I thought I knew how this was going to feel. So long I’ve been traveling lightly through our relationship, treading water in the soft kisses and comforting embraces. I was stable in knowing our schedule, the timetable that ran our lives. It was getting to be static—airwaves that danced up and down as we both fell asleep on the couch, leaving what we really had to say nestled deep into our chests, covered heavily by the wool blankets that connected us.
And what did you figure was going to happen? After our long talk that one night on your couch, my tears salting the cushions, you seemed so evenly distributed. No emotions hidden anywhere. There wasn’t any screaming, no anger steaming from your warm voice, no remorse melting your chin to your chest. I had to leave then. I knew I couldn’t stay sleeping next to you and go on about our night as if there were any solution to our issues. I would have had to accept where you were at—something I had been doing for a long time—and bury my dreams deeper down, floating along in your river. You got to choose how fast that current flowed. I couldn’t do it any longer. I think that’s when I knew that we had to part ways.
I slept better that night than I had in a long time.
Then I woke up and realized you hadn’t. You were still figuring it out in your head—what it meant for us, how we were supposed to move on from this place, knowing that in the end I was going to have to be the one that cut the string that linked us because you were content to let it lie. Why wouldn’t you be? The schedule was yours, the activities I became complacent with were yours. I gave into the sexual pulls even when my mind was far away. I was always trying to please you instead of listening to my heart and giving myself the chance to be brave, to say the words that were stuck in my throat. I wanted to run forward together, and I knew that you weren’t in a place to let go of the weights that were making you move slower. We started in different places on this journey; our shirt wasn’t buttoned up right.
It went on for two weeks like this. Both of us having one-sided conversations, making it to the top of the hill, too afraid to go over the other side because we knew we’d be moving down different sides of it. It was safer to remain on the part of that hill we had been traveling up, enjoying the sunshine as it passed across our skyline, even if the grass under our feet was dead and dry. We could feel winter’s light and warmth through the end of summer and into fall. I wanted to get to the top of this peak and start screaming. The conversations we weren’t having were the ones that were keeping us cold.
And why was it so much to ask? Why couldn’t we just talk through it, recognizing that it was no longer what we both needed? For each of us, too. It wasn’t like I had woken up one day and decided that it wasn’t working anymore. That I had changed overnight and my heart was yearning for more lightness, to let go of the weight that was holding us both down. You felt it, too. I know you did. Neither of us were bolstering the other to be our best selves. Perhaps we could have tried harder to make it work. To recognize the timelines that you were allowing yourself to stay on, the ones that I wanted to break down, pulling the ripcord on the slowness. You never know unless you try.
Ultimately, I had to make the decision to stand on the top of this hill and have the conversation. To turn my back as I started down a new side alone. I didn’t want to stay in the same place forever, waiting for you to make the decision that I was worth it. The decision that I was worth bringing into your life, to being introduced to your kids, to telling our mutual connections that we were dating, to move in together. These are all parts of a working relationship. And sure, maybe it won’t turn out, but at least both of us would have cared enough to try. In the end, neither of us wanted to take the leap. There were too many things holding us back: you were fearful of what others would think, I wasn’t interested in the work it would take to have a relationship with your kids.
And now we work through these things by ourselves. Now we move on to what our own souls need to heal. Both of us need some alone time to recognize what is most important in our lives, reconnecting to our dreams, our other relationships, and most importantly, our relationship to our own selves. That balance between togetherness and nurturing our spirits to be the best that we can possibly be was once that we weren’t able to do.
I am so grateful for all that I learned through our relationship. I have gained a sense of self and recognized purpose for my life in a new way. Becoming more comfortable in my own skin, I have seen myself without makeup and challenged myself physically to try new things. I acknowledge the simplicity and the beauty in being able to sit outside and drink a cup of coffee, listening to the birds chirp while the sun beams in through the jacaranda tree. I see the importance of doing more of what I love and finding something that reinvigorates me time and time again. I am learning to stand up for myself, being courageous to be myself and ask for what I want. I am recognizing what I want in a partner, how I want to feel in the relationship, who I want to be. I know that I am importantly my own in many ways: that the individuality of my soul is something I cherish greatly. I know that I can achieve everything I set my mind to. I know that it is important to love myself as much as I love others.
Spending time with my heart and making the effort to recognize my dreams has been the best part about the past several months. I am awakening to a new chapter within me, seeing what matters most and allowing myself the opportunity to explore these spaces creatively. I wish to be inspired each day, to turn off the negativity going on in my head, and focus on the optimism that I can radiate. This is the time for me to pursue what matters most.
I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to say what needed to be said earlier. I felt the ice breaking under your feet. The plunge will be shocking, but it’s also necessary for both of us. We are learning again how to swim and pull ourselves up. It took me this long because I had to know that it was right for both of us. Working through our own fears, bravely moving closer to our heart’s desires, allowing old wounds to heal while better understanding what we both want in this life. And I only wish you the best as we move through these winter months. The sun still shines, and each day there is more light that lasts into the evening. Colors of that love still paint themselves openly across the sky. We are both meant for great things, even if that isn’t together.
My promise to you is that I will support you. I will be there for you if you need someone to talk to. I will tell you what I think and not be afraid to show you the mirror. I will cheer you on, but I can’t do the work for you. It is up to you to take those steps and commit to your dreams. Perhaps it isn’t now that we will begin our new relationship, the next chapter of our deep affection, but when that time comes, I will show up smiling. Shouldering what I can and opening to what is most important to us both. I am glad that what we shared was so illuminating. I hope that you gained as much from the relationship as I did, moving more towards where you want to be and how you want to live your life.