You know that moment when you’re downloading a movie on your laptop, and you’re staring at the screen because it’s been at 13% for the past half hour? And you try to make time pass faster by tracing circles with your cursor on the screen, or tapping rhythmically on your keyboard. But still, you swear you’d just seen the progress bar go backwards.
So you get up from your cozy spot on the couch and leave your movie to load unattended, whilst you fix yourself a nice hot cup of tea. And a snack. Maybe two snacks. Then when you come back from your little kitchen adventure, not only is the movie is fully loaded, but you’ve missed the entire opening scene.
Letting you go will feel like this.
The first few days will be torturous; wondering how I can see you every day yet still be expected to put you at the back of my mind, at the bottom of my list. The first few days will be torturous, because I will try.
I will try not to care when you are in class, or in the hallway, or on my notifications. I will try not to care when you aren’t. I will try not to bring you up in conversations, and not to react when someone else does.
On good days I will feel like I have made the tiniest bit of progress. On not-so-good days, I will feel the progress bar go backwards. Some days, I will miss you. And some days, I will hate you. But most days, I will fool myself into believing that hating you means I’ve made progress.
And as I am at the climax of my pity-party of one; watching soppy movies and writing allusive articles about you, hoping your friends might stumble upon them and show them to you (because I’m supposed to be too nonchalant to show them to you myself), I will remember everything else that matters. I will remember everything else that should have mattered – more than you.
I’ll learn the hard way that things don’t just “fall into place”, and that priorities don’t just “sort themselves out”. I’ll learn that priorities get sorted out because I start making a conscious choice about what I spend my time doing and who I spend it with. Because I start making a conscious choice to see the bigger picture; to see what I want for my future, and who I want in it.
Then somewhere in between applying for my dream schools, and working on my portfolios, and loving my friends and family,
I will miss the part where I have already let you go.
I will stop caring when you are in the room. Not because I’m trying not to care, but because I won’t be in the same room. Because there will always be somewhere else that I need to be, more than I need to be around you.
I will stop bringing you up in conversations. Not because I’m trying not to bring you up, but because I won’t skew the conversation toward you. Because there will be things that I’ll be excited to talk about, more than I am about you.
I will stop letting your absence make me bitter. Not because I’m trying not to let it, but because someone else’s presence will make me happier. Because there will be people who love me and will stick around, far longer than you’d ever planned to.
And I will let go of you. Not because your flaws will finally make themselves apparent, and not because you’ll start treating me like something you scrape off the sole of your shoe. I won’t even let go of you when you start loving someone else.
This will never be up to you.
I will let go of you. Not because I’m trying to let go, but because I’m trying to hold on – to someone else that I know will prove to be a better investment. I will let go of you when I realise that someone else belongs on the top of my list. I will let go of you when I acknowledge that your future will be bright, and so will mine, but they won’t necessarily have to overlap.
And I will let you go. Not because I’m trying to, and not because I don’t still love you. But because I will have to love myself more.