An Open Letter To The Friend I Stopped Connecting With

two women sitting on cliff looking at the ocean
Joshua Sazon / Unsplash

It wasn’t you, it was me.

You know that cliche saying in the movies where it actually is you and nothing about the person saying the dreaded line? This time, I actually mean it.

It was me. And I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I kept pushing for more. I made things awkward and hard despite how much good came from always trying to communicate when it got hard. I’m sorry I couldn’t see the value in a good friend and leave it at that. My heart was full of hopeful feelings and could not connect to my head that told me the truth over and over again. It wouldn’t happen. I’m sorry for the way it ended and how our communication ceased. I stopped trying.

I stopped trying because it eventually left me feeling burnt out. I didn’t feel alive anymore breathing flame into something that could’ve lived, but was long gone. I stopped trying because the silence on the other end left me feeling a mirage of things between unchosen, like an unwanted friend, and like I had taken a million steps back into a place I thought I had moved and healed from. I stopped trying because the wound from the past was only opening again and hurting me.

I eventually assumed reaching out might be hurting you, too.

I stopped trying because it was the best thing for me. It was a selfish choice that taught me how to water my own garden instead of living in undying hope that that someone else would. I stopped trying because I realized it might be the best thing for you, too.

I acknowledge that the way things ended likely affected us both in ways that are hard to articulate in words so we use music and metaphors now. I recognize the place you held in my heart for years and the lifelong gift of faith that you handed me, even though in the end that was my choice.

I see now with new eyes: Forgiving and letting go does more to heal when the walls are cracking, falling, and giving way to that which is finished.

And let me tell you the truth: That which is finished was worth every second of the breaths, texts, and letters it took out of me to try.

I think of you still. But it is no longer clouded by the rejection and hurt my thoughts were encapsulated with for months. It is instead colored by the good.

The quality time we spent together speaking, laughing, and awkwardly trying. The friendship we built through the loving arms of similar community. The unyielding support you showed me when I decided to begin the journey of walking away. The ideal future I imagined shattered before my eyes. I heartbreakingly began to realize it would not involve you and it made more sense to place finality on that heartbreak by breaking everything off completely.

But I’m not sad about it anymore. I am silent in my caring. I need you to know the care never vanished when the feeling faded and my heart broke, because you were always the better friend.

Your words matter. Who you are in this world matters. Your vulnerability through sounds, notes, and words stick in places of that care I have like glue. I hope they stick to others like glue, too, because words and sounds have the capacity to reverberate and change the future of people you have no idea are listening.

And I need you to know I’m listening.

I have always been listening. TC mark

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