This is part of a series of letters an ex-lover of mine wrote before a two-year trip to Somalia. I chose to share it because no words have ever been more uplifting than his were in a time when I could not picture being whole again.
I LOVE YOU.
It’s a weird way to start a letter, I know; but since you opened this (and I hoped you never would), your heart has been broken and the only thing I want to remind you of is that you are loved.
I could fill this with all the insults possible to describe the guy that is responsible for your pain, but I’m pretty sure your girlfriends have been a better source of name-calling therapy. Plus, as much as I would like to believe that this guy was a complete imbecile, this isn’t about him. He made his choice (one he will regret later on, I assure you) but I am more concerned about what is going on through your head and most importantly, your heart.
I know most everyone has talked your ear off telling you how you were so much better than him, that he didn’t deserve you, blah blah. All of these affirmations could be true, but will they make you feel better? Not likely.
So here is my attempt at achieving just that. I know this might be weird coming from me, but so is writing letters for you to open while I’m away, so no harm done.
A break up is painful. It will always be. You and I will probably have had our fair share of them. But at the same time, they represent a chance for redesign, for settling new goals. A do-over if you must label it so. It is definitely a blessing in disguise. I know you keep most negative emotions to yourself so I won’t ask you to cry it out.
Write as much about him as you need to. About how you felt with him, how he disappointed you. Write about the good things and the bad things.
WRITE. WRITE. WRITE.
I remember that you told me once that the way you could tell you were over something was when your writing no longer held any trace or inspiration from that situation. Also, that how much you loved someone was in direct proportion to the pieces “inspired by him,” and how much of his glimpses and speckles your entries contained.
People deal with emotions differently, so based on what I know, writing is your best therapy. So write, Michelle. Write until that sting in your heart when people ask you about him disappears; write until you no longer have anything to say to, about, against and for him. After this, keep what you feel is worth having around. Maybe so you can re-read it years down the road and laugh about the way you described all of his flaws and question how crazy you must have been to have loved someone so messed up. Maybe so you can have it as a reminder of what heartbreak felt like and you can be more careful next time. Maybe just so you can let him read one of those entries someday. Maybe keep that writing so you can better understand that this, like all heartbreaks end up guiding you to the right person in the end.
I hope your pain goes away when it needs to and that you keep in mind that someone as far as the other end of the world sees you as everything this guy failed to. So do me a favor and thank him, because I am sincerely grateful for him making you happy as long as he did. Thank him for keeping your heart strong and your life joyful during the time you loved him.
But most of all, thank him for letting go of the most amazing girl in the world. You may have gone one way and I may have gone just the opposite, but I firmly believe that the world is round for that same purpose. The opportunity we are given is to find our way back to each other, in this great big world. Possibly in a different time and place, but the greatest opportunity still.
When you are finally over being heartbroken, thank him, send him the greatest light, stop writing about it and keep living life as vividly as you do: soaking up the sun, bathing in the simple joys you never fail to acknowledge and laughing until your stomach hurts.
All of this while never forgetting to keep a look out for that moment when this love of mine may sneak up on you. Maybe this time even more unexpectedly than it did before.