It’s always hard this time of year.
Even when I’m at my happiest, my most confident self, there is that part of me that thinks, “I wish he were here.”
November is a strange time when the holidays kick in, and the temperatures drop. You find yourself inside more. You find yourself alone with your thoughts more. You long to have that warmth of someone beside you, but it’s not always that you just want someone. You want them.
I find myself wanting to text him more in November than any other month. Something about the leaves changing, something about the end of the year as it sets in. In October, I can fixate on Halloween and find other reasons to scare myself instead of focusing on why we weren’t right together. In December, I can distract myself with Christmas shopping, gorgeous lights, holiday parties- I can find a million ways to keep my mind busy. November, there are just reminders of change. Another year passing, and he’s not here. Another year passing, and I’m still thinking about him.
My family asks at Thanksgiving why I’m still not married, again. They ask if I’m seeing someone. I already have my excuses lined up, ready to roll out without a second thought. While I ramble off my reasons, my brain wanders to thoughts of what it would be like to bring him to my family at the holidays. How it would feel to say I had him by my side to spend forever with. What it would be like to come up with new answers to new questions, like “How did you two meet?” or “How did you know you were in love?”
Thanksgiving tries to change my focus on things to be thankful for, but my mind thinks of how grateful I am that I met him. That our memories are still so vivid in my mind. I have to remind myself of every good excuse in the book on why we don’t work. Those excuses also appear without a second thought. They, too, are second nature by now.
I want to text him in November when I see him post something on Instagram, and I see a snippet of his life that I’m not part of. I want to ask him about it, I want to know how his life is now that I’m not the confidant who knows his secrets. Now that I’m just a memory instead of someone he’s still making memories with.
I want to text him in November and ask how his mother is doing. If he has things, he’s thankful for. If he sees all this change and wonders if the distance between us is something that should fall into the category.
Yet even as I start typing the message, it’s a mistake. There is nothing I could say that would make things the way they used to be. Because if he wanted to be here, then we both know he would be. There is a reason that I’m always the one texting him every November, and it’s not because he’s too afraid to tell me how he feels- it’s because he knows how he feels. No amount of holiday nostalgia moves him the way it does me. I know that as everything else ends and prepares for something new, something better, I have to do the same with who I thought we could be.
I want to text him in November and tell him all of this, but I know that once the year ends, I’ll be thankful that I didn’t.