they can also help you. Grabbing onto the good within the bad is a practice that comes with, you guessed it, practice!
Dating is exhausting, and it’s especially tiring for people that stay stuck in that initial stage. Let me explain: For some people, dating is a pit stop. It’s like they’re going to a restaurant and they’re going to order something one way or another. Then there are other people, people like me. I won’t order anything. I might try another restaurant and not order anything there either. So instead of building a relationship, I’m running around the city trying to find something I’m actually interested in ordering.
Admittedly, maybe that’s not my best metaphor, but it works. For someone that can’t seem to find a connection or make a connection that wants to take that next step, it can feel draining, to say the least. And that exhaustion can easily transform into irritability that gives off an uninviting and pessimistic spirit.
I’ve reached a point where dates and dating, once again, have left me numb, to the extent where I started to feel myself grow bitter, pushing anyone around me further and further away. Part of that was because of someone I found impossible to let go of.
And we’ve all been there, right? It doesn’t feel good with this new person, so then you start to think of the last time being with someone else did feel good. Before you know it, your foot is pressed heavily onto the gas and you’re driving yourself into the past without a route back to the present.
But when you start to make a habit from that, that last person that truly meant something to you can feel like your last hope at remaining optimistic—your last hope at remaining good.
So after feeling like I was on the verge of drowning in an all too familiar sense of hopelessness, I chose to jump back. I made a choice to look at how I felt and think differently. I knew where my mind was headed, so I resisted by doing something conventionally unconventional.
I wrote a love letter to that guy I still had feelings for and I told him just that in a way I’d never done before—for him or anyone else, really. While most of our recent communication was merely virtual, I went old school and spelled everything out in a handwritten letter. Although we haven’t physically seen each other in months, I told him how strongly I still felt, even with the distraction of distance, time, and other people. Now, as much as I’d love for him to say he feels the same way and he’s been having the same thoughts, I don’t expect anything from him.
So, why did I write it?
I wrote this to him, but I wrote it for me.
Even if he doesn’t owe me anything at this stage, I owe it to myself to travel far outside of my comfort zone and make every effort to try and move forward by putting myself out there more than I ever have before. I was as honest, upfront, and direct as I possibly could be so that I could dispense these past feelings that were still current.
But more importantly, I decided that I don’t want to be the person that grows bitter with heartbreak, so much so that it negatively impacts every relationship that follows.
I do want to be the person that puts everything out there even when it’s frightening. I want to be the person that’ll do something so potentially embarrassing if it means I can say I did everything I could. I want to be the person that isn’t afraid of rejection because it’s worth the opposing outcome. I want to be the person that wears their heart on their sleeve, naked and unafraid.
When it comes to love, I want to be strong and fearless, unleashing my heart that I’ve imprisoned too long.
I want to be foreign to bitterness and familiar with change.
I want to be better than I am and better than I have been.
I want to be the person that tries, the person that feels, and the person that loves.
So that’s who I’m going to be.
That is who I am.