Today I took a deep breath and didn’t feel an ache in my chest. I slipped on my clothes, brushed my teeth in the bathroom mirror, walked around the silence of my house and I didn’t think of you.
You are no longer the pounding in my heart, no longer the dull pain under the surface of my smile, no longer the loneliness at my core.
In fact, I don’t miss you anymore.
I used to think this hole would never be filled, that I would shuffle through the days of my life, quiet and burdened, weighed down by every thought of you and every mention of your name. I thought I would be continually reminded of the love we lost, of the way we used to smile at one another, of how we taught one another to believe in something bigger than ourselves.
But I’m not.
In fact, I’ve opened my eyes and thought of myself first. I’ve made a conscious choice to focus on my dreams, my goals, and my happiness.
And now that choice isn’t conscious anymore.
I don’t feel empty. I don’t feel alone. I don’t feel like there’s this incredible void that needs to be filled. And I’m not looking for anyone to fill it. In fact, I feel lighter now. I’ve realized that losing you was just a part of the grand plan of my life, just a part of my past, just a painful lesson I will forever hold close to my heart.
You meant something to me, and you always will. But our paths have settled in new directions and the pain has healed.
There isn’t an ache where you used to be; in fact, I feel free.
Losing you has taught me to celebrate my independence, to learn how to stand on my own two feet and feel good about it, to chase my passions without feeling guilty. I’ve realized that self-love can only be taught when you’re on your own, and that confidence comes when you’re forced to be your own self-advocate. I’m thankful for these lessons.
As for you, I hope you’re somewhere smiling. I hope you’re learning who you are and what you want, and that there isn’t an empty space in your heart either. I hope when you’re reminded of me, your chest feels warm. And I hope we forever hold pieces of one another in our hearts, filling those spaces with a new kind of love.