N., I feel a little pathetic. Today, I was killing time before an appointment, and I decided to grab some frozen yogurt. As I moved through the toppings line, thoughts of you popped into my head. I absently loaded some boba into my cup, recalling how you mentioned liking them. I remembered when you first asked me out to get frozen yogurt after choir.. I remember being so taken aback and feeling really shy around you. I remember everything happened so quickly, and I couldn’t help myself with falling for you. And that’s where it all started- a stupid yogurt shop. I sat there for awhile; my stomach was in knots. I blinked back tears and choked back bittersweet sentiment. I always have to talk myself down when these waves of pain happen. They’ve become less frequent. It’s been almost three months now.
Of course, I still miss you. I still love you. But I know we don’t agree on some very foundational aspects of a successful relationship, and I hate that. I can’t say we could’ve worked it out, because you don’t want to change, and I can’t change either. I’m nothing without my faith. We would make each other unhappy. I fear we’d bring out the worst in each other. Neither of us deserves that.
I remember you said breakups are always hard. You sounded so matter-of-fact and so jaded. I credited that to your past relationships. You always seemed a little bitter about your previous relationships, and I felt like I got the short end of the stick, like I was some sort of consolation prize for the rejections by the beautiful, out-of-reach girls you knew before me. I felt really insecure. Still feel insecure. Did I make things too easy? Did I give up myself too easily? Did you really love me, or did you just really love fucking me?
I made the choice to love you. I knew I loved you before you ever said that to me. I don’t even know why I decided that.. I knew I was falling, and I let myself take the plunge. I think I recognized parts of you that seemed hurt, parts that resounded with my own wounds, and I wanted so badly to heal that.
Remember that time I got upset about the ‘news’ you had for me? We were sleeping with each other for maybe a week or so. When I lay next to you, guilt ate away at me. I knew I was doing wrong by my standards of faith. When trying to fall asleep, I used to pray. I’d pray that if I were supposed to let you go, that I’d have the strength to do that. That God would make it clear to me that we weren’t supposed to be together.
Sometimes, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, the guilt was so overwhelming. But I wanted to justify being with you. So when you said you had great news, I deluded myself into thinking that you had come to the realization that you loved me. I know, incredibly naive of me. It wasn’t necessarily the shock of the news that got to me, it was the ugly realization that I was so ready to delude myself.. and that’s why I nearly walked out on you.. I was so ashamed about my desperation. I was desperate for you to want me to stay, so at the slightest indication that you wanted to try at an ‘us’, I let myself stay.
Sometimes, I wonder whether if it would’ve been better if you had let me go at that point. Maybe I would’ve saved myself the grief of being so foolish. But could I trade that for all the experiences we had? For the love I felt? No… I wouldn’t trade it. Because, one day, I think I’ll be okay looking back and smiling fondly over what we’ve shared, instead of feeling raw. Thoughts of you will come up less and less, and life will move us forward in our separate ways, and that’s how things go. I forgive us for the mistakes we’ve made, but I still need to remind myself to truly let go.
You made me a better person. I can love better, and I can show more patience and kindness. I can trust more. Most importantly, I can know myself better. By losing myself in the wrong kind of love, I can find myself again in the right kind of love, and be more solid in what I stand for. For that, thank you. Goodbye, songbird. As time goes on, I hope we both find our wings.