I didn’t know who I would be when you left. When someone is a large part of your life for a few years, what do you expect? Spending day after day, night after night, wrapped in each other’s arms. You picked up some of my habits, and I yours. We got comfortable — that was our downfall.
I was too afraid to pick up and leave because I didn’t want to start over. I didn’t know who I would be without you, which was dumb. I was scared that I would fall through the cracks and not be able to function. I thought my dark cloud would get darker and my pillow stay moist from nights full of tears. I thought I would never be able to be myself again.
Oddly enough, I am more myself without you.
They say that you’re never the same person after your heart gets broken, it’s true. I am not the same person I was four years ago…or even four months ago.
I spent a significant amount of time mourning the person I fell in love with, being disappointed at the man you’ve become, and being angry at the ways you were treating our former relationship. But after I went through the stages of grief…a good ten times…I realized that I need to thank you.
Thank you for finally growing a pair and leaving. Thank you for destroying me. Thank you for completely breaking down my walls. Thank you for loving me the ways you did—bad and good.
Thank you for showing me how I shouldn’t be treated.
If you would have stayed, I never would have put my own strength to the test. I would have been okay with lukewarm love. But in your absence, I realized that I don’t need you or anyone else to make me happy. I braved the world without you for the first time in years and it was freeing. I realized that I like going out and getting a little too drunk with my friends. I like catching someone’s eyes at a bar and spending the night conversing with them. I like spending hours getting lost in my work, my workout or even a good book.
I realized that I love my own company more than I ever loved yours. Being lonely and being alone are two entirely different things. With you, I was lonely. With myself, I am alone and thrilled to be.
I realized that I hate the sound of sirens, and football, and when people get so drunk that they need their clothes changed. I realized that I love staying out until five in the morning, and being with my girlfriends, and driving with the windows down.
After all those years, you finally gave me the greatest gift of all—my freedom. I’m no longer obligated to have my phone on me at all times, waste my Sundays watching a losing football team or go to boring functions with drunken idiots. Most importantly, I can do what finally makes me happy.
I thought I’d never fall in love again after you, but here I am. In love with the girl I have become and happier than ever.
So thank you—for leaving, for lying, for all the terrible things that you did. I’m eternally grateful.