I spent every day of 2015 missing you.
That’s the sort of thing we’re not supposed to admit out loud: that we can spend entire years caught up in the memory of somebody else, even when our lives are expanding and taking off around us.
We’re supposed to be stronger than that.
We’re supposed to be people who bounce back: from pain, from rejection, from loneliness, from hurt. I spent every day of this past year trying to be stronger than that hurt. But for so much of it, I was not.
I missed you while we were still together. I missed you in each moment I felt you pull away, in every memory that passed of the way things used to be, in every scarcely uttered ‘I love you’ that felt more like a plea from a desperately sinking ship than a genuine expression of affection. I missed you while you fell asleep beside me, I missed you when I woke up alone.
I missed you for so long after you left.
I missed you on the lips of every other boy I kissed, inside the bodies of every other person I tried to love. I missed you in the dead of night with all the blinds drawn and in the middle of the sunniest days, when the entire Universe was swelling and expanding around me.
But I will not do so for a year and one day.
2016 marks the end of me missing you.
I know it’s not as simple as that – that loving someone doesn’t disappear because a clock strikes twelve and a year ends and a new one begins. I know that feelings take time to work themselves out of our systems and that it may be a very long time before you no longer cross my mind. But here is what I can claim: 2016 is the year where I finally stop enabling my own pain.
2016 is the year where I stop picking at your scab, begging it to bleed because it’s easier to keep patching that wound up than it is to actually heal it. It’s the year where I stop comparing everyone else I meet to you, because it’s easier to let them fall short than it is to actually try to invest in someone new. It’s the year where I cancel my pity party, even if it’s easier to attend it than it is to show up to my life and try again.
2016 is the year where I finally accept the hand that I was dealt so long ago and I choose to move forward with it, instead of constantly dwelling on the way things should have gone.
This is the year where my triumphs belong to only me. Where every challenge, every conquest, every victory I encounter is not tainted with the absence of somebody else. It’s the year where I accept my own glories and failures alone – the year where I know that I’m strong enough to handle both.
This is the year where I’ll be present.
Where I’ll kiss new lips and not compare them to the lips of past lovers. Where I’ll start new projects and not wonder what someone else would have thought of them. Where I’ll plan for the future in an unconstrained way, because I’m the only one I have to plan it for. It’s the year where I finally let the present take whatever form it may, because the present is good enough for me. Because I’m ready to let it expand into something incredible.
And so as the past year draws to a close and the new one begins to unfold, I hope that you’re happy as well. I hope you come to life and find your way and kiss someone incredible and learn to let me go in the year that comes, too.
I hope you’re happy in 2016. Because I’m finally ready to be so on my own.
And I don’t have any time left to waste on being unsure.