I have wanted to write you a letter, I have wanted to call you up, I have wanted to show up at your doorstep. I have wanted to hug you, to kiss your lips, to tell you that I miss your smell and the way that you make me laugh. I have yearned for your voice at the other end of the receiver and ached for your gentle hand in mine. One day, I will tell you how these days without you have been difficult for me, but today, I will not.
Today I will let you forget me.
You were my angel; you showed up, as if sent by God, only weeks after my divorce. You held me in my darkest moments, you showered me with unconditional affection and adoration even when I fought it. How can I ever thank you for the endless laughter you brought me at a time when I felt like I had been stripped of joy. One day I will tell you how grateful I am to you for loving me when I barely loved myself. But today, I will not.
Today I will let you hate me.
Love does not come easily to me, but you made it difficult not to love you. You made it challenging not to adore you. You might just be the best man I have ever met; and yet I pushed you away and I hurt you. I tried to curb your love for me because I was not ready to receive it. I never trusted you or let you in because I was not ready to trust. I loved you dearly, but didn’t let you know enough because I was not ready to commit. I made you insecure because I was insecure. I made you uneasy because I was broken. One day, I will tell you how sorry I am for making you feel like you didn’t deserve all of me, but today , I will not.
Today I will let you resent me.
It must be painful to think that I left you because I did not care enough, or I wanted to be with other men. This could not be further from the truth. I do not wish to get over you, or to be with anyone else. I will secretly hope that you will wait for me, for the time that I am ready to give myself to you. I know you gave me several chances to walk away because, though you are younger, you are far wiser than I am. Each time I insisted that I was ready. It was only after you asked me to marry you that I realized I wasn’t. One day I will apologize for being so oblivious to my own reality. But today, I will not.
Today I will let you move on.
The truth is, I could no longer allow you to pay for another man’s sins. My marriage rattled me, it broke me. I realize now, that no matter how much you tried you were not the one who could put me back together- only I could do that.
I left you because while I loved you, I was not ready to be a wife again. I was not ready to be a daughter in law again, I was not ready to be a fiancé again, I was hardly ready to be a girlfriend again.
I left you because I was still partially living in the past, and you were living in dreams of the future. We bypassed the present, entirely. A present I desperately needed to enjoy, without pressure and expectations. I left you because you ached for me to love you with the same passion that you loved me, but I was still only trying to make sense of what it meant to love someone again. I left you because I needed to ease into things, I needed to take things slow, you wanted to race ahead. You wanted all of me, and could not accept me in the broken bits that I am in. One day I will show you that I am capable of wholehearted love, but today I will not.
Today I will let you love someone new.
So at the end of the day, what is it that I chose over you? I chose me.
I chose Saturday nights alone with a book. I chose traveling at the drop of a hat without needing to consult someone. I chose saying goodnight to myself. I chose going back to school after ten years of wanting to do so. I chose working late hours, and being proud of my achievements for myself and no one else. I chose going to a party on my own, and coming home when I feel like- alone. I chose ordering and eating an entire cheese pizza by myself. I chose not shaving my legs. I chose being free to make plans with my girlfriends every night of the week. I chose changing my own light bulbs and building my own Ikea furniture. I chose all of those things I had forgotten how to do because I had not been single in 8 years. I chose healing, closing old wounds, and making peace with my past entirely on my own, without you there as a crutch and distraction.
I chose loneliness and moments of depression and despair. Most of all, I chose not giving in to the fear of ending up alone, the fear of not being able to have children, the fear of getting divorced a second time. But I chose all this because I couldn’t bare to wake up one day and be angry at someone for taking it away from me. I chose these precious moments, that I will always cherish.
I know you will find someone wonderful. You will love her. I know I will hurt when you do. but I would rather love you from a far, than resent you while you lay next to me.
One day, perhaps, you will walk into a bar and see me there and I will look different, because I will finally be whole again. One day, perhaps you will learn to forgive me and give me another chance. One day I will show you that I just needed time, but today I will not.
Today I will say goodbye.