Maybe You’re Meant To Be A Memory


I thought I knew what we were supposed to be. With every fight, every tear shed between us, every promise I clutched between my fingertips even as the months passed, turning my palms black and blue. I thought that maybe if I believed, maybe if I prayed, maybe if I held onto the possibility in the back of my mind, our love would one day be brought back to life again.

I knew I never stopped loving you.

I couldn’t. I couldn’t just erase our history from my heart like a chalkboard, wipe it clean and pretend you didn’t once mean everything to me. I couldn’t hide the fact that even now, I still get chills at the mention of your name.

But time has a funny way of teaching us what we really need, what we really want, what’s really important when push comes to shove and you’re living miles and miles apart from your other half.

Time taught me that as much as I loved you, I couldn’t change you. I couldn’t make you love me the way I needed to be loved.

And in the end, that mattered more than my swelling heart. In the end, I wanted you to be something you couldn’t, something you won’t ever be.

And now I understand why people say love isn’t fair—because you can give everything you have to someone and end up empty, because you can love with your entire being and still be alone, because you can want something, want someone so bad, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be together in the end.

And I’m slowly learning this lesson with you.

I’m learning that maybe I’ve been holding onto the promises I’ve made in my own mind, the desires I’ve made tangible, visible in my own eyes. I’ve been wishing for something I haven’t verbalized to you. I’ve expected you to know, to be, to become something you physically and mentally cannot.

And I’ve been blaming you for what you have no control over.

I thought I had all the answers when it came to us. That one day we would float back into each other’s lives like we never left. I thought I knew you, knew my heart, knew the depth of our love.

But maybe all this time I’ve been romanticizing our relationship. I’ve been putting words into your mouth. I’ve been daydreaming about a love that simply doesn’t exist anymore.

Maybe you’re not meant to be mine forever. Maybe you’re supposed to settle like dust, fade like an old filmstrip, set like the sun at the end of the day—a reminder of who we were, who I was standing next to you.

Maybe you’re meant to be a memory, a beautiful piece of my heart I’ll never forget. A section of my life, carved away with love and care.

Maybe you’ll always matter to me, but that’s all you will be—time’s lesson that I now must let go of.

Maybe we aren’t meant to become, aren’t meant to reattach, aren’t meant to rewrite the past and begin a new story.

And maybe I’m learning to be okay with that.

It’s hard, realizing I don’t have the answers, don’t have our answers in the palm of my hand. It’s scary, imagining a world without you in it, a future that doesn’t hint to us at all.

Right now I’m imagining you, wherever you are, watching the sunrise and petting your dog, breathing in the crisp morning air and getting ready to start your day.

I hope that when you take a breath, it tastes like a new beginning.
And I hope, in that breath, you start to let go of us. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Marisa Donnelly

Marisa is a writer, poet, & editor. She is the author of Somewhere On A Highway, a poetry collection on self-discovery, growth, love, loss and the challenges of becoming.

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