You Were Right, I Can Do This Without You

Grace Chung
Grace Chung

You were right.

I can do it without you.

I no longer need your validation or yearn for the emotional support you gave. I have faith in my writing, regardless of the fact that I no longer have your praise. I have faith in my strength. I’ve literally climbed mountains without you, and done it well. You told me before we parted ways that I could do these things on my own. I guess I didn’t believe that at the time.

But that was always the problem, wasn’t it? Not just with you, but in every relationship. Me looking for praise, for affirmation, for confirmation that I was good enough. Me trying to find a man who could give me what Mommy never did. It’s all so simple, so elementary, and yet I never understood it. I thought I knew myself so well but I knew nothing at all.

You saw the strength and resourcefulness in me that I did not yet know how to see in myself. I loved that about you. You said you found me intimidating, which I never quite comprehended. You always praised my intelligence and my work ethic. You believed that I could do whatever I wanted. When I saw myself through your eyes, I liked who I was.

And I loved you. Oh, how very much I loved you.

I loved everything about you that you in turn could not see in yourself. I loved your maturity, your values, your commitment to your profession. For the first time in my life, I was with someone I truly respected. I loved your silly side. I loved that we had so very much in common. I never stopped looking at you with a heart that burst with affection, even when we had rough times.

Our problems never sprung from a lack of love, of that I’m sure. If anything, it was from an inability to let you go when I knew deep down that I should. Because of that conflict, that fight between logic and emotion, I mistreated your heart. I jerked you around, and for that I will be forever sorry. I can only claim ignorance and tell you that I was a very lost soul who did not yet know how to find herself. We both made mistakes, but I can only control my own. I hope you know I regret the past, but it can’t be changed. All I can do is behave differently in the future.

I wish that I hadn’t had to lose you to find myself, but it was the only way. That’s as clear to me now as it was muddled and torturous a mere year ago. I had to hit a low point in my life in order to climb out of the worn rut I was trudging along. I had to lose what seemed like everything in order to reach the revelation that I have everything I need right here, inside myself.

Once in a while I’m sad, and a little jealous that you’ve found happiness in love while I’m still over here blazing trails on my own.

I don’t begrudge you your happiness – I only wish that we could have had it together.

I do see that we never could have, no matter how we tried or how much we cared for each other. We don’t want the same things out of life. That’s okay. We were both in denial and hoping that something would change. It didn’t, and that’s how life goes. I’m not in love with you anymore. If I see a picture of you, it inspires no feeling in me. Still, I’m an emotional and deeply caring person.

I will always have affection for you in my heart, no matter what.

Out of the depths of my deep sorrow – and I’ve had a lot of sorrows in my life – I reaped an incredible gift. Despite the pain, the heartbreak, the depression…I would never trade what I’ve gained. I finally see what you saw. I don’t need someone to love me just so I can see myself as wonderful through his eyes. Every day I gain more strength, more independence, and more confidence. I force myself to get out there and make the life that I want for myself, with or without someone else. Every single thing that I make happen on my own carries that much more importance.

So, in a strange way…thank you. Thank you for breaking my heart. Thank you for teaching me that I need to be whole on my own before I can stand next to a partner. Thank you for loving me and being the precursor to me discovering the woman I am now, and the woman that I have yet to become.

Thank you for setting me free to fly as exactly who I need to be.

I couldn’t keep living as I did, and I’m so excited to live as I do now – looking forward to every day to come, quietly confident and strong, facing my fears in the eye and defying them. I’m becoming the woman I never knew I could be. I feel fervently lucky that I have the time, the space, and the independence to explore what I want from life and to finally accept who I truly am. I feel lucky to now act from a base of grace, patience and kindness instead of a place of fear and judgment.

My entire life and way of perceiving the world has changed entirely in the past year. When I step back and think about it, I can hardly believe it myself. I feel incredibly grateful…so thank you. Thank you for giving me the gift of me. Even though I accomplished it on my own, you were my catalyst for change. Thank you for opening my eyes.

I can do it without you.

And I do.

Every single day.

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Speak your truth. Be kind. Stay present. And don’t forget to play!

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