In reality it may have ended long ago. It was sick and it was broken but it was precious and it was home. You tried to save it. You fought its demise. But when you finally accept that it’s over, that’s when everything starts to change. You stopped fighting for what was, and have allowed yourself to take in what is, here in the reality that is your new life.
And you, you who knew me best, you know better than anyone how this feels.
I am confident that there is nothing about me that you don’t know. You know that I love awful dive bars (like really shitty bars) and that I gravitate towards the wild and carefree. Chaos gives me comfort. And, although I never told you, you know that I adored you with the blissful naivety of a young child from the moment I met you. We both know that I no longer possess that kind of willful innocence.
And while you know these things because you knew me better than anyone had before, you could never fully comprehend the perspective of my young-girl-in-love. By the time I found you, you had long ago lost your willful innocence. It should come as no surprise, then, that our respective subjectivities serve us differently here. In putting so many people, places, and things to rest in my memory, I did so as I came to see them in their final resolution. After all, this is my story.
If I’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s that perception and reality are two tragically, inextricably linked phenomena, which, if we are lucky, treat us favorably as our singular presents turn into our personal histories with each passing day. I’d hoped against hope for far too long that “we” were something I could hold on to; that our surreal, ephemeral journey would not have a finite end; that “goodbye forever” was just a text message. But the reality is that everything ends and nothing is forever, not even goodbye.
I remember with some sadness that you used to compare me to the ghosts of your previous relationships. You’d gone here once before, but not to worry, you were enjoying it much more this time with me. I used to wonder, “Will he say this about me someday?” Whether I become a phantom of your past or not, whether I become a person you used to do things with or you never even mention me at all, just know that in those moments, in that lifetime that is now many forevers ago, you were everything. No comparison will ever be made.
I spent so great a part of my young life chasing you, taming you, and missing you, that the relationship that we did have hardly feels real anymore. Missing you simply became a part of me over the years. It was not until I relinquished our future that I could start to accept the legacy of our past. I hope that with our last goodbye I can start to remember you fondly for everything you gave me. In accepting that “we” had been lost to a past life, I finally found me again. I found the person I was really missing all these years, and for once, “over” doesn’t feel so bad.