It’s Not Me, It’s You

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

This is the part where I would normally turn to alcohol. In the past I’ve dealt with rejection by transforming into the train wreck that was the party girl, because party girls don’t get hurt. They surround themselves with handfuls of acquaintances and assign value to hangover-inducing shenanigans.

But something is different this time. Instead, I choose sobriety.

For too long I’ve put you on a pedestal, imagined you to be this angel who journeyed across the sea. You came into my life when I was hurting, licking my wounds, and hiding behind a mask of positivity.

And you scared me.

I’ll never forget the first time we spoke. I had eyed you from across the room, and I could feel in my gut that there was something different about you. And when I walked into the coffee shop, I had an inkling you would come through the door behind me.

And sure enough, there you were.

Things were so good between us. Getting to know you was like a breath of fresh air.

Then one night you blacked out and you told me you loved me. And I asked you how that could be possible because you barely knew me. But you just shook your head and said I didn’t understand – you just knew because you felt it in your bones.

I’ve never been looked at the way you looked at me that night.

Maybe we rushed into it too quickly. We were awkward bodies not comfortable with ourselves. And I think back on that night often, wondering if, had I not been so insecure, I could have given you three hours you would never forget.

But on a recent night when we laid in each other’s arms, our brains swirling as we came down from the ecstasy, I felt so happy just to feel you breathe. I didn’t want to be anywhere else – we were right where we belonged.

And when you left the next morning I felt so sad. I just cried and cried, because I worried that it didn’t mean anything to you.

But I’m so tired of wondering why I’m not enough. You insist on hating yourself; you lay brick after brick on the wall you’ve built between us.

I want to kiss away your demons; protect you from the pain in this life. I want to stare into your beautiful blue eyes and tell you that it’s okay to forgive yourself. I want to strip the armor shielding our souls and learn everything there is to know about you.

But you refuse to acknowledge the trail of tears you’ve caused. You’re nothing but a scared little boy.

It took me months, but I realized it isn’t me that’s inadequate. It’s you that isn’t enough for me. Because I deserve to be loved by somebody who isn’t afraid. I deserve somebody who respects what a privilege it is for me to stumble into their lives.

Since I’ve met you I’ve thought of my intensity as a flaw; thought of myself as this crazy bitch who clung to your every word and daydreamed of how we might travel the world together. Even after you told me it wasn’t your time, I couldn’t help it. I thought tomorrow you’d realize the time was now.

Yes, I give my whole heart unconditionally, and often to those undeserving. But what a beautiful thing that is to be able to love with such reckless abandon.

I accept that my passion is not for everybody, but that doesn’t mean I should be the one holding back. To hold back would only drag me down to your level. And where has that gotten you so far?

I can’t blame you for acting out in your search for happiness. I can see myself in your shoes, because I too have been in a place where life’s meaning rested at the bottom of a bottle and self-acceptance was found only in one-night stands.

But I choose sobriety. I choose peace.

I choose to embrace this moment, because I know too well that ignoring it would cause myself more harm. There is no enlightenment that comes out of that lifestyle – only pain and regret. But I can’t teach you that lesson. It’s one that you must come to on your own terms.

I hope that you find all the answers you beg of the universe, but I won’t be there to hold your hand anymore. I have a life of my own to figure out. I owe it to myself to be better than the standard.

Perhaps in another life it is written to be. I’ll pass by you – a stranger – wondering if you were meant to follow me into a coffee shop.

And then you do. TC mark

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