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An Open Letter To My Ex Co-Pilot

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Alex Siale

You were my Co-Pilot for a few years – my equal, my necessary. I wish the moral of the metaphor was that despite hard times, planes tend to take off against the wind; or that together we defied gravity and the forces that tried to ground us. But sadly, I think the story was more like: I said I’d count to three but I pushed you off the plane on two, with a parachute that was less than sub-par.

You didn’t have much of a say when you left. I told you that this was for the best, that we were headed in different directions – hoping that
a parachute of weightless words would somehow cushion your fall.

The truth is that only I knew the chute had a working chord. The truth is that although you landed, I’ll never know what it felt like in the space between the clouds and the pavement.

You were my soulmate. Not the kind of soulmate that makes you think romantic love is spellbinding – but the kind that disrupts the peace, making you question why every thought wants to be felt so much. The kind of soulmate that comes into your life for just a minute, but their impact leaves you feeling a little bit lighter than before.

See, I believe in love I’m just not sure if I believe in its permanence. I don’t believe that we, as humans, have static souls. We seem to think that the purpose of life is to discover our “true self.”

But what if there is no “true self?”

What if what we are, is just a series of different selves that are bound merely by experiences and biology. Who I was is not who I am, and who I am is not necessarily who I will be. If I am evolving endlessly, how could I commit to one person forever?

When I met you I was battling my own demons. I had a different existential crisis every week. I wasn’t comfortable in my skin, even though it looked like I was from the outside. I was a wide-eyed girl that put up a tough front. I was hyper-aware of people’s perceptions of me and the thought of “taking risks” made my stomach turn. Stability became increasingly attractive to me because I didn’t know how to find it within myself.

Soulmates. Everyone thinks they are eternal, but I think the term is a bit more perplexing than that. I think you can have a series of soulmates throughout your life. I think, that you register someone as a soulmate when they expose areas of yourself that you’ve been longing to discover.

If someone can be a vessel that brings you closer to your own self-discovery, your souls have united.

I say that you were my soulmate because our souls no-debatably connected. For a while, we filled each other’s gaps. I needed someone that would be committed to me during the moments where I wasn’t committed to myself. You needed someone who needed you, but what you really needed was yourself.

At the same time, we mirrored each other in our flaws and self-destructive patterns. We both lacked self-confidence and feared rejection. We judged others because it fuelled a false sense of power. We weren’t happy. We brought out the best and the worst in each other.
When there were no more gaps to fill in each other, I had to go. There was more learning to do and I was just itching to feel things that I hadn’t felt before. I wanted spontaneity, and I wanted it fast.

The truth is I didn’t push you away because I didn’t like where you were going but for the first time in my life, I didn’t want a pre-planned route. I didn’t want to know that by the latter half of my twenties I’d already have kids with names that I compromised on. I don’t even like kids. You know why? Because they don’t come with a refund policy. I didn’t want to know that I would forever be a homebody; born, raised and expiring in the general Toronto area. I didn’t want to know that I was never again going to feel the fall of finding a soulmate.

I guess what I am trying to say is I may longer be by your side and be your copilot but I do wish the best for you and I hope you find what I couldn’t provide you with in another. TC mark

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