May 10th, 2018 and the last text I’d ever send to you read, “It’s unclear to me what has happened over 10 weeks for you. I do hope you are well and I wish you the best. :)” Yes, 10 weeks prior we sat on a bench outside the Museum of Natural History and discussed taking a break from spending time with one another and going for tea, checking in, and seeing where we were at in 10 weeks. I thought the universe was testing me when we parted ways. I laughed as Spotify shuffled to “Goodbye My Lover.”
At first, I was looking forward to it, but quickly, you faded from my thoughts. I stopped keeping a list of what I wanted to tell you. I stopped checking your social media. I stopped knowing you. Sooner rather than later, it hit me that this was not a break; it was a breakup, plain and simple. Although I knew we had no future, I believed we would be in each other’s lives as friends, in 10 weeks. We’re not. We’re well past 10 weeks.
Although there are split seconds when I want what we were to feel unfinished and in need of a clean ending, I know that there will never be an answer that you give me that I will accept.
I see photos of us on Instagram, inside jokes scattered through Facebook, and old iMessages loitering on my phone. We’re no longer orbiting each other’s worlds.
The story I tell myself repeatedly to dampen my disbelief goes something like this: it isn’t personal. You don’t have to hear why. You may never know why he didn’t wish you a quick happy birthday, but you knew he was never coming back for you. No matter how many times you told him to come back better, he’d never be better enough to earn your trust. He knows that. You don’t have to answer all questions. Life is filled with unknowns and uncertainties, so they are worth getting used to and letting go. No matter how much you want to pull people in and shelter them from their fears, doubts, and insecurities, you can’t be strong on their behalf; you can’t make them see what you see. Your eyes are clear and theirs might be blocked by dirt (for now), but one day they will be clean and it will have nothing to do with you. You won’t be there, but keep hoping they find what they are seeking.
There is an impossible ache I feel acknowledging that I built a fantasy that I wanted us to live in and it never existed. It was far from sustainable. For a minute there, you were my lifeline and my home. Now, when I think of the dark places I’ve been, my answer was to phone a friend. The mere act of their answering signaled to me that I was going to be okay for me and although I’ll never know, you too.
Rascal Flatts said it best when they sang:
“My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to,
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small,
You never need to carry more than you can hold,
And while you’re out there getting where you’re getting to,
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too.”
People come and go. But my message for all the people who leave spaces in my life to be filled with other people and joys is the same: I may not know where you are or where you end up, but I wish that your anxieties subside and you live a joyful life with people who give you opportunities to grow and who bring out your authentic and happiest self.