An Open Letter To The One Who Got Away

I want you to know that it’s all good between us.

I often wonder how you are, and though I have no idea, I believe you must be well. It’s what I hope for, because it’s what you deserve.

As for me, sometimes I’m so deliriously happy that I could cry. If I saw you again I would hug you, just to thank you for walking away.

Today I went for a hike, something you never liked to do, and found a little pool of cool, emerald water in the river along the trail. I jumped in and washed the final remnants of you away. Cleansed, I spread my arms like a bird and as the sun hit my face I thought to myself, “this is good.”

I finally felt comfortable in my own skin and with my own company. I didn’t wish for anyone else to impact my moment. I looked back on the past few months and realized that I was thankful for every dark and bright second of it all, because it had contributed to where I am now.

I thought about all of the things that conspired to bring me to this and naturally, one of the biggest was you.

There was a time when my vision of a perfect future involved you as my co-star. We had a connection I’d never felt before and when I was with you, I was the best version of myself. We laughed and loved so much, and that beautiful and rare connection could have been a fixture of every day of the rest of our lives – at least that’s what I thought. What we had seemed so solid until all of a sudden, it wasn’t. 

You got cold feet. Maybe I asked for too much. We severed ties and since then, haven’t spoken a word.

It’s strange how someone who was once my best friend became a total stranger.

When things fell apart, I wondered what a future without you would look like. I feared that the best thing that had ever happened to me vanished from my life when we said our final goodbyes. I worried you were the one, and I’d never have anything that good ever again.

There were dark times in the weeks that followed. Little reminders of you would pop up in the least likely of places and I’d feel that dull, aching pain in my chest again. I’d long for the good times and grieve over the loss of you.

Yet, in a roundabout kind of way, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. Though I couldn’t see it back then, I eventually realized that the best person that could impact my life wasn’t someone else, it was me.

Before, I had to take your desires into account, so I made sacrifices and now, I put myself first instead.

You loved watching movies, so I’d spend hours on the couch with you even though I’d rather be doing just about anything else, just to make you happy. You wanted me to like your friends, so we’d spend most weekends with them, which was fun, but didn’t really bring me any closer to any goals of mine. You had a lot of opinions, and though at the time I thought they were mostly good, I realize now that nobody could know what I needed in my life more than I could.

When you made your final exit, your voice and opinions were replaced with mine. After the time I spent with you was finally freed up, I poured myself into work, nurtured the friendships that had suffered while we were together, and looked inward at all of the things I wanted to change but had been discouraged from doing when I was with you. Liberated, I took those risks, and they paid off. I developed so much confidence, I pushed out my fears, and I did it all because I was finally free.

You see, if it had worked out the way the storybook fantasy played out in my head, I wouldn’t have met nearly as many new people as I have since you and I cut ties, each of whom has contributed in a small or huge way to my life. I would have had to take you into account when it came to deciding everything over the past year from things as simple as where to eat to bigger questions such as where to live, who to spend my time with, and how to grow as one rather than two.

I went out there and experienced new things on my own whereas if we were still an item, I would have been at home, nestled up with you instead.

When I look back at it all, the moments what seemed the darkest — when my heart was beating so hard I thought it just might break out of my chest, when it hurt just to breathe, and when the flickering flame of pain ran through my every time I heard your name – it all makes sense now. I’m better off these days, even though I couldn’t see it back then. It all happened so that I could be here now, and now is exactly where I’m meant to be.

So, thank you so much after all for getting away. You brought me back to the most important person in my life: me. Thought Catalog Logo Mark