If you’ve seen To All the Boys I Love Before, then what I’m about to introduce might not seem like a new idea. Yes, this has something to do with writing confessions. However, unlike the teenage love story, this might not result in a happily ever after.
Tragic, right? But wait! You might not end up with your Peter Kavinsky, but what if I tell you that you might find something better? A chance to move on and let go of what was, to unlock your potential to have happiness in your mind and heart? What’s really important is that happiness comes from within and not from another person—that’s a bonus. So if you haven’t found that person, maybe you haven’t met them yet.
Letting go is hard. Believe me, I know. We’ve all been through our fair share of heartbreaks, whether it’s due to unrequited love, breakups, friendzones, or the bittersweet feeling of the one that got away. All of that hurts. And sure, everyone deals with this differently and at varying degrees of hurting. Some of these you get over fast, but there are those very special ones that leave a burn that you just can’t seem to get rid of. It lingers in your mind like a parasite eating your livelihood away, maybe because you ruminate on what went wrong. You spent nights in bed agonizing why you weren’t enough for them; you wake up in the morning thinking if there is a way to fix it because you think it was your fault. Sometimes, there isn’t anyone to blame. Some things just don’t work out, and that’s the tragedy of it. But the only reason you are feeling so much pain and anguish over this person is because you truly love them (define love however you may). You care about this person. You don’t want to lose them. It hurts you to hurt them. That’s love, my dear. Even when it doesn’t work out, love is still love.
But what if I told you there’s a way to release the pain? I have to say, though, pain isn’t going to go away in an instant. Healing takes time. And by all means, take the time you need. But spending your days agonizing over what was isn’t really going to help you move forward.
I want to introduce you to a kind of closure so that you can finally let that regret rest and let that person go. You might think, Who in the world writes letters these days? Letters, emails, essays, cards—whatever you like. You’re not actually going to send them (unlike To All the Boys—I mean, unless you really want to then go ahead, but not before I tell you why I’m introducing this).
We all have things we wished we said to that particular person. It may not even be anything that could bring them back to you, but you still wish you said it to them at that moment in time. You could call this regret and keeping regrets inside your head is what holds you back. Even if regrets can’t be fixed (because you can’t change the past), you can still do something about it.
In this letter, you can write about all the things that are bothering you. Say all the things you want to say but couldn’t. Reminisce on what was and don’t be afraid to hold back on writing down your emotions. Let it all out onto the page—all the good and bad. Tell them how you felt and how you’ve been feeling as of late. Tell them all about the things you’ve been up to since they’ve been gone. Tell them you wish them well. Tell them what you wish would have happened. Think of this as an exercise to get your emotions out, like talking to yourself, and realizing what you are going through mentally. You’ll realize how much lighter you feel when you’re not burdened by regrets and heartbreak. Once you have said all that was left unsaid, you’ll begin to make the first step to moving forward from this past.
Maybe you do want to send it and let that person know all the things you wanted to say. If that gives you closure, then go for it. But it’s not imperative. Sometimes, no matter how bittersweet, some things are better left unsaid, but at least you don’t have to keep it in and suffer it alone. Let that blank page or paper help you carry that burden. Then stash it away, hide it, put it in a box—put it away. You don’t want to go back to it. Maybe in the future you’ll read it and laugh at how far you’ve come. Maybe you won’t even remember who it was about or remember why you wrote all those words. Then won’t you be glad you didn’t spend another year worrying about what went wrong?
So to all those who are currently hurting and are unsure of who to tell, tell it to the page. They will share the load. Write that heartbreak letter so that you can start to mend your heart.